Marking 20 years
of bold journalism,
reader supported.

The Modern, Thoroughly Up-to-Date Guide to Washing Your Hands

In 16 easy steps.

Chris Cannon 6 Mar

Chris Cannon is co-founder of the Canada Party and co-author of America, but Better. Find his previous Tyee articles here.

1. Wet hands with clean, running water.

2. Apply soap, palms first, and work into a lather.

3. Spread lather across the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.

4. Scrub thoroughly for at least 20 seconds, about 1/15th the time it takes to hum the Uruguayan national anthem.

5. Stare at your hands intently to let any remaining germs know that you see them.

6. Wet your hands again with cleaner, faster water.

7. Scrub for at least seven minutes, or about the time it takes to hum “Stairway to Heaven,” minus the arpeggios, but including the chromatic descending baseline. Generate as much friction as you can. If you can make your skin combust, all the better.

8. Go to the kitchen and retrieve the previously prepared lemon wedges soaked in Sriracha sauce. Rub them along the length your hands, starting at the elbows.

9. Find the potato peeler in the silverware drawer and lay it in plain sight. Make sure the germs see it so they know you mean business.

10. Swallow one shot glass of Purell for every strange doorknob you’ve touched over the past 48 hours. This will attack your hands from the inside and envelope the enemy in a pincer maneuver.

11. Inform the surviving germs that you've met someone else and they need to move on. Do it in a crowded restaurant so they don't make a scene.

12. Go for a long, slow drive in your least favourite part of town. Tell your hands that as long as they live in your house, they will obey your rules, and if they don’t like it they can just get out of the car right now.

13. Give the few remaining germs individual names. Let them know you are coming for them and their loved ones.

14. Bail on your next major commitment without any warning. Drop whatever activities give you the most pleasure, but only after you’ve put in the work and paid any required fees. Collapse into a spiral of despair and loathing so pathetic that no living organism — even one that depends on you for survival — will ever want to enter your body again.

15. Rinse.

16. Repeat.  [Tyee]

Read more: Health

  • Share:

Get The Tyee's Daily Catch, our free daily newsletter.

Tyee Commenting Guidelines

Comments that violate guidelines risk being deleted, and violations may result in a temporary or permanent user ban. Maintain the spirit of good conversation to stay in the discussion.
*Please note The Tyee is not a forum for spreading misinformation about COVID-19, denying its existence or minimizing its risk to public health.


  • Be thoughtful about how your words may affect the communities you are addressing. Language matters
  • Challenge arguments, not commenters
  • Flag trolls and guideline violations
  • Treat all with respect and curiosity, learn from differences of opinion
  • Verify facts, debunk rumours, point out logical fallacies
  • Add context and background
  • Note typos and reporting blind spots
  • Stay on topic

Do not:

  • Use sexist, classist, racist, homophobic or transphobic language
  • Ridicule, misgender, bully, threaten, name call, troll or wish harm on others
  • Personally attack authors or contributors
  • Spread misinformation or perpetuate conspiracies
  • Libel, defame or publish falsehoods
  • Attempt to guess other commenters’ real-life identities
  • Post links without providing context

Most Popular

Most Commented

Most Emailed


The Barometer

Will the BC Conservatives’ Surge Last?

Take this week's poll