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Hand Washing Song

Wash Your Hands Songs–Why You Could Benefit from a Tune

The simple act of washing your hands is vital for preventing the spread of germs, diseases, and illnesses from one person to another.i The CDC recommends that you scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds every time you go to wash them to ensure you’re reach all of the right spots.ii Yes, that means lathering the backs of your hands, washing in between fingers, and under your nails.iii By now, you may have heard that singing the tune of Happy Birthday twice is an effective way to make sure you’ve scrubbed long enough–but are there other tunes that you can use to wash your hands without repeating the same song over and over again?

Hand Washing Song


Below we provide you with some of our favorite tunes and melodies to help you and your family members keep hand washing for 20 seconds exciting.

20 Second Songs for Washing Hands

1. “We Will Rock You” by Queen

Take a trip down memory lane and sing this classic chorus three times to reach the 20 second minimum. Chant “we will, we will rock you (rock you).” Feel free to leave some room in between each round for an electric guitar solo!

2. “Row, row, row your boat”

If you’re trying to make a habit out of hand washing with the kids, this nursery rhyme is perfect! Teach them how to sing in rounds and make approximately two or three of “row, row, row your boat, gently down the stream, merrily, merrily, merrily, merrily, life is but a dream.”

Quotation marksThe CDC recommends that you scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds every time you go to wash them to ensure you’re reach all of the right spots.Quotation marks

3. “If You’re Happy and You Know It Clap Your Hands”

Sing to this classic nursery rhyme about hands, but ask your kiddos to help you come up with variations! For example: “If you’re happy and you know it wash your hands.” Switch up the verbs in the verse and see if you can come up with a new one every time you go to wash your hands together as a family.

4. “Mary Had a Little Lamb”

Plenty of kids love and know this nursery rhyme, making it perfect for another creative option when they go to wash their hands. Similar to “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” put a twist on the song as you see fit. “Mary had a little lamb, little lamb, little lamb, Mary had a little lamb whose hands were clean as snow.”

Now that you’ve explored different ways to help you and your family stay engaged while washing your hands for 20 seconds, it’s time to get creative. Make these “wash your hands songs” new parts of your routine and have fun while you do it in order to protect yourself and others from illnesses passed by germs. To keep learning, explore additional Robitussin resources on topics such as sickness etiquette, cold hard cough facts, and learn about cold and flu facts.


  1. i-iii. When and How to Wash Your Hands. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed 4.17.2020. Referenced text is in a red box in source PDF.
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