Formula for washing hands

Dear Readers: Proper handwashing can help prevent the spread of diseases, and it’s simply a good habit for you and your family to get into.

Did you know that there’s a correct way to wash your hands? The formula is courtesy of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (, and here are the steps:

1. Wet hands with running water, turn off the water and lather with soap.

2. Rub soapy hands together, rub the backs of your hands, in between your fingers and under your fingernails. You should do this for at least 20 seconds.

3. Rinse well, under running water.

4. Dry with a clean towel.

Remind kids and grandkids when to wash their hands: During all phases of food preparation, after using the bathroom, after blowing your nose, and before and after applying a bandage to a cut or wound.

If soap and running water aren’t available, hand sanitizer with an alcohol content of at least 60 percent will do until you can get home. — Heloise

Dear Heloise: If I hadn’t been at home yesterday at the right time, I could have had a fire. I was relaxing in my chair in the warmth of the sun when I saw thin, black smoke rising from where I had lain my glasses! I believe papers would have caught on fire from the rays of the sun hitting the glasses.

— Merlin F., Dakota City, Iowa

Dear Heloise: To avoid rubbery gelatin, especially on the bottom, add one capful of vinegar to the mixture after you boil the water. You won’t taste it, and it keeps the gelatin from forming that rubbery substance on the bottom. — Karen H., Kinston, N.C.