It’s a routine that we often take for granted, and we perform it several times a day without a blink of an eye.  It’s what we do after mothers say, “Ew, don’t touch that!” or “I don’t know where your hands have been.”

So what exactly is this regimen?  The answer’s simple:  it’s washing our hands.

In honor of National Hand Washing Week, consider giving thought to your hand washing routine the next time you’re mindlessly standing in front of the sink.  Stop looking at yourself in the bathroom mirror and look down at your hands, instead.  Turn the warm water on, lather up and get clean.

Hand washing is a routine that’s crucial to avoiding illnesses, including the likes of winter colds and that dreaded flu.  Don’t underestimate the power of the simple combination of soap and water, either — it’s a cheap but effective method that combats the spread of harmful bacteria and viruses.

“Hand washing is indeed the number one form of preventing illness,” said Megan Mateer, LPN.

Read the full story at NBC Washington News