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Your IV insertion site is a prime place for bacterial contamination. Washing your hands is one of the best methods of stopping the spread of infection.

Soap and water or alcohol-based sanitizers should be used before handling any home infusion equipment, even if your hands don’t feel or appear dirty. If there is any visible dirt or grime on your hands, alcohol-based products are not sufficient; you must use soap and warm water.


Do not touch anything before beginning your care! After washing your hands, it is very important to keep your hands clean. If you need to touch something that may cause recontamination before you begin your care, you must wash your hands again.

Soap & Water Technique

  1. Wet both hands with warm water.
  2. Apply an ample amount liquid soap: Avoid bar soaps, as they may harbor bacteria from previous use.
  3. Rub hands together until all surfaces are covered with suds.
  4. Continue scrubbing hands together for 30 seconds to 1 minute: Sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself 3 times will help you time it.
  5. Rinse hands completely under warm running water.
  6. Use a clean paper towel to dry hands entirely: Cloth towels are not recommended as they may harbor bacteria from previous use.
  7. Turn water off with a paper towel: The water handle could be dirty and this will protect you from recontaminating your hands.

Alcohol-Based Sanitizer Technique

Inspect sanitizer dispenser for cleanliness. If dirty, clean well with soap and water. Pump bottle-type dispensers are best so you do not have to use your fingers tips to handle the bottle.

  1. Apply enough sanitizer to coat both hands by filling one palm with the sanitizer (1-2 Tablespoons).
  2. Rub hands together completely so that all hand and finger surfaces are coated.
  3. Continue rubbing until hands are dry.

Have questions? Call Toll-Free 1-800-665-2850

Download our “Hand-Washing Technique” PDF Resource