As you may or may not have heard, washing your hands is pretty important right now.
The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says you should wash them:
Before, during, and after preparing food
Before eating food
Before and after caring for someone at home who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
Before and after treating a cut or wound
After using the toilet
After changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the toilet
After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
After touching an animal, animal feed, or animal waste
After handling pet food or pet treats
After touching garbage
And it’s not just a matter of squirting some soap into one hand and rubbing your palms together under the tap for a few seconds. No, according to health experts, it should take you a full 20 seconds to wash your hands.
The CDC says to use the Happy Birthday Song as a timer: sing it all the way through, twice, to make sure you’re scrubbing for long enough. Sounds like something Howard Hughes would do, doesn’t it? Where am I going with this?
Here: Apple has created a shortcut that plays your favorite music for 20 seconds, in case you’re getting sick and tired of the Birthday Song.
Interested? First thing you have to do is install the Apple Shortcuts app on your device. If your iPhone is relatively new, Shortcuts probably came pre-installed. Otherwise just take a stroll over to the Apple App Store, where you can access all kinds of nifty things, like Zello Walkie Talkie, a 2 way radio app.
Next find the right shortcut and download it. The best way to do this is to simply search “washing hands music” in Apple’s gallery. Then, activate the shortcut by tapping the icon or barking an order at Siri.
The app will automatically begin playing the last song you listened to on your phone, and it will play it for 20 seconds, so start washing straight away. If you want, you can make it so that the app plays a song of your choosing every time. Your hand-washing song.
And if you’re one of the millions of weirdos that don’t ever wash their hands, here are some step-by-step instructions from the CDC:
Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
Now go and wash your hands.