Coronavirus: Does your hand washing pass the black light test?

Hand-washing is one of the most effective methods of helping to prevent contraction and spread of the novel coronavirus. But it can be hard to tell if one's hand-scrubbing efforts are sufficient, considering the fact that we aren't able to see the germs congregating on our palms and fingers.

In regular light, the hands themselves look clean. It's only until after they're displayed under the black light do they appear dirty.

Using a lotion that has particles similar to germs, researchers from Arizona State University experimented with how effective certain hand-washing procedures are at ridding hands of those “germs” entirely.

In the first test, a researcher only washed her hands with water for five seconds. A black light test revealed that both hands were still immensely dirty with the germs.

The researcher in the second test upped the ante by washing her hands with both soap and water. Despite the valiant effort, the black light test revealed the dirty hands.

The third and final participant, a FOX 10 Phoenix reporter, washed his hands with soap and water for 20 seconds. His hands were the most clean of the bunch, but still not perfect. The black light revealed “germs” were still present on the reporter’s fingernails and under his watch, naturally easy places to forget to scrub. 

RELATED: Are you washing your hands incorrectly? Proper technique is pivotal to preventing spread of coronavirus

Here is a step-by-step breakdown on how to wash your hands thoroughly and effectively:

1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Need a timer? Hum the “Happy Birthday” song from beginning to end twice.
4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

This story was reported from Los Angeles.