How Often You Should Actually Wash Your Hands

Take a refresher course in hand-washing after "Fox & Friends" host Pete Hegseth joked on air that he hasn't "washed my hands for 10 years."

"Fox & Friends" host Pete Hegseth may have joked that he hasn't washed his hands in a decade, but how often should you really be scrubbing the filth from your fingers?

Pretty often, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

The CDC says this is when people should be hitting the sink:

"Before, during, and after preparing food
Before eating food
Before and after caring for someone who is sick
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."

During a Sunday segment on Fox News, Hegseth jokingly told his co-hosts that he hasn't "washed my hands for 10 years." The co-hosts laughed, and he went further, saying, "I inoculate myself. Germs are not a real thing. I can't see them, therefore, they're not real."

Social media grew concerned for Hegseth, and so did his mom. He shared her playful response on Twitter. "I've been hearing reports that you have not been washing your hands. Not a good idea son. Might be a good time to start going back to what we taught you," she said in a video.

Now mom is weighing in. Germs must be real after all. Now we know!

— Pete Hegseth (@PeteHegseth) February 12, 2019

Hegseth explained his jest: "My halfhearted commentary to the point is, we live in a society where people walk around with bottles of Purell in their pockets, and they sanitize 19,000 times a day as if that’s going to save their life. I take care of myself and all that, but I don’t obsess over everything all the time."

The CDC does say that alcohol-based hand sanitizer can be used when soap and water are not available. But the group stressed that washing your hands is the best way to reduce germs in most situations.

So, how should you be lathering up?

The CDC says to follow these steps: "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. Be sure to 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."

Help me out Twitter — is this the right technique?

— Pete Hegseth (@PeteHegseth) February 12, 2019