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Hand Washing Tips and Tricks for Toddlers


As kids and adults, this has been drilled into our heads from an early age.

I can’t count the number of times I say this during a single day, but it should probably just be tattooed on my forehead.

Thankfully, I’ve been able to get my toddlers to find washing their hands in the sink to be fun, and their hands are squeaky clean.

I’m sharing with you the top tips and tricks on hand washing your little one’s hands with that in mind!

What Should You Use To Clean Their Hands

For actual hand washing - an excellent twenty-second soap and water scrub is essentially all you need to be concerned with.

Soaps for Hand Washing

soaps for hand washing toddlers

We are big big fans of castile based soaps.

They’re gentle, non-drying, and for the most part, are just fine for sensitive skin.

Like CJ’s Carcass Cleaner, castile soaps come in a handy foam pump bottle that’s easy to use for toddlers and adults alike.

Water Temp for Hand Washing

water temperature for hand washing

Friendly reminder to check your water heater settings and ensure that the big hunk of metal in your water closet is set to the recommended 125F to prevent burns.

Now that we have that out of the way, the water used should be on the warm side.

Not as hot as you would use on your dishes, but remember we are trying to kill germs! Not too cold, not too hot, just right.

You know, like the book!

Hand Sanitizer for Hand Washing

hand sanitizer for toddlers

The CDC recommends hand sanitizer to kill the coronavirus, and alcohol-based sanitizers are safe for babies as long as they’re supervised and their hands are dehydrated before they stick their hand into their mouth or are eating.

If you’re looking for a more natural hand sanitizer, click here to check out our selection of all natural hand sanitizer now!

How To Wash Your Infant's Hands

how to wash an infants hands

I find it easier to grab a wipe, washcloth, or anything handy and wipe off their hands.

I get one nice and bubbly with some carcass cleaner (which is safe not to have to worry about rinsing, but if you’re up against it, feel free to rinse or grab another wipe with just water) and wipe.

Dry off with another washcloth, and you’re good to go.

Sure, you could stand over the sink with a bowling ball in your arm when hand washing, but we’re aiming to please with tips and tricks today.

How To Wash Your Toddler's Hands

how to wash a toddler's hands

Grab some extra towels, because there’s about to water everywhere.

Or maybe that’s just the theme at my house with hand washing?

Toddlers will benefit from a step stool - and so will your back!

Once they can wash their hands unsupervised, it’s magical - and they’ll want to do so often.

Make sure you’re still supervising until you’re 100 percent certain they’re washing and rinsing correctly and even then- at least within earshot.

We keep a bottle of foamy cjs carcass cleaner at their reach and a hand towel on the counter so they can go in and out as they please.

While you’re teaching some independence, here are some pro tips: Sing a song that’s about 20 seconds long and sing it every time they are hand washing.

Eventually, they’ll learn this routine and stop washing their hands until the song is completed.

This will also let them know when they’re done, so they don’t want to be wasting water (and soap) for the next 45 minutes.

Be sure to exaggerate the steps slightly and show them how you wash your hands as often as you can.

If your toddler is on the other end of the sensory spectrum and isn’t a fan of water - I would highly recommend doing the pepper germ experiment.

While they still may not be a fan of the water, they may be more willing to do so.

Still a no-go?

Sometimes it’s not with the fight.

Pick your battles! Keep that infant hand washing routine going for as long as you need.

How To Wash Your Older Toddler's Hands

how to wash an older toddler's hands

Hopefully, by now, your older toddler can do their own hand washing.

WHOO! Go you! And go, toddler!

This is the age where we drive home when it’s appropriate to wash our hands.

I’d still keep an eye out and do a hand check throughout the day.

My older kiddos still struggle to get all the dirt out from underneath their fingernails.


If you need a recap of when it’s necessary, here’s a quick (mostly inclusive) list

Before eating, after using the bathroom, after playing outside, handling pets or animals, sneezing or coughing into their hands, and spending time in high-volume places.

Frequently Asked Questions About Toddler Hand Washing

frequently asked questions about hand washing

Can I Reuse The Same Soap Wipe From Kid to Kid When Hand Washing?


I know it’s tempting, but that’s just an easier way to spread germs.

Can I Use Sponges?

Again, hard no.

Sponges are known germy environments.

Are There Any Soaps To Avoid?

Not really, no.

Some soaps do, however, contain lots of fragrances that can be irritating.

If you are going to the more crunchy mom route, click here for quite a few natural-based soaps that we offer!

Conclusion - Hand Washing Toddlers

Toddlers and babies...They’re adorable and squirmy, and their hands just seem to a magnet for EVERYTHING.

Washing them can be a total chore.

In addition to their cuteness, they’re also kind of awkward until they’re more significant, and when they’re bigger, they’re heavier, but it doesn’t need to be too tricky until they’ve learned how to do it more or less on their own.

Hopefully, the tips and tricks on hand washing that I have found will help you to make this much more manageable!

Now, that you’ve managed to figure out your hand wash routine, you’re going to need some towels, washcloths, or anything to help get the job done.

WONDERFUL. We can help!

My personal favorite wipes for the tiniest infants to even the adults are, hands down, the Nicki's Diapers Fleece Wipes!

nicki's diapers fleece wipesThese bad boys come in fun colors and a realistic option if you are so inclined. These are super soft, durable, and affordable.

Nicki's Diapers Fleece Wipes are really economical wipes to use and so soft for your baby!

Click here to check out the Nicki's Diapers Fleece Wipes now!