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Coronavirus – Sick of Happy Birthday? 10 Better Hand Washing Songs

As the coronavirus spreads throughout the country, health officials say hand washing is one of the best ways people can protect themselves.

According to the World Health Organization, properly washing your hands means washing as long as it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice — 20 seconds or so. I don’t know about you, but singing that song was driving me crazy! First, It’s not my birthday and second, it’s likely one of the most boring songs on the planet.

So, what other hand washing songs can we sing to ourselves while we make sure we thoroughly wash our hands? I’ve come up with a list of 10 (one even includes a dance). Have more ideas? Please share in a comments.

Happy – Pharrell Williams

Before I get into other song suggestions, you have to check out this brilliant hand washing song tool called Wash Your Lyrics. Just enter a favorite song title and artist and voila! Your song is now a hand washing song. Here I chose Happy by Pharrell Williams. Love it!

Create Your Own Hand Washing Song

karma chameleon – culture club

While you might be too young to remember this song, it’s a fun one for hand washing.

Sing the chorus: “Karma, karma, karma, karma, karma chameleon / You come and go, you come and go / Loving would be easy if your colors were like my dreams / Red, gold and green, red, gold and green”

Prince – Raspberry Berret

This is an easy one to remember for a Gen X gal like me. I tend to alternate this one with Unwritten (see below)

Hand washing song start here: “She wore a raspberry beret / The kind you find in a secondhand store / Raspberry beret / And if it was warm she wouldn’t wear much more / Raspberry beret / I think I love her”

Unwritten – natasha Bendingfield

This is one of my favorite songs so it’s an easy “feel good” song for me to wash my hands.

Sing the chorus: “Feel the rain on your skin / No one else can feel it for you / Only you can let it in / No one else, no one else / Can speak the words on your lips / Drench yourself in words unspoken / Live your life with arms wide open / Today is where your book begins / The rest is still unwritten”

Weezer – Africa

Hand washing chorus: “It’s gonna take a lot to drag me away from you / There’s nothing that a hundred men or more could ever do / I bless the rains down in Africa / Gonna take some time to do the things we never had”

Hey Jude – The Beatles

Need a fun cheat sheet? I love this old flow chart recently tweeted out my Steven S. Beagle. My father can use this one.

Fleetwood Mac – Landslide

There are also versions of this song by the Dixie Chicks and Smashing Pumpkins so pick the one that words for you. Hand washing chorus: “Well, I’ve been afraid of changin’ / ‘Cause I’ve built my life around you / But time makes you bolder / Even children get older / And I’m gettin’ older too”

The Knack – My Sharona – change it to “Good-Bye Corona”

Start this hand washing song from “Ooh, my little pretty one, pretty one” to “M-m-m-my Sharona”.

It’s the End of the World as we know it – R.E.M.

You need to milk this one a little to get the full 20 seconds. I’d say sing the chorus in total and then rinse. Let’s not end the world people. Wash those hands!

Coronavirus song & dance

The award for most creative coronavirus PSA undoubtedly goes to the Vietnamese officials who took the popular 2017 pop song Ghen” and evolved it into a catchy informative music video, titled “Gen Cho Vy,” a pun on “coronavirus”


Since this song is not in English, it’s not the easiest to actually sing, but you can easily hum it. Better yet, take on the dance challenge. Flight that soap around as you dance and wash your hands. Well, I’m not sure if anyone has actually washed and danced at the same time, but why not you? Here is the tutorial version:

If you need hand washing songs that are more kid-friendly, “The Alphabet Song” is a good choice. You need to include the “Now I know my ABCs” verse to get it past 20 seconds. “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star” has the same melody, but gives the kids other lyrics to sing. I love this British twist on the ABC classic.

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