Ever wonder how long you should wash your hands before they’re actually clean? Genie Webber, who now works at The Nail Room in Wetumpka, Ala., used to put a sign up over the water basin asking customers “Have you sung the Happy Birthday song today?”“

"I heard that in order to kill 99% of bacteria, you need to wash your hands with regular soap, on wet hands, for 20 seconds,” says Webber. Though her clients were surprised to hear that’s the same amount of time it takes to sing the birthday song, she caught some singing the song to themselves. Webber notices that the clients who have become “slack” in the amount of time they wash are the ones who have been out sick more often.

Another thing to remember is that washing your hands for 20 seconds before each service not only helps keep everyone from getting sick, but also helps avoid the “dreaded greenies” on the nails, adds Webber.

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