Love may be blind, but germs aren't. Here's how to sing your way through the longest 20 seconds of your life while washing your hands.

By Omar Sanchez
March 06, 2020 at 07:09 PM EST
Pop TV; Lizzo/YouTube; Comedy Central

Since the outbreak of the coronavirus, the Centers for Disease Control has been advising us to wash our hands with purpose, doing so for at least 20 seconds. For many of us who can't let go of our phones (which, by the way, you should also clean with an antibacterial wipe 'cause they're really dirty), 20 seconds is an eternity. So we're here to help.

While many recommend singing the song "Happy Birthday" for the entirety of your hand-washing routine, EW has compiled of list of songs that will also help you get the job done and won't leave you with that traditional tune stuck in your head. Not only will adopting one of these help make the world a cleaner, safer space, but you'll also get to elude the dark void of staring into a sink.

From Schitt's Creek: "A Little Bit Alexis" 

Annie Murphy's audition on an episode of PopTV's Schitt's Creek was a little bit extra, but it is just enough for a step-by-step infographic for accurate handwashing (see above).

If you want to really go all out, there's a 3 and a half minute version of the song available to stream.

"No Coronavirus," to the tune of Parks and Recreation's "Don't Be Suspicious" 

What could also double as a song in next season's Cheer, "Don't Be Suspicious" is a short earworm by Jean-Ralphio and Mona-Lisa Saperstein. We can't confirm whether they ever wash their hands, but their song will get you lathering (cue Jean-Ralphio singing voice) in nooooo time!

"Wash Your Hands!" from the Saskatchewan Health Authority 

Let's go a little international with our offerings. Canada has given us Lorne Michaels, Justin Bieber, and now the catchiest song to wash your hands to.

Here's a little sampling if you don't want it stuck in your head for the rest of the day: "Wash, wash, wash your hands / You can do it, you know that you can / Fight off germs, they're everywhere / on everything and things that we share."

The chorus of "Shallow" by Lady Gaga and Bradley Cooper 

Let's say you only want to listen to what's on the radio. Fine. We give in. You are also welcome to sing 20 seconds of the chorus to your favorite song, including the one illustrated above and the two below. We're far from corona now.

Lizzo's "Truth Hurts" 

Freelance journalist Jen Monnier recently posted a viral thread of famous songs to wash your hands to. The initial tweet has more than 400,000 favorites and 200,000 retweets, so we're going to take her up on it. First up, Lizzo's "Truth Hurts."

The corona chorus: “Why men great ‘til they gotta be great? / Don’t text me, tell it straight to my face / Best friend sat me down in the salon chair / Shampoo press, get you out of my hair / Fresh photos with the bomb lighting / New man on the Minnesota Vikings / Truth hurts, needed something more exciting / Bom bom bi dom bi dum bum bay”

Eminem's "Lose Yourself" 

Eminem didn't grow his facial hair for you to chill on your washing habits. At the 2020 Oscars, Eminem performed his classic, Academy Award-winning track, a song that's led gym bros to sound off the Planet Fitness Lunk Alarm at least once or twice.

The corona chorus: “You better lose yourself in the music, the moment / You own it, you better never let it go / You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow / This opportunity comes once in a lifetime / You better lose yourself in the music, the moment / You own it, you better never let it go / You only get one shot, do not miss your chance to blow / This opportunity comes once in a lifetime”

Dolly Parton's "Jolene" 

We don't want to forget about the classics. Dolly Parton's "Jolene" is simple enough (it's literally one person's name) to get you from lather to rinse.

The corona chorus: “Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene / I’m begging of you please don’t take my man / Jolene, Jolene, Jolene, Jolene / Please don’t take him just because you can”

"I Wash," an Ilana Wexler/Broad City remix

If you'd rather keep it simple and do a little a capella, Ilana from the Comedy Central series Broad City has the perfect way to pass your time: literally sing whatever you're doing. Ilana did it with "I bike." There was "I rich." There was even "I s—." Why not just do the same a few steps away?

The CDC's version of the classic "Happy Birthday" song 

Before you @ us in the comments, this isn't actually "Happy Birthday." Yes, it is set to the tune of the celebratory song, but the CDC got creative and rewrote it specific to handwashing.

Here are their updated lyrics: "Wash hands well each day / to keep germs away / Scrub with soap and water / and be on your way"

Lady Macbeth's "Out, Damned Spot!"

Okay, it's probably not at the top of your Spotify playlist, but if you're feeling a little Shakespearean at the sink, just raise your voice to the words of Lady Macbeth. Save your local theater kid, people.

The lyrics: "Out, damned spot! Out, I say!—One, two. Why, then, ’tis time to do ’t. Hell is murky!—Fie, my lord, fie! A soldier, and afeard? What need we fear who knows it, when none can call our power to account?—Yet who would have thought the old man to have had so much blood in him."

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