Ridding your paws of germs is more than just your choice of soap. “The purpose of soap isn’t to kill germs but to remove them by friction,” says Elaine Larson, PhD, director of Columbia University’s Centre for Interdisciplinary Research to Reduce Antimicrobial Resistance in the US. Antibacterial soap can kill germs. However, doctors don’t recommend it for at-home use because of the risk that the surviving bugs may mutate into an antibiotic-resistant strain. If you want squeaky-clean hands, upgrade your washing technique. Wet your hands and lather the soap by rubbing thoroughly – palm to palm, between your fingers and on the backs of your hands. Then, before you rinse, rub your fingertips into the suds on your palms: Your fingernails are the biggest biological hot spots on your hands. The whole process should take 20 seconds.