Health care workers know effective hand washing prevents infection spread. Early in my medical technologist career, I failed a handwashing test. Years later, I was on my hospital's Infection Control Committee monitoring infection rates and educating. Since COVID is ramping up, here's how to test handwashing technique at home.

Materials needed: Nutella or cream cheese. Q-tip. Soap and water. White towel for Nutella, or dark cloth for cream cheese. Sense of humor.

1. Take out a marble-sized dot of Nutella if light-skinned, or cream cheese if dark-skinned. Make small dots on hands with Q-tip. Include tips, back, front and between fingers and thumbs. Continue with palms, backs of hands, about six small dots per each finger or part. Do not try this with lipstick or ketchup, it won't work, but peanut butter might work if you don't have the others, depending on skin color. Do not do this if allergic.

2. Without looking down, wash your hands with soap like you normally would. Do not look down at any time, that's cheating. Do not wash longer or any differently than you wash every day. If you routinely let your mind wander while washing, like I do, all the better.

3. Rinse but don't dry. Are spots still visible on parts of your hands? That's a fail. If not, wipe, including everywhere the Q-tip touched. If the towel is still clean, you passed!