In watchOS 7 for Apple Watch, Apple introduced handwashing detection, which helps users wash their hands properly to keep viruses and bacteria at bay.

applewatchhandwashing
Washing your hands is one of the most important protections against getting sick and preventing the spread of germs. But only if you do it correctly – and most people don't. One study highlighted by Apple showed that as many as 95 percent of us either wash too fast, use water but no soap, or just don't wash at all.

To increase the chances of proper handwashing, your Apple Watch can display a countdown to help you wash your hands for 20 seconds, which is the recommended duration, according to The World Health Organization (WHO). The countdown will relay haptic feedback when it starts and ends, so you don't even need to interact with or look at your Apple Watch to use it.

What's more, the handwashing timer will appear automatically on your wrist whenever you start washing your hands. That's because watchOS 7 can recognize when you rub your hands and will listen out for the accompanying sound of running water and soap being used.

Here's how to enable the Handwashing feature on Apple Watch running watchOS 7 or later.

  1. Launch the Settings app on your Apple Watch.
  2. Scroll down and tap Handwashing.
  3. Toggle the switch next to Handwashing Timer to the green ON position.
  4. Do the same on the switch next to Handwashing Reminders, if desired. (When enabled, you'll receive a notification if you haven't washed your hands within a few minutes of returning home.)
    settings

How to View Your Handwashing Stats on iPhone

  1. Launch the Health app on your iPhone.
  2. Tap the Browse tab.
  3. Search for Handwashing using the Search field.
  4. Tap the Handwashing result.
    health

Use the tabs above the chart to see your handwashing history over the day, week, month, or year.

Related Roundup: Apple Watch Series 7
Buyer's Guide: Apple Watch (Buy Now)
Related Forum: Apple Watch

Top Rated Comments

decypher44 Avatar
16 months ago
If you need an app to wash your hands, you failed at life.
Score: 27 Votes (Like | Disagree)
Apple_Robert Avatar
16 months ago

If you need an app to wash your hands, you failed at life.
What about children and adults with learning disabilities or traumatic brain injury? Are they failures at life because they need a tool like this to assist them in their day to day life?

Are young kids failures at life because they are using this app, along with their parents, to get in the habit of good hygiene?

In my opinion, you need to really stop and think before speaking. What you said is wrong on so many levels.
Score: 22 Votes (Like | Disagree)
dogslobber Avatar
16 months ago
I'm washing my hands of this feature.
Score: 20 Votes (Like | Disagree)
ErikGrim Avatar
16 months ago

It should be noted that this feature seems to only work on series 4 and later watches.
Yup. No washing for dirty series 3 users.
Score: 16 Votes (Like | Disagree)
coumerelli Avatar
16 months ago

I'm washing my hands of this feature.
You need to clean up your act.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)
groundedUX Avatar
16 months ago

I don't get this. Can people not count to 20 anymore?
Right? The amount of energy spent on that which could have went to something more innovative. Next up on the innovation list: a “make sure to chew 30 times before you swallow” app that uses EarPods’ accelerometer and a “don’t make that face or it will stick like that” app using facial recognition.
Score: 11 Votes (Like | Disagree)

Related Stories

studio buds family

Beats Studio Buds Debuting Today With Active Noise Cancellation, Stemless Design, and More for $150

Monday June 14, 2021 8:00 am PDT by
We've seen a lot of teasers about the Beats Studio Buds over the past month since they first showed up in Apple's beta software updates, and today they're finally official. The Beats Studio Buds are available to order today in red, white, and black ahead of a June 24 ship date, and they're priced at $149.99. The Studio Buds are the first Beats-branded earbuds to truly compete with AirPods...
gradiente iphone white

Brazilian Electronics Company Revives Long-Running iPhone Trademark Dispute

Tuesday May 19, 2020 1:06 pm PDT by
Apple has been involved in a long-running iPhone trademark dispute in Brazil, which was revived today by IGB Electronica, a Brazilian consumer electronics company that originally registered the "iPhone" name in 2000. IGB Electronica fought a multi-year battle with Apple in an attempt to get exclusive rights to the "iPhone" trademark, but ultimately lost, and now the case has been brought to...
youtube apple tv

YouTube Discontinuing 3rd-Generation Apple TV App, AirPlay Still Available

Wednesday February 3, 2021 3:09 pm PST by
YouTube is planning to stop supporting its YouTube app on the third-generation Apple TV models, where YouTube has long been available as a channel option. A 9to5Mac reader received a message about the upcoming app discontinuation, which is set to take place in March.Starting early March, the YouTube app will no longer be available on Apple TV (3rd generation). You can still watch YouTube on...
YouTube Picture in Picture Feature

YouTube Premium Subscribers Can Now Use iOS Picture-in-Picture: Here's How

Wednesday August 25, 2021 3:55 am PDT by
Google has rolled out picture-in-picture support as an "experimental" feature for YouTube premium subscribers, allowing them to watch video in a small window when the app is closed. If you're a premium YouTube subscriber looking to try out picture-in-picture, follow these steps: Launch a web browser and sign into your YouTube account at YouTube.com. Navigate to www.youtube.com/new. Scroll...
2012macpro

Apple Outlines Metal-Capable Cards Compatible With macOS Mojave on 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro Models

Monday September 24, 2018 3:26 pm PDT by
Apple's new macOS Mojave update is not compatible with mid-2010 and mid-2012 Mac Pros with stock GPUs, but it is supported on 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro models that have been upgraded with graphics cards that support Metal. Apple today shared a new support document that provides a list of graphics cards that are Metal-capable, which will be useful for 2010 and 2012 Mac Pro owners who want to...
apple privacy

Apple Publishes FAQ to Address Concerns About CSAM Detection and Messages Scanning

Monday August 9, 2021 1:50 am PDT by
Apple has published a FAQ titled "Expanded Protections for Children" which aims to allay users' privacy concerns about the new CSAM detection in iCloud Photos and communication safety for Messages features that the company announced last week. "Since we announced these features, many stakeholders including privacy organizations and child safety organizations have expressed their support of...
iphone 13 teal with text

Apple Expecting iPhone and iPad Supply Constraints in September Quarter

Tuesday July 27, 2021 2:34 pm PDT by
During today's earnings call covering the third fiscal quarter of 2021 (second calendar quarter), Apple CFO Luca Maesteri said that Apple is expecting supply constraints to affect the iPhone and the iPad in the coming quarter. "The supply constraints that we've seen in the June quarter will be higher in the September quarter," said Maestri. The constraints will impact iPhone and iPad sales...
anker lightning cable mfi

Unwrap a New Apple Device? Stock Up on Extra Certified Lightning Cables for as Little as $6

Monday December 25, 2017 5:45 am PST by
If you unwrapped an Apple product today it likely came with one of the company's first-party Lightning cables, but having an extra on hand is always a good idea, so you can place it in other rooms in your house, in your car, or in a bag when you travel. For that reason, now's a good time to shop for third-party Lightning cables that are cheaper than Apple's own accessory, but still Made For...
apple screen time screen icons

Persistent Kids Finding Loopholes in Apple's Screen Time Limits

Tuesday October 15, 2019 9:44 am PDT by
Apple is currently engaged in a cat-and-mouse game with persistent kids looking to circumvent Screen Time restrictions, but the company has been receiving some criticism for not moving quickly enough to lock down some of the loopholes, reports The Washington Post. A few of the loopholes and ways for parents to shut them down are documented on the site Protect Young Eyes, while these and...
os x mountain lion macs 16x9 2

Apple Makes OS X Lion and Mountain Lion Free to Download

Wednesday June 30, 2021 12:19 pm PDT by
Apple recently dropped the $19.99 fee for OS X Lion and Mountain Lion, making the older Mac updates free to download, reports Macworld. Apple has kept OS X 10.7 Lion and OS X 10.8 Mountain Lion available for customers who have machines limited to the older software, but until recently, Apple was charging $19.99 to get download codes for the updates. As of last week, these updates no...