We all do it, well, most of the time. We also take it for granted that we can do it whenever we want.
On Global Handwashing Day, we take a look at a few images from across the world that highlight how hand washing can save lives.
Children in the Liberian village of Grand Cape Mount take a moment to wash their hands in chlorinated water.
The Liberian Red Cross has been working closely with communities to promote good hygiene practices to stop the Ebola virus spreading.
If you have donated to our Ebola Outbreak Appeal, you are helping children like these to stay safe.
A woman washes her hands at a Red Cross information kiosk in Kambia district, Sierra Leone, not far from the border with Guinea.
The Sierra Leone Red Cross set up a number of kiosks like this one to provide health advice and gather information on potential health risks in the area.
A worker disinfects his hands before entering a Red Cross cholera treatment centre in Nyanza-Lac, southern Burundi.
Civil unrest has seen nearly 200,000 people flee Burundi to neighbouring countries – Tanzania, Rwanda, Uganda and the Domocratic Republic of Congo – since April.
When people are forced to flee, they resort to drinking contaminated water and make do in overcrowded and unsanitary conditions. This provides the perfect backdrop for disease outbreaks, such as cholera.
A cholera outbreak in Tanzania claimed at least 35 lives earlier this year. Hand washing with soap is an essential part of preventing the spread of cholera and other diseases.
Refugees in Europe are also at risk of diseases brought on by unsanitary conditions. In this image, a young boy washes his hands inside a registration centre in Röszke, Hungary.
The Hungarian Red Cross has been providing hygiene kits for families. They include essential items such as soap, sanitary pads, toilet rolls, toothpaste, toothbrushes and towels.
After a huge earthquake struck Nepal in April, the threat of disease loomed large over communities living in temporary shelters without access to clean water and toilets.
The Nepal Red Cross built latrines and visited schools to talk about the importance of good hygiene.
In this image, pupils at Shree Nilkhanth Namuna secondary school, in Rasuwa district, show off their bars of soap.
They were treated to a puppet show by Red Cross volunteers about disease transmission, prevention, and how to wash their hands thoroughly.
Japanese Red Cross workers visited schools in Melamchi, Nepal, as part of a health care programme.
Melamchi was one of the hardest-hit districts following the earthquake. As well as teaching hand-washing skills, the Japanese Red Cross also taught pupils basic first aid.
School children in a rural community in Timor-Leste watch a Red Cross worker demonstrate the method for hand washing.
The Red Cross of Timor Leste is running community health and first aid programmes throughout the country, which suffers from high levels of poverty, illiteracy and infant mortality.