Yes, Wash Your Hands—But Enough of ‘Happy Birthday’

By

No Judgement
NEW YORK—Let’s be honest: standing at the sink and washing your hands for 20 seconds can get boring pretty fast. Expert advice has told us to sing Happy Birthday twice in a row to ensure we’re hitting the full 20 second mark and protecting ourselves from COVID-19 as best as possible, but Happy Birthday can be sung in a few different tempos, which makes that advice a little confusing. On top of all that, the song can turn into an earworm pretty quickly—and, potentially, ruin all future birthdays by making us think back on this scary, uncertain time.

In times like these, we’ve got to find joy where we can—even if that means in washing our hands. Earlier this week, Fast Company brought attention to Wash Your Lyrics, a generator created by 17-year-old William Gibson. The generator, available for free online, allows you to generate a hand washing technique poster with your own favorite songs.

As Fast Company reports, the generator has turned into a bit of a meme. Major companies like Netflix, MTV and YouTube have jumped on board, and music fans all across Twitter are creating their own versions of the poster with their favorite bands. If you’re anything like me and are celebrating the release of Niall Horan’s newest album, Heartbreak Weather, today, I’ve put one together with the lyrics to his single No Judgement.

Or, maybe you’d like something a little more classic, like Don Henley’s Boys of Summer, or Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody. Or, somewhere in the middle? Poker Face by Lady Gaga turns out pretty funny.


No matter what your song of choice is, Wash Your Lyrics lets us bring a little bit of fun into a situation that, for many of us, feels pretty horrible. But we can follow WHO and CDC guidelines and still get a smile out of it. And, best of all, we don’t have to walk around with Happy Birthday stuck in our heads forever. The generator isn’t affiliated with any major health organizations, so double check that your chosen lyrics make it to at least 20 seconds before you start washing. The ones I made in the generator are attached to this article.

Head over to Wash Your Lyrics to try it out for yourself, or take a look at the #WashYourLyrics hashtag on Twitter to see what other people are making.