To combat coronavirus, turn hand washing into karaoke with this site
Freeze! Everybody wash your hands.
If you’re trying to prevent the spread of coronavirus, you can now sing DJ Casper’s “Cha-Cha Slide” — or any tune you prefer — while scrubbing your hands thanks to a popular new website called “Wash Your Lyrics.”
The site, which generates a how-to hand-washing poster tailored to song lyrics of the user’s choosing, has also spurred a viral meme on social media, inspiring people to brainstorm tracks with the best 20-second excerpts for hand-wash karaoke.
Based on a real diagram released by the United Kingdom’s National Health Service, the generator replaces proper hand-washing instructions with lyrics for each stage of the recommended 20-second hand-washing cycle.
And while “Happy Birthday” still fits the healthy interval perfectly fine, the internet has some better ideas, creating posters featuring Smash Mouth’s “All Star,” “Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive,” “High School Musical’s” “Breaking Free” and other catchy sing-alongs.
“Shakira’s ‘Ciega, Sordomuda’ chorus is exactly 20 seconds long,” one astute Twitter user pointed out.
“I have tried a few tunes, having got bored of happy birthday,” wrote another. "[Queen’s] Bohemian Rhapsody is always a winner.”
To help prevent the spread of coronavirus, the CDC recommends washing your hands for 20 seconds, or “Happy Birthday” sung twice. Here are 10 way better songs to sing.
Developer and designer William Gibson, the mastermind behind the generator, promoted his hygienic handiwork Sunday on Twitter, writing, “I made a little site in 24h that generates hand washing instructions accompanied by lyrics from a song of your choice instantly - check it out!”
Suffice it to say that “little site” has really taken off, even drawing attention from artists such as Miley Cyrus, Blink-182 and Troye Sivan, who took the opportunity to promote public health — and their own music — at the same time.
“Wash your damn hands,” Cyrus tweeted on Tuesday, along with a photo of a poster featuring lyrics from her 2009 hit, “The Climb.”
Gibson, 17, has remained active on Twitter since the site launched, keeping followers informed about debugging efforts and retweeting celebrity editions as they come in. He’s even charted and shared which tracks have been used the most, with “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen, “Never Gonna Give You Up” by Rick Astley, “All Star” by Smash Mouth and “Africa” by Toto leading the charge.
Thanks to everyone who has used the site so far! Also sorry for the downtime, didn’t expect the traffic the site received.— William (@neoncloth) March 10, 2020
Working on ligatures which will hopefully roll out tomorrow with an option to bypass song cache so the poster will actually update without the ‘?’
“Thanks to everyone who has used the site so far!” he wrote on Monday. “Also sorry for the downtime, didn’t expect the traffic the site received.”
You can create your own #WashYourLyrics poster here.
Inside the business of entertainment
The Wide Shot brings you news, analysis and insights on everything from streaming wars to production — and what it all means for the future.
You may occasionally receive promotional content from the Los Angeles Times.