Wash Your Hands to Your Favorite Songs

As COVID-19 spreads across the world, handwashing has become crucial.

That doesn’t mean scrubbing your hands for 30 seconds after every trip outside isn’t tedious. And singing the “Happy Birthday” song from start to finish twice (as many of us learned in elementary school) doesn’t make it much more exciting.

But how about “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough” by Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell?

The graphic is a product of Wash Your Lyrics, a website created by programmer William Gibson. It allows users to type in their favorite song and produces those familiar handwashing graphics with the lyrics. Gibson (@neoncloth on Twitter) thought of the idea after sharing a version of the meme with lyrics from “Money Machine” by 100 Gecs. After the post received 50 likes in a Facebook group, he knew he was onto something.


“I wanted to make more lyric posters, but I thought it’d be more fun to automate the entire process using code,” Gibson said.

He created the first prototype in a few hours using code from previous projects he’d worked on. That made it easier to put it all together, but Gibson says all the poster creation was done from scratch. And since its debut, the site has been a hit. Twitter users have plugged in their favorite songs and shared their custom posters far and wide. Even major artists have gotten in on it.

“My favorite poster I’ve made is ‘Popular’ by Umru, and my favorite I’ve seen from someone else is probably ‘Call Me Maybe’ by Carly Rae Jepsen,” Gibson says. “I’ve really liked seeing artists and bands I listen to be turned into posters.

Raising awareness for good hygiene is crucial during the spread of COVID-19. And the enormous response to Wash Your Lyrics shows that awareness can be accomplished with some levity and fun.

“I think this is definitely bringing people’s moods up a little bit during these dark times we’re currently living in,” Gibson says. “Any hint of positivity we can get is very much needed and I’m glad I can provide that for people.”