Every year on 5 May, the World Health organisation marks World Hand Hygiene Day. The ‘save lives: clean your hands’ campaign is usually focused on healthcare providers, but, this year more than ever, the importance of frequent hand washing has been brought into sharp focus for the general public as we try to control the spread of COVID-19. Cleaning our hands with clean water from the tap seems unremarkable for most British people, but it is inaccessible for many people globally. 3 billion people – or 40% of the world’s population – lack access to clean water for hand washing in their homes. The fact that we need to do more to ensure clean water is readily available has never been more obvious.