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fitcious

macrumors 6502
Original poster
Nov 2, 2014
313
278
Does the hand washing come on by itself automatically or is that something I need to turn on?

Thanks
 

SidBoggle

macrumors regular
Sep 30, 2007
165
97
Bucks, UK
On your watch check "Settings->Handwashing" to make sure it is enabled. When this is switched on it will automatically activate when you wash your hands.
 

fbm3334

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2020
22
19
I can't seem to get it to detect either on my S5, and I have checked that everything is enabled, as well as restarting the Watch ?
 

jtara

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2009
2,008
536
It's disabled by default. Some commentary on some news site (sorry, forget which one) suggests that they had originally intended to have it on by default, but decided at last minute against it.

And with good reason.

It's not at all reliable.

It seems to be trained for "traditional" hand-washing. e.g. simple back and forth rubbing. If you go through the whole rigamarole that we all learned from a certain viral video by a Vietnamese boy band early in the pandemic, the timer stops when you are doing the fancy parts. (each finger, then hand clasp).

I guess it's a good thing, because I think the recommendation is 30 seconds not 20 so it ignores the fancy parts and you get 20 seconds of simple back and forth rubbing plus the flourishes.

You can't complete the "boy band hand washing" in 20 seconds!

BTW, I finally got it down good (as well as proper way to put on a mask) after taking a (really) short free Osmosis course. Osmosis is an online learning platform for medical professionals. Covid-19 - What You Need to Know, if anyone is interested. It gives some CME credits useful for medical professionals. I'm not a medical professional, but I went for the certificate anyway. The course is on Coursera. But DON'T sign-up directly on Coursera. You have to go to Osmosis and get a coupon first, and then apply it when you check-out at Coursera and it will be free. (Normally free to audit, and some fee if you want a certificate.)

FWIW, I also have taken the much more extensive Imperial College Covid-19 Coursera course, which is free, but no certificate offered. I really recommend this if you have the time. It was developed as the pandemic played out - an 8-week course, but took them much longer to write the course, it was dribbled out - which was their intent. Because of this, I was a lot less freaked-out than a lot of the people around me, because I knew what to expect. Even though they made some hopeful statements, it was clear to me from the start that we are looking at at least a 2-year process to normality... :(

The Osmosis course I think would be great for everyone in a clinical practice or really any service job where people interface with the public. Really basic awareness and really precise instructions on mask donning/doffing and hand washing... It is SHORT, 1-2 hours.)

Oh, geez, I think now the handwashing timer is triggering on my typing! I use an old-school clicky keyboard, (Unicomp) maybe somehow it hears it as handwashing!
 
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jtara

macrumors 68020
Mar 23, 2009
2,008
536
I can't seem to get it to detect either on my S5, and I have checked that everything is enabled, as well as restarting the Watch ?

Works - if you call recognizing only "traditional" back and forth hand-rubbing "working" on my 4. You have to enable it in Settings. ON THE WATCH. (Not in the Watch App on your phone - the setting isn't there!)

There is also supposed to be a haptics switch between the enable switch, but it's not there - at least on my 4.

I have the 6 on order, and Apple is buying back 4, but I updated just to start to get familiar with the WatchOS 7 new features.
 

artfossil

macrumors 68000
Oct 5, 2015
1,765
2,031
Florida
I'm disappointed I can't get Handwashing to work on my Series 5. I was looking forward to something to help break the monotony. (I did toggle on the timer in Settings on my Watch. As others noted, there was no Haptics toggle.) Sigh.
 
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espen007

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2019
5
1
Norway
I'm disappointed I can't get Handwashing to work on my Series 5. I was looking forward to something to help break the monotony. (I did toggle on the timer in Settings on my Watch. As others noted, there was no Haptics toggle.) Sigh.
I cant get to work either. I have done all the configuration. I would very mush like to hear from you if you get it to work.
 
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bluegt

macrumors 6502
Jul 3, 2015
445
480
I turned it on (Series 6) and it worked perfectly the first time I washed my hands... although 20 seconds dried out my skin...

Up next: Apple Soap, $39 or $4.99/month...followed by an Amazon lawsuit that Apple is anti-competitive. ?
 

espen007

macrumors newbie
Oct 16, 2019
5
1
Norway
Interesting.... could you tell me something about your setup? Iam thinking about Siri and Location (Norway is not allowing to register approximinity for Covid, but they do allow us to wash our hands).
 

Aspasia

macrumors 65816
Has worked fine for me, even reminding me to wash my hands when I got home.

On the other hand, I was just scrubbing potatoes for dinner and noticed my AW5 timing my "hand washing." Maybe it listens for running water?

Editing this on October 15, 2020 to note that it is now not recognizing when I wash my hands. Today I washed them three times. My AW5 recognized only one occasion.
 
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fbm3334

macrumors newbie
Jan 6, 2020
22
19
One interesting thing is that since this morning, it has been working really well for me, even detecting when I was washing dishes earlier on. I wonder if it also has to do with the water loudness - my bathroom has separate taps (apparently a very British thing), and the cold tap seems to trigger it, but the hot tap has a slower flow, meaning the AW has a harder time detecting the sounds.
 

Glene

macrumors 6502
Sep 13, 2014
446
171
Ft Lauderdale
I don’t care about the handwashing, but I do like the fact when I come home and I’ve got my phone with me, it senses the return hook up to my Wi-Fi and tells me a soon as I walk through the door to wash my hands… That’s helpful…
 
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Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,981
51,004
In the middle of several books.
Has worked fine for me, even reminding me to wash my hands when I got home.

On the other hand, I was just scrubbing potatoes for dinner and noticed my AW5 timing my "hand washing." Maybe it listens for running water?
Yes, it is always actively listening for what it believes to be running water. Soap hand lathering can also trigger the count down.
 
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Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,981
51,004
In the middle of several books.
One interesting thing is that since this morning, it has been working really well for me, even detecting when I was washing dishes earlier on. I wonder if it also has to do with the water loudness - my bathroom has separate taps (apparently a very British thing), and the cold tap seems to trigger it, but the hot tap has a slower flow, meaning the AW has a harder time detecting the sounds.
The volume of water output can cause the countdown trigger to delay or not start at all.
 

artfossil

macrumors 68000
Oct 5, 2015
1,765
2,031
Florida
Just washed my hands and out of the blue, my Watch handwashing sensor actually worked.

Algorithms work in mysterious ways.

I like anything that can help turn a task into a game so I hope Apple will continue to refine the hand washing function.
 
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Aspasia

macrumors 65816
Yes, it is always actively listening for what it believes to be running water. Soap hand lathering can also trigger the count down.

LOL, as I was loading my 17-foot sea kayak to the roof of my car, I felt my watch vibrate and looked down. It was giving me the thumbs up for washing my hands. My car was parked in my driveway.

Now, there is a small pond maybe ten feet away, where a fountain gurgles. But it's hard to believe the watch heard that fountain and given the movement of my hands, through I was washing them. Crazy.
 

Apple_Robert

Contributor
Sep 21, 2012
34,981
51,004
In the middle of several books.
LOL, as I was loading my 17-foot sea kayak to the roof of my car, I felt my watch vibrate and looked down. It was giving me the thumbs up for washing my hands. My car was parked in my driveway.

Now, there is a small pond maybe ten feet away, where a fountain gurgles. But it's hard to believe the watch heard that fountain and given the movement of my hands, through I was washing them. Crazy.
It must have heard the fountain. I have had it triggered (twice with my old series 5 running beta) when cooking several hamburgers at once. The mass sizzling of the burgers on the grill made it sound like running water to the watch.
 

naught@home

macrumors newbie
Jul 10, 2020
20
26
a Pacific island…
It must have heard the fountain. I have had it triggered (twice with my old series 5 running beta) when cooking several hamburgers at once. The mass sizzling of the burgers on the grill made it sound like running water to the watch.

I don't know what sets the handwashing off, but it's not necessarily running water. A couple of days ago I was painting some intricate wooden lattice work in my garden with primer and was amused that my painting movements somehow triggered the handwashing. I'm right handed and wear my S5 on my right wrist. I wasn't so much painting as I was pushing the brush in and out of the small spaces in the lattice and there was no audible running water anywhere near me. Maybe squishy paint noises and my piston-like hand movements were enough. Over the course of four hours the handwashing was triggered at least a dozen times. The funny thing was when I was done painting and went to wash the paint off my hands my S5 was conspicuously silent. It did start working again the next time I washed my hands though. Weird… o_O
 
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phgreer

macrumors regular
Jul 18, 2002
236
168
Greenville, SC
I was listening to the Mac OS Ken podcast and he brought up something I thought too. I have (well I have it to my wife and now using a Garmin band as part of a promo with Work Health Insurance). He thought he remembered the Series 3 would support the hand washing and I thought I remember seeing that too. It would seem if Apple was serious about the Covid right that would include it on as many watches as possible. Was it every going to be supported on Version 3?
 

GaryMumford

macrumors 6502
Jul 25, 2008
372
703
UK
Does the hand washing come on by itself automatically or is that something I need to turn on?

Thanks
It don’t work at all foe me. I have it turned on but it’s only triggered once! And I wash my hands regularly. I’ve even tried deliberately exaggerating my hand movements under running water, but nothing!
 
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