Interactive Training in the W.H.O. steps for hand hygiene
Bubble Beats handwashing trainer is now available in the Apple App Store and Google Play

Bubble Beats is a handwashing learning game funded by the National Institutes of Health (Award # 1 R43 GM144007 01). Learn all the World Health Organization steps for training in effective hand hygiene.

Bubble Beats title screen

Bubble Beats

Interactive training in the World Health Organization’s hand washing steps.

A scrub track in the Bubble Beats handwashing trainer

Get Scrubbing

Scrubbing each step provides more habit-forming fun than popping bubble wrap.

Virtual ultraviolet inspection of hands in Bubble Beats -- germs show up as fluorescent dots

UV Inspection

Check your progress in the game with virtual ultraviolet inspection. Germs show up as fluorescent spots.

All World Health Organization hand washing steps in Bubble Beats

All W.H.O. Steps

Bubble Beats provides realistic training that translates into better hand washing at the sink.

Unlock the thumb scrub step by tracing a symbol


Tracing a symbol for the thumb unlocks that scrub step.

Unlocking the Thumb scrub step in the Bubble Beats handwashing trainer moves the hands to the proper position for washing.


The hands move to the correct position for scrubbing.

Thumb scrub (left hand) for the Bubble Beats handwashing trainer


Trace along the scrub track to pop the bubbles and move the hands.

Choose Level screen for Bubble Beats

27 Songs

Each level has a different song. Choose from many musical genres from blues, big band, samba, ska, and many others.

Shop screen for Bubble Beats


Buy items in the store with the coins you earn from completing each level.

Customize screen for Bubble Beats


Place the items you purchased, to make the world your own.

Unlock levels in the Bubble Beats handwashing trainer with this hidden trick.

Unlock all levels

As a reward for reading this far down the web page, we will share with you a hidden trick: tap 10 times in the lower left corner of the Choose Level page, and you will unlock all levels for the Bubble Beats handwashing trainer.

Bubble Beats handwashing trainer: scrub tracks for Alpha and Omega

Catalog of Scrub Tracks

Most patterns are geometric shapes. But on higher levels, the upper- and lower-case letters of the Greek alphabet appear. Public health officials often use these letters to denote new strains of a virus or bacteria. The virus that causes COVID-19 went through several variants as the pandemic evolved, most famously the Delta and Omicron variants.

Bubble Beats handwashing trainer: scrub tracks for Kiyoshi Shiga, who discovered the Shigella dysenteriae microorganism which causes dysentery

[Kiyoshi] Shiga Scrub Tracks

On Level 27, two Japanese characters appear: 志賀. These characters make up the surname of Kiyoshi Shiga (志賀 潔), the world-famous physician and bacteriologist, who discovered the bacteria responsible for dysentery. The organism was named Shigella dysenteriae to honor his discovery. Dysentery is easily spread through poor hand hygiene.

Bonus points in the game if you draw these characters in the correct stroke order!

a Virtual trainer with high-fidelity to the task

realistic handwashing training

To test whether the training works, we perform an external assay of handwashing proficiency. The scrubbing motions in the trainer are tightly tied to those same motions performed in real life.

Diagram of the left hand with the thumb highlighted, with a line connecting this area of the hand to the WHO scrub step that cleans it
Photo of hands under UV light, and 3D rendering of virtual hands under UV light