The rate of bacterial elimination for the stamp method was compared with regular hand-washing (using soap and tap water), hygienic hand-washing (using alcoholic antiseptics), and hand-washing using strong acidic electrolyzed water (the SAEW method) in routine work. After routine work, the average number of bacteria remaining on the nurse's hands with using the SAEW-method, rubbing method and tap water method, were: 54 +/- 63, 89 +/- 190, 128 +/- 194 CFU/agar plate, respectively (n = 81). In this study. It was clarified that a much larger number of Bacillus sp. were detected for the rubbing method than for the other methods. After further nurse work, the most number of absorbed bacteria on a nurse's hands were counted after cleaning a patient's body. The rate of bacteria elimination for hand-washing with soap and tap water after taking care of a patient was insufficient, especially when before care was provided the number of bacteria on the nurse's hands were less than 100 CFU/agar plate. From these results, the following manual for sanitary hand washing is recommended: 1. At first, dirty hands should be cleaned and the number of bacteria should be reduced using soap and tap water or by scrubbing with disinfectants. 2. After the number of bacteria has been reduced, use the SAEW method routinely. 3. For care requiring a high level of cleanliness or if no tap water facilities are available, use the rubbing method. Finally, routine use of the SAEW method in ICU could be recommended with conventional disinfectants and soap and tap water on a case by case basis for less than adverse reactions, such as in the case of rough-hands or keeping a low level of bacteria on hands.