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The accuracy of your meter results depends, in part, on how well you follow the steps for testing. Feeling a little rusty? Read on for the top 10 testing tips.

1. Wash your hands.
The single most important step you can take to get a trustworthy reading is to use good ol’ soap and water before you prick your finger. “We’re concerned about whether there might be some residue from eating a piece of fruit or perhaps some lotion on your hands. That can affect the test,” says Marlene Bedrich, RN, MS, CDE, program coordinator for the University of California Diabetes Teaching Center.

2. Use alcohol.
When you’re stuck somewhere without a sink in sight, rubbing alcohol will do the trick. Use it in place of hand washing to clean the finger, removing any residue before you test. Alcohol-drenched swabs or hand sanitizer will work. But there’s no need to use alcohol after washing your hands.

3. Dry your hands.
Whether you wash your hands or use an alcohol swab before testing, be sure to dry thoroughly. Excess water and rubbing alcohol can dilute your blood sample, affecting your reading.

Check out the rest of the tips here:

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