Everyone knows the traditional hand-washing procedure: get your hands nice and wet under running water, add soap, and scrub away for at least 20 seconds. Unfortunately, if your hands are coated with a thick layer of grease or oil, the usual method might not cut it—but reversing it will work much better.
How to get grease off your hands
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Trying to wash olive oil off your hands with plain water obviously won’t get you very far, but even a quick rinse first seems to make liquid soap less effective. In theory, this shouldn’t be true: As long as the soap eventually makes contact with both water and oil, it should work just fine. In practice, pre-rinsing my buttered-up baker’s hands just means they’ll need multiple washes to feel truly clean. But applying the soap first totally fixes the problem: It allows the soap and oil to mix thoroughly so they rinse away the first time.
This technique works great when your hands are covered in lighter greases like butter, cooking oil, and even Crisco. However, if you’ve got a truly heavy-duty mess to deal with—say, motor oil or bike grease—you will definitely need something more powerful. But whatever you’re using, be sure to work the cleanser in first, then run your hands under the tap. The grease won’t stand a chance.
Everything you need to clean your dirty, dirty hands: