7 Things You Didn’t Know About Washing Your Hands

We all know washing our hands is important, but do you know exactly how long you’re supposed to wash your hands, how to get funky smells off your hands, and how to easily remove things like car grease and pen stains from your hands? We’re here to help with seven things you didn’t know about washing your hands.

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin
2-minute read
washing hands

How Long to Wash Your Hands

The CDC recommends that you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, or about the amount of time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” at a normal pace.

How to Get the Smell of Bleach Off Your Hands

To remove the fragrance of bleach (and other cleaning materials) from your hands, pour lemon juice over them and rinse. Bleach is alkaline and lemon is acidic. Together they cancel each other out and balance out the pH of your skin.

Removing Paint or Oil from Your Hands

To remove oil-based paint from your hands, rub them with a drop of vegetable or olive oil, then wash off with soap and water. Cooking oil also works best for car oil and other car fluids.

Get Cooking Smells Off Your Hands

Food odors like garlic, onions, and fish can be hard to remove from your hands, and stainless steel kitchen gadgets don’t really work. Instead, rub some coffee grounds (new or used) in wet hands after handling fish or chopping pungent foods like garlic and onions. You can also try rubbing your hands over a raw potato to get rid of both odors and stains.

What to Do for Really Dirty Hands

If your hands are super dirty, you’ll need to add a bit of abrasive action to your hand soap. This can be easily accomplished with salt, sugar, or even dried oatmeal. Or, use powdered laundry detergent to clean your hands. Not only does the powder act as a mild abrasive, it’s specially formulated to get rid of dirt and grease.

Getting Rid of Tree Sap

Tree sap can be one of the hardest things to get off your hands! Our solution? Just use a little bit of butter or mayonnaise. Dab some on your hands and rub into the sap until it loosens its grip. Then wash as usual with soap and water.

Tea Bags for Stains on Hands

If you have stains on your hands, especially from pen ink, the easiest way to remove them is with a wet tea bag (new or used). The tannins in the tea remove stains much better than soap and water do!

For more skincare tips from all around the internet, check out our Health and Beauty Tips board on Pinterest. And don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter and follow us on Facebook for our Tip of the Day!

About the Author

Bruce and Jeanne Lubin

Bruce Lubin and Jeanne Bossolina-Lubin are the proud parents of three boys and more than a dozen books. After saving thousands per year using everyday tips and simple lifehacks, they started their own business in the hopes of sharing their knowledge with others. They have been known to go into their friends' refrigerators to turn their eggs upside down so that they last longer.

You May Also Like...

The Quick and Dirty Tips Privacy Notice has been updated to explain how we use cookies, which you accept by continuing to use this website. To exercise your choices about cookies, please see Cookies and Online Tracking.