Hand Washing - Soap or Water First?

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Steve_Luts | 20:32 Thu 21st Jul 2005 | Body & Soul
11 Answers

A trivial question, but one that's really bugging me! The other night my girlfriend said to me "Don't take this the wrong way, but I've noticed you wash your hands the wrong way put the squirty soap on first, then put them under the should do it the other way round - water first, then soap....OTHERWISE YOU WILL DRY THEM OUT!!!! " Is she talking baloney, or am I not getting something?   I've reached 33 without suffering from any major skin diseases - is she just being pedantic or is there a right and a wrong way to wash your hands!?!?

My considered view is that if you wet your hands first, you drip water everywhere when going to squirt the soap...I'm just trying to keep the place clean and tidy!

 As I said, trivial, but I'm intrigued!


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Sorry Steve,

Tell your g/f to get a life! There are FAR more worrying/important things in life than this!

You do it the way round that satisfies you.BTW your g/f doesn't have OCD does she (Obssessive Compulsive Disorder) because this is how that starts!

According to a close relative who is a surgeon, the only important thing, other than using soap and water is to assure the water is running.  Many people wash their hands in a basin of water and don't allow the germs and other residue to be rinsed away in a stream of running water.  Obviously, if one thinks about it for a minute, you are applying soap and water, so it doesn't make any difference in what sequence they are applied as far a drying out the hands, since they both are coming in contact with the skin.  Urban myths abound, with all due respect...
everyone knows I'm always right and I use soap first
I use soap first too!!
Soap first.
Must admit to being a member of the 'Soap First' Brigade. :)
Question Author

Thanks everyone....glad to know I'm 'normal' as far as this Mystress points out it is unimportant in the grand scheme of things, but when somebody tells you that something so basic can be done in a right and wrong way it makes you think! I'm sticking with "soap first" - don't let them tell you otherwise!! 

HI Steve, use the soap first and the dispenser stays dry, wet your hands first it might go in your eye :)
I'm water first but then I use soap free handwash cos I do worry about drying my hands out.  I suspect most men aren't particularly worried about having dry hands.  In fact my bf won't touch my hands if I have just applied moisturiser as he likes to keep his as dry as possible to help with guitar playing.
i hate the idea of putting soap on dry hands; i've always used water first. my hands are in lovely condition, although this may be because i don't do any manual labour, ever, hah.

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