Wash, rinse, spin

We’ve received a question: What does it mean when someone tells you to rinse your hands? What’s the difference between the words “wash” and “rinse”?

Good question. Let’s think of a washing machine. Generally speaking, a washing machine operates in three steps: wash, rinse and spin.

When you look up the word “rinse” in the dictionary, it says “to wash something with clean water to remove soap or dirt”. The word “wash” means, of course, to clean something usually with soap and water. And finally, the machine “spins” the water out of the clothes.

So, when you rinse your hands, you rub your hands together under running water. And remember, usually, you wash your hands, and then rinse them.

NOTE: The original story was first published in November 2019.

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