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Washing is a method of cleaning, usually with water and often some kind of soap or detergent. Washing (and then rinsing) both body and clothing is an essential part of good hygiene and health.
People wash themselves, or bathe periodically, often using a shower or a bathtub. Infants, the sick, and people with disabilities are bathed by a caregiver, but those that can wash themselves often do so. People bathe naked under most circumstances, and commonly do so in the privacy of their home.
More frequent is washing of just the hands, e.g. before and after preparing food and eating, after using the toilet, after handling something dirty, etc. Hand washing is important in reducing the spread of germs. Also common is washing the face, which is done after waking up, or to keep oneself cool during the day. Brushing one's teeth is also essential for hygiene and is a part of washing.
'Washing' can also refer to the washing of clothing or other cloth items, like bed sheets, whether by hand or with a washing machine. It can also refer to washing one's car, by lathering the exterior with car soap, then rinsing it off with a hose, or washing cookware.
- CDC: Why Wash Your Hands?
- Clean Hands, Thomas Osborne, M.D.
- HealthReach CHC
- You Probably Wash Your Hair Way Too Much retrieved 6 October 2012
- Infections in Obstetrics and Gynecology: Textbook and Atlas retrieved 6 October 2012, Eiko Petersen - pages 6-13