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Topic – Using Soap to Wash Your Hands

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Read the Following Selection

Read about washing your hands, or click on the play button below to listen aloud.

Using Soap to Wash Your Hands

Did you ever wonder why it is important to use soap when you wash your hands? Keep reading to find out the answer!

Oil on Your Skin

Your skin makes an oil called sebum (say it like this: see-bum). There is a tiny bit of this oil all over your skin. It helps keeps your skin soft. But sebum does something else, too. It makes germs stick to your skin. Germs are too tiny to see. Even if your hands look clean, they probably still have germs on them. Some germs don’t make people sick, but many germs do.

Germs on anything you touch can stick to the oil on your skin. Coughing or sneezing into your hand can also put germs on your skin.

Washing Hands with Water

If your hands look dirty, washing with just water can make them look clean. But water cannot wash away the oil on your skin. Water will not wash away germs stuck in the oil on your skin.

Washing Hands with Soap and Water

When you put soap on wet hands and rub your hands together, the soap and water mix together and form tiny bubbles. The soap and water have turned into slippery lather. Lather makes it easy for dirt to slide off your hands when you rinse them.

The soap in lather does something else, too. It washes away the oil on your skin. That means the germs stuck in the oil also get washed away. Your skin is always making oil, so the oil you washed away will be replaced.

When you use soap to wash away the germs on your hands, you help keep yourself from getting sick. Washing your hands helps other people, too. Your hands are not spreading germs to places that other people will touch.


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