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Washing is a method of
cleaning Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances, such as dirt, infectious agents, and other impurities, from an object or environment. Cleaning occurs in many different contexts, and uses many different methods. Several occupations are de ...

cleaning
, usually with
water Water (chemical formula H2O) is an , transparent, tasteless, odorless, and , which is the main constituent of 's and the s of all known living organisms (in which it acts as a ). It is vital for all known forms of , even though it provide ...

water
and
soap Soap is a of a used in a variety of cleansing and lubricating products. In a domestic setting, soaps are s usually used for , , and other types of . In industrial settings, soaps are used as s, components of some s, and precursors to s. Wh ...

soap
or
detergent A detergent is a surfactant Surfactants are compounds that lower the surface tension (or interfacial tension) between two liquids, between a gas and a liquid, or between a liquid and a solid. Surfactants may act as detergents, wetting ...
. Washing and then rinsing both body and clothing is an essential part of good
hygiene Hygiene is a series of practices performed to preserve health Health, according to the World Health Organization, is "a state of complete physical, Mental health, mental and social well-being and not merely the absence of disease and infirmi ...

hygiene
and health. Often people use soaps and detergents to assist in the
emulsification An emulsion is a mixture In chemistry Chemistry is the scientific discipline involved with Chemical element, elements and chemical compound, compounds composed of atoms, molecules and ions: their composition, structure, properties, behavi ...
of oils and dirt particles so they can be washed away. The soap can be applied directly, or with the aid of a
washcloth
washcloth
. People wash themselves, or
bathe
bathe
periodically, often using a
shower A shower is a place in which a person bathes under a spray of typically Water heating, warm or hot water. Indoors, there is a drain in the floor. Most showers have temperature, spray pressure and adjustable showerhead nozzle. The simplest s ...

shower
or a
bathtub A bathtub, also known simply as a bath or tub, is a container for holding water in which a person or animal may bathe. Most modern bathtubs are made of thermoformed Thermoforming is a manufacturing process where a plastic sheet is heated to a ...

bathtub
. Infants, the sick, and people with disabilities are bathed by a
caregiver A caregiver is a paid or unpaid member of a person's social network who helps them with activities of daily living. Since they have no specific professional training, they are often described as informal caregivers. Caregivers most commonly assist ...
, but those that can wash themselves often do so. People bathe
naked Nudity is the state of being in which a human Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipedality, opposable thumbs, hairlessness, and intelligence allowing the use of culture, ...

naked
under most circumstances and commonly do so in the privacy of their homes. Bathing may also be practiced for
religious ritual A ritual is a sequence of activities involving gestures, words, actions, or objects, performed in a sequestered place and according to a set sequence. Rituals may be prescribed by the tradition A tradition is a belief A belief is an Attitu ...
or therapeutic purposes or as a recreational activity. In
Europe Europe is a continent A continent is any of several large landmasses. Generally identified by convention (norm), convention rather than any strict criteria, up to seven geographical regions are commonly regarded as continents. Ordered ...

Europe
, some people use a
bidet A bidet ( or ) is a bowl or receptacle designed to be sat on for the purpose of washing Washing is a method of cleaning Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances, such as dirt, infectious agents, and other impurities, from an o ...

bidet
to wash their external genitalia and the anal region after using the
toilet A toilet is a piece of hardware that collects human and , and sometimes , usually for disposal. use water, while do not. They can be designed for a sitting position popular in Europe and North America with a , with , or for a squatting po ...

toilet
, instead of using
toilet paper Toilet paper (sometimes called toilet tissue) is a product primarily used to clean the and surrounding anal region of after , and to clean the and of after or other releases. It also acts as a layer of protection for the hands durin ...
. The
bidet A bidet ( or ) is a bowl or receptacle designed to be sat on for the purpose of washing Washing is a method of cleaning Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances, such as dirt, infectious agents, and other impurities, from an o ...

bidet
is common in predominantly
Catholic countries The Catholic Church The Catholic Church, also known as the Roman Catholic Church, is the List of Christian denominations by number of members, largest Christian church, with 1.3 billion baptised Catholics Catholic Church by countr ...
where water is considered essential for
anal cleansing Anal hygiene or anal cleansing refers to hygienic practices that are performed on a person's anus The anus (from Latin Latin (, or , ) is a classical language belonging to the Italic languages, Italic branch of the Indo-European language ...
. More frequent is washing of just the
hand A hand is a prehensile, multi- fingered appendage located at the end of the forearm The forearm is the region of the upper limb between the Elbow-joint, elbow and the wrist. The term forearm is used in anatomy to distinguish it from the arm, ...

hand
s, e.g. before and after preparing food and eating, after using the toilet, after handling something dirty, etc.
Hand washing Hand washing (or handwashing), also known as hand hygiene, is the act of cleaning one's hand A hand is a prehensile, multi- fingered appendage located at the end of the forearm The forearm is the region of the upper limb between the El ...

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
washing of clothing
or other cloth items, like bedsheets, whether by hand or with a
washing machine A washing machine (laundry machine, clothes washer, or washer) is a home appliance A home appliance, also referred to as a domestic appliance, an electric appliance or a household appliance, is a machine which assists in household A house ...

washing machine
. It can also refer to
washing one's car
washing one's car
, by lathering the exterior with car soap, then rinsing it off with a hose, or
washing cookware
washing cookware
. Excessive washing may damage the hair, causing dandruff, or cause rough skin/skin lesions.Infections in Obstetrics and Gynecology: Textbook and Atlas
retrieved 6 October 2012, Eiko Petersen - pages 6-13


See also

*
Bathing Bathing is the washing Washing is a method of cleaning Cleaning is the process of removing unwanted substances, such as dirt, infectious agents, and other impurities, from an object or environment. Cleaning occurs in many different contexts, ...

Bathing
*
Car wash A car wash (also written as "carwash") or auto wash is a facility used to clean the exterior and, in some cases, the interior of motor vehicle Electric bicycles parked in Yangzhou's main street, Wenchang Lu. They are a very common way o ...

Car wash
*
Cleaning agent Cleaning agents or hard-surface cleaners are substances (usually liquid A liquid is a nearly incompressible In fluid mechanics or more generally continuum mechanics, incompressible flow (isochoric process, isochoric flow) refers to a fluid ...
*
Cleanliness Cleanliness is both the abstract state of being clean and free from germs, dirt, trash, or waste, and the habit of achieving and maintaining that state. Cleanliness is often achieved through cleaning. Cleanliness is a good quality, as indicated by ...

Cleanliness
*
Hygiene Hygiene is a series of practices performed to preserve health Health, according to the World Health Organization The World Health Organization (WHO) is a specialized agency of the United Nations United Nations Specialized Agencies a ...

Hygiene
*
Hygiene in Christianity In certain denominations of Christianity, hygiene in Christianity includes a number of regulations involving cleanliness before prayer Prayer is an invocation or act that seeks to activate a rapport with an object of worship Worship is a ...
*
Dishwashing Dishwashing, washing the dishes, doing the dishes, or washing up in Great Britain, is the process of wikt:cleaning, cleaning cooking utensils, Dish (food), dishes, cutlery and other items to prevent foodborne illness. This is either achieved by ...

Dishwashing
*
Hand washing Hand washing (or handwashing), also known as hand hygiene, is the act of cleaning one's hand A hand is a prehensile, multi- fingered appendage located at the end of the forearm The forearm is the region of the upper limb between the El ...

Hand washing
* Laundry symbols,
washing machine A washing machine (laundry machine, clothes washer, or washer) is a home appliance A home appliance, also referred to as a domestic appliance, an electric appliance or a household appliance, is a machine which assists in household A house ...

washing machine
*
Sanitation Sanitation refers to public health Public health has been defined as "the science and art of preventing disease", prolonging life and improving quality of life Quality of life (QOL) is defined by the World Health Organization The ...

Sanitation
* Wikibooks:Car Washing Techniques *
ingredients An ingredient is a substance that forms part of a mixture (in a general sense). For example, in cooking, recipes specify which ingredients are used to prepare a specific dish. Many commercial product (business), products contain secret ingredient ...


References

{{Authority control Hygiene Cleaning methods