Everyone knows that the traditional hand washing procedure: Get your hands nice and wet under running water, add some soap, and scrub away. Unfortunately, if your hands are coated with a thick layer of grease, the usual method might not cut it - but reversing it sure will.
If you've ever suffered gastrointestinal distress after a barbecue, it might not have been the potato salad — it might have been someone's terrible food safety practices. Specifically, they probably didn't wash their hands.
Trying to wash olive oil off your hands with plain water obviously won’t get you very far, but even a quick rinse seems to make liquid soap less effective. In theory, this shouldn’t be true: as long as the soap eventually makes contact with both water and oil, it should work.
In practice, pre-rinsing my buttered-up baker’s hands just means they’ll need multiple washes to feel truly clean. Applying the soap first totally fixes the problem: it allows the soap and oil to mix thoroughly so they rinse away the first time.
This technique works great on lighter greases like butter, cooking oil, and even Crisco. However, if you’ve got a truly heavy-duty mess to deal with — say, motor oil or bike grease—you should definitely use something more powerful. Whatever you’re using, be sure to work the cleanser in first, then run your hands under the tap. The grease won’t stand a chance.