Is there any difference between 'rinse' and 'rinse off'? I searched many places and didn't find any obvious differences

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    My intuitive sense is that "rinse off" is more likely to be used when you have a clear idea of what you want to remove (like soap suds, food residue etc) - it basically means "remove, by rinsing". Whereas "rinse" is a more generic application of water. Like rinsing lettuce is a step, whether or not you can actually see anything that needs removing. Aug 23 at 5:36
  • Rinse off can take an object either of the thing being wetted (e.g, a plate) or of the material being rinsed from it (e.g, the egg). Both can undergo particle shift: He rinsed the plate/egg off; He rinsed off the plate/egg. And you can use both: He rinsed the egg off the plate. Aug 23 at 15:36

1 Answer 1


Rinse tends to be used more for getting something wet, or after cleaning with soap or shampoo, whereas rinse off generally implies some cleaning aspect to it, like rinsing off food debris before putting dishes in the diswasher. Whereas you would rinse dishes after cleaning them by hand.

Or the barber starts by rinsing your hair. Rinsing off your hair may sound dire, unless it's like full of mud or something.

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