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Washing Dishes With Your Hands Could Prevent Allergies

02/24/2015 12:53 EST | Updated 02/24/2015 12:59 EST

When it comes to washing your dishes, you might want to leave some bacteria behind.

A new study in the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics says getting a little dirty is actually good for you. Bill Hesselmar, lead author of the study, told Time magazine bacteria appears to have positive effects on the immune system, explaining that “if you are exposed to microbes, especially early in life, you stimulate the immune system in various ways and it becomes tolerant.”

The study, which surveyed the parents of 1,029 Swedish children aged between 7 and 8 years, specifically asked the guardians about dishwashing habits at home. The findings showed families who handwashed dishes were less likely to have allergies, eczema and even asthma vs. those who used dishwashers, the New York Times reports.

Watch the video above to learn the unappetizing reason this old-fashioned dishwashing technique has been linked to better health.

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