Washing your hands may cleanse away germs, but it can also clean away mental guilt and old goals or habits.

A new study where individuals were primed (as in, had an idea inserted into their unconscious mind) for a certain goal were more likely to forget about that goal after washing their hands, implying that physical cleaning can result in a sort of mental “reset”.

Although this study only looked at the short-term effects of mental cleansing, it’s been found in other studies that physically washing oneself can help cleanse the mind of guilt or past behaviors.