"Hands Clean"
Single by Alanis Morissette
from the album Under Rug Swept
Released January 8, 2002 (2002-01-08) (United States)
Format CD single
Genre Pop rock
Indie rock
Length 4:31 (album version)
3:50 (radio edit)
Label Maverick
Writer(s) Alanis Morissette
Producer Alanis Morissette
Alanis Morissette singles chronology

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"That I Would Be Good"
"Hands Clean"
"Precious Illusions"

"Hands Clean" is a pop rock song performed by Alanis Morissette, featured on her 2002 album Under Rug Swept. It released as the album's first single on 4 February 2002.

The narrative voice of the song alternates, verses and bridge from the perspective of an older man, chorus from the perspective of a woman reminiscing about the behaviour of that older man in her teenage years.[1][2] She reportedly said in an interview to US Weekly that the song is about an affair she had with a man when she was 14.[3]

Some people[who?] have speculated that the relationship referenced is the same one that served as the basis for her earlier hit, "You Oughta Know".[dubious ]

An acoustic version of "Hands Clean" was released as a B-side to "Precious Illusions", the album's second single, and included on the Under Rug Swept rarities collection Feast on Scraps.

"Hands Clean" did well with U.S. radio, peaking at number three on Billboard's Adult Top 40 chart and number twenty-three on the Billboard Hot 100, and helping Under Rug Swept go platinum in the U.S. Considered a comeback single for Morissette at the time of its release, "Hands Clean" is Morissette's second-most successful post-Jagged Little Pill single, after 1998's "Thank U".

Music videoEdit

Francis Lawrence directed its music video, which featured a television monitor illustrating the single's presumed inspiration through its production and eventual release as a mainstream hit. It begins in a sushi bar, with Alanis seeing someone she appeared hesitant to meet. A flashback occurs to where they had met before, and shows the rejection of affection on the part of Alanis. It then follows her musical successes for the next few months until she meets with him again, older and wiser. The video features actors Chris Sarandon and Masiela Lusha.

Track listingEdit

Australian CD 1 / UK CD 1
  1. "Hands Clean" (album version) – 4:29
  2. "Fear of Bliss" (non-LP track) – 4:36
  3. "Sister Blister" (non-LP track) – 4:10
  1. "Hands Clean" – 4:29
  2. "Unprodigal Daughter" – 4:09
  3. "Symptoms" – 4:15
EU maxi-single
  1. "Hands Clean" – 4:29
  2. "Awakening Americans" – 4:25
  3. "Unprodigal Daughter" – 4:09
  4. "Symptoms" – 4:15
US CD single
  1. "Hands Clean" – 4:29
  2. "Awakening Americans" – 4:25
  3. "Symptoms" – 4:15

Official versionsEdit

  • "Hands Clean" (album version) – 4:29
  • "Hands Clean" (acoustic version) – 4:08
  • "Hands Clean" (radio edit) – 3:50
  • "Hands Clean" (sound check)

The album version has a repeat of the chorus before an instrumental solo plays until the end, while the radio edit only plays the chorus once at the end before the instrumental solo.


Chart (2002) Peak
Australian ARIA Singles Chart 9
Austrian Singles Chart 12
Belgium 38
Canadian Singles Chart 1
Italian FIMI Singles Chart 3
Netherlands 15
New Zealand RIANZ Singles Chart 1
Norwegian Singles Chart 7
Swedish Singles Chart 32
Swiss Singles Chart 5
UK Singles Chart 12
U.S. Billboard Hot 100 23
U.S. Billboard Hot Adult Top 40 Tracks 3


External linksEdit

es:Hands Clean

it:Hands Clean pt:Hands Clean