(one's) hands are clean(redirected from one's hands were clean)
(one's) hands are clean
One is not involved with anything that is or might be considered unsavory, immoral, illicit, or illegal. No one whose hands are clean ever made it very far in this business. She made sure her hands were clean during her campaigns, avoiding the smear tactics and mud slinging so common in the political world.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
someone's hands are cleanor
someone has clean hands
If someone's hands are clean or they have clean hands, they are not involved in a bad or illegal activity. War is a dreadful business and no-one's hands are clean. You people don't have such clean hands yourselves. Note: You can also say that someone keeps their hands clean. I would rather keep my hands clean and allow the solicitors to deal with these matters.
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012