soil (one's) hands

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soil (one's) hands

To partake in especially underhanded, illicit, or illegal work or activities. The public can't be allowed to think that I, a senate hopeful, would ever soil my hands with a tax-evasion scheme such as that.
See also: hand, soil

get one's hands dirty and dirty one's hands; soil one's hands

 
1. Fig. to get closely involved in a difficult task. You have to get your hands dirty if you expect to get the gutters cleaned out.
2. Fig. to become involved with something illegal; to do a shameful thing; to do something that is beneath one. The mayor would never get his hands dirty by giving away political favors. I will not dirty my hands by breaking the law.
See also: and, dirty, get, hand, soil
References in classic literature ?
When he had emptied his pockets, La Folle patted his round red cheek, wiped his soiled hands on her apron, and smoothed his hair.
"Come," he said, laying his soiled hands on the dress of Cora, "the wigwam of the Huron is still open.
The little body lay upon one side, with one soiled cheek upon one soiled hand, the other hand tucked away among the rags to make it warm, the other cheek washed clean and white at last, as for a kiss from one of God's great angels.
"Call wine, wine; and finish there." With that advice, he wiped his soiled hand upon the joker's dress, such as it was--quite deliberately, as having dirtied the hand on his account; and then recrossed the road and entered the wine-shop.
A recent tour of the institute's welding workshop revealed a lot of sparks and grease and soiled hands and clothes.
But how can leaders with soiled hands come to equity?
Nurses aware Nurses were found to be more aware about issues like which method is recommended in case of soiled hands, the best method for hand hygiene and the like.
I washed the stains from my face and my soiled hands. I edged my way along the darkened corridors, back to the hall of grotesque sounds and gloom.
He got the workers to press their factory soiled hands onto paper to make lithographs.
He added that hand gels or wipes are not effective in completely removing bugs such as E.coli or Cryptosporidium, which are associated with animal contact, from soiled hands.
Rivers, muddy and malicious, Come together with their soiled hands. There is a mineral language, fissure-like and breeding, Beyond my understanding Feeding at the roots and thorns Turning at the coil of the world.
Improving living conditions requires "changing faces, because soiled hands won't work".
Soiled hands keep the crime alive to serve its interests, and bury it when such interests are not there.
Look closely at the current conflict and you will find a thousand ingredients in a boiling pot, stirred by many soiled hands: the upcoming elections in Israel; Palestinian power struggles; the U.S.