Hand washing with soap or hand sanitizer – which is more effective?

Wash hands with soap and water:

Hand washing with soapy water is the most common and readily available method for us. The composition of soap is such that washing hands with any soap cleans the hands. So there is no need for a separate antibacterial soap. However, proper hand washing is important. For this, the palms, fingers, nails and both sides of the hands should be washed thoroughly with soap for at least 20 seconds. When using water, it should be kept in mind that the water should be clean water. It is also important to take care of one more thing – you cannot wash your hands by dipping your hands in a closed container, but the water should be running, i.e. pour water from a mug or something like that or wash your hands by placing your hands under the tap.


Disinfection of hands with sanitizer:

The biggest advantage of hand sanitizer is that it does not use water. As a result, it is a very easy way to clean hands on the way or when water is not available or in winter. However, it is more expensive than washing hands with soapy water. The most important factor in choosing a sanitizer is knowing its alcohol content. Sanitizers that contain 60%-80% alcohol (ethanol or isopropanol) should be used only. It is also important to apply hand sanitizer and rub the palms, fingers, nails and both sides of the hands well for at least 20 seconds.

Soapy water or sanitizer – which is more effective? According to the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand washing with soap is the most effective way to disinfect hands. However, where soap and water are not available, sanitizers should be used. The same information is being given by the United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF). One of the best health organizations in the world, these organizations say that sanitizers do not rid hands of all types of germs. Sanitizer may not be as effective if hands have visible dirt or oil/grease. Also, sanitizers cannot remove harmful chemicals like pesticides and heavy metals from the hands. Although alcohol-rich hand sanitizer kills the coronavirus, it does not eliminate all types of bacteria and viruses. However, soap is effective in killing germs in all these cases. In particular, soap is highly effective in killing the coronavirus and other viruses of its ilk.

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