Do you remember playing in the park for hours, riding your bike all over the city, and jumping rope between two parked cars? And remember running in the house afterward because you were starving and dying of thirst? You probably also remember your mother yelling at you to not touch anything until you wash your hands. As it turns out she was right! She didn’t want those germs from outside in her house. That was then and here you are now. You still don’t want those germs in your house.
Handwashing has always been a regular routine that you performed before you eat food, after using the restroom or during a time when you are not feeling so well. And handwashing will always be the most effective tool against dirt, germs and bacteria. Handwashing is your best defense against spreading germs and illnesses.
Let talk about how soap works. When you wash your hands with soap and water you are creating friction by rubbing your hand together. This friction creates lather. And that lather helps lift, remove and break down dirt, grease, germs, microbes and bacteria off your hands. These components are then suspended in water and washed away when you rinse your hands.
Now let’s look at hand sanitizers. As you may know, hand sanitizers are quick and convenient especially in a situation where soap and water are not available. They were initially introduced in 1966 in the medical field and was made popular in the early 1990s. To be effective, hand sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol to kill germs. Just like when using soap, after you apply hand sanitizer you rub your hands together to create friction. This action will help kill any germs on your hands but it will not completely clean your hands.
In conclusion, using soap and water regularly to wash your hand is more effective than using hand sanitizers. While hand sanitizers can reduce the number of germs in certain situations it will not completely clean your hands. It is important to know when each method should be used.
For more information about handcrafted soap check out our blog post on The Chemistry of Soap.
For more information and recommendations about handwashing check out these links.
Hand Washing and Hand Sanitizer Use Fact Sheet
Hand Sanitizer Uses Out and About
When and how to wash your hands
Show me the Science
What are your thoughts on hand washing and hand sanitizer? Leave a comment below.
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