General Health

Hand Sanitizer or Hand Washing: Which One Is Effective Against Coronavirus or Bacteria or Other Viruses

Hand Sanitizer or Hand Washing

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Hand hygiene is the most important and, above all, health hygiene. As most of the diseases spread through dirty hands because viruses need a living cell to reproduce.

So, when we rub our eyes or touch our mouth or wounds with dirty hands, bacteria, or viruses get home to initiate their further processing.

Nowadays, Coronavirus is prevalent as it is spreading so rapidly. According to studies, nobody knows how this virus is spreading. But it has been recommended that you should adequately sanitize your hands to prevent the spread of this virus in your body.

So, People are running to prevent themselves from Covid-19, and supermarkets are running out of hand washes and hand sanitizers.

Hand Sanitizer or Hand Washing

Is Hand Sanitizer effective against deadly viruses like Coronavirus and other viruses or bacteria? At the same time, another question arises in our mind that will hand sanitizer beat the combination of soap and water? 

Maybe some more questions are popping in your head. So, hopefully, in this long article, we would be able to give the maximum answers to your questions.

Hand Sanitizer vs. Washing Your Hands with Soap & Water

Hand Sanitizer is a handy, easy to use, and convenient method when you don’t have access to gel or soap. But does it kill all the germs properly?

According to CDC, hand sanitizer does not properly kill the germs from your hands compared to washing hands with soap and water. So washing hands is considered to be a better option against viruses like Coronavirus and bacteria.

According to WHO, you should use Sanitizer only when you don’t have access to soap and water. Hand sanitizer is not much use if you wipe your hands before it dries completely.

However, it is useful if it is appropriately used after washing hands properly with the use of soap and water (See below how you should properly clean and sanitize your hands).

Hygiene experts like the NHS & Public Health England suggest that to kill most of the viruses, you should buy the hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol content.

Like the Coronavirus is an envelope virus, and alcohol can effectively attack the coating around the deadly Coronavirus.

So, washing hands with soap and running water is considered to be the best option than hand sanitizer.

When Should You Use Hand Sanitizer? 

Coronavirus is a new illness, and nobody knows the mode through which it spreads. According to NHS, it transmits through cough droplets spreads from person to person. There are rare chances that it conveyed through objects, packages, or food.

So, Firstly it has been advised that you should wash your hands with soap and water or hand gel. However, when you don’t have access to the soap or hand gel, then you can use hand sanitizer as it can kill 99% of bacteria or viruses.

For example: if you are someone who generally has gastrointestinal and respiratory problems, then you must use Sanitizer after washing your hands with soap and water.

Secondly, Hand sanitizer is handy, so it serves a purpose in hospitals and clinics. Just after visiting someone in the hospital, you should sanitize your hands to prevent the spread of disease.

Moreover, if you work in hospitals or clinics, every half an hour, you should clean your hands using hand sanitizer even if you haven’t come in contact with an infected patient.

According to Sally Bloomfield, a professor at the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, you should wash your hands with sanitizer only when you don’t have an access to soap and water. She advised that you should avoid touching anything you don’t need to contact, such as door handles and bus poles.

Likewise, if by chance you came in contact with these things, remember to not touch your hands without washing your hands with soap or hand gel wash.

How Should You Properly Wash Your Hands? 

Although soap considers being a better option than the hand sanitizer, it does not kill the 100% viruses from your hand.

Here are the steps to wash your hands properly: 

  1. Firstly wet both sides.
  2. Apply soap on both sides of your hands till your hands don’t lather up properly.
  3. Wash your both hands in between the fingers and under the nails.
  4. For about 20 sec, rinse your hands under the running water.
  5. Then, dry your hands with a disposable towel or cotton.
  6. Turn off the tap using that towel before throwing it away.
  7. Lastly, sanitize your palms with alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Here is a pictographic direction to sanitize your hands properly using an alcohol-based sanitizer: 

Hand Sanitizer or Hand Washing

How Does Hand Sanitizer Works?

If the hand sanitizer used in an adequately directed way, it can become too much helpful to prevent the spread of harmful diseases.

You might be thinking of how Sanitizer works on our hands so effectively?

So, Hand sanitizer works on the phenomenon of friction. The alcohol-based sanitizers are recommendable because 65% of alcohol quantity has a low boiling point.

When you rub it on your palm, it generates heat due to friction. That heat generation evaporates alcohol and other particles, which eventually takes germ particles with them.

However, it is more effective in clean hands or when your hands are not greasy.

What Precautions Should You Take While Using Hand Sanitizer? 

The most important precaution that everyone should take while using hand sanitizer is to keep it away from the reach of children.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer contains ethyl alcohol, and swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizer could cause alcohol poisoning.

So, it could be very harmful or poisonous if any child or even adult swallows it mistakenly or intentionally.

Surprising uses of hand sanitizer

Here are some unexpected applications of hand sanitizer which will amaze you-

  • You can clean your phone’s screen using a drop of hand sanitizer and a soft cloth.
  • It makes your glasses and sunglasses shiner.
  • Apply it on your pimple and make them dry to remove it quickly.
  • Erase the permanent marker’s stain on whiteboards, walls, and clothes using hand sanitizer.
  • It helps in cleaning your mirror and windows.
  • It stops itching after mosquito bites.
  • It helps to remove your fingerprint stains from the refrigerator.
  • Easily clean your make up brushes

How to protect yourself from sickness?

Regular hand washing is the most basic tactic for keeping your immune system ready to fight off illnesses- mostly cold and flu.

But only by maintaining hand hygiene, you would not be able to protect yourself from sickness adequately.

So, along with this, your body needs exercise at least three days in a week, proper sleep, an adequate amount of water and nutritious foods.

Apart from this, hand hygiene is something that you need to do multiple times per day. The most basic and essential times when you should never forget to wash your hands after using the washroom or restroom, before and after eating, touching any wound.

Moreover, you wash your hands after touching any animal pet or street and its food.

Other things that can help to keep you away from sickness include cleanliness of your home surface, staying away from sick people, avoiding public transportation, if possible, and dysinfecting your electronics.

The CDC recommends that you should cough and sneeze into tissues and then throw the tissues away. Additionally, when you are sick, you should try to stay home.

These are some of the primary preventative guidelines that may prove helpful for you if you are suffering from any infectious diseases, including the novel Coronavirus.