Amid the coronavirus outbreak, we are observing that people around the globe are collecting hand sanitizers. Some are stocking while others are preferring to sell them at high prices. No matter which country we belong to, we are busy collecting hand wash, hand sanitizers and anti-bacterial products. As the demand for hand sanitizers has increased greatly, it shows that people have forgotten to wash their hands with water. This thing has also mystified people around the globe. Everyone is wondering which one is better, the soap or hand sanitizer?
Soap or Sanitizer? Which is the best defence against germs?
The disappearance of hand sanitizers from the markets has also sickened and worried the people. Don’t worry if you do not get any hand sanitizer. Washing hands with soap and water is the best defense against germs. It can remove 99 percent of viruses, bacteria or any type of germs from our hands. This is not a self-created myth. An expert in Home and Community Hygiene, Elizabeth Scott said, “Washing hands with soap and water loosens the germs from your skin rinsing them into the drain.”
What should I choose, soap or sanitizer?
Scientific studies revealed that germs are always encased in a lipid envelope. The lipid is a thick layer of fat that contain the disease causing germs in them. It can only be destroyed after washing with soap and water. Soap not only cleanses the dirty hands but also removes pathogens and germs from the skin. The soap contains amphiphiles which are similar to the virus lipids. Washing hands with soap is effective because the amphiphiles in the soap fight with the lipid in the virus and deactivate the virus.
Can sanitizers help to eliminate coronavirus germs?
This is only a myth that has spread around the globe that hand sanitizers can kill coronavirus. It is not like that. Hand sanitizers are only effective if they contain a high level of alcohol. On the other side it does not contain any coronavirus destroying friction that can be provided by rubbing your hands. Hand sanitizers can be used at any time to disinfect the hands and reduce the likelihood of transmitting diseases. Many studies have revealed that they are active to neutralize several microbes, viruses, and bacteria but not all. Hand sanitizers are non-effective at norovirus and several other germs. Only alcohol based hand sanitizer kill viruses and bacterias but it does not cleanse your hands thoroughly. They never remove actual dirt and debris from your hands as soap and water does.
Hand sanitizer should always be a second choice
However, hand sanitizers are easy to carry and have become a primary thing during the outbreak. Hand sanitizers are portable and easy to carry conveniently everywhere. With hand sanitizer, one only requires a sanitizer to clean his hands whereas with soap or hand wash you will also need clean water to wash and a towel to wipe off your hands. Indeed, it is a good option to carry along where you cannot use soap. Although a person should keep in mind that hand sanitizers should only be the option at the place where you do not have any access to sink.
Alcohol based sanitizers:
Many experts who have said hand sanitizers that contain the maximum amount of alcohol are effective for eliminating germs because they not only remove germs but also kill them. They too say that the first choice for cleaning the hands should be soap and water. Sanitizers should always be the second choice or in a situation where a person does not have any access to soap and water. People also believe that only alcohol-based sanitizers can effectively remove or kill the germs. It is somehow true that the sanitizers that contain 60% alcohol are effective against germs. Such sanitizers helps in disinfecting your hands while others are useless.
Best way to use soap and hand sanitizer to disinfect your hands
Whenever you are using soap you must wash your hands for 20 to 40 seconds. What type of soap you use for washing hands does not have any importance because the most important thing is the way of washing hands. Similarly while using a hand sanitizer the most important thing is its way of using.
Apply some amount of sanitizer on your palm, rub the sanitizer all over the hands including the fingers until it gets completely dry. The maximum exposure time for the sanitizer to dry should be more than 20 seconds and if your hands get dry in 5 to 10 seconds than you probably have not pumped enough sanitizer.
Never use sanitizers with triclosan:
Triclosan is an anti-bacterial ingredient used in many antibacterial products as it was believed to kill the bacteria. For the last few years, Triclosan was banned from using in sanitizers and other bath products. The scientists claimed that there is no evidence that show any safety usage of triclosan for killing bacteria. Triclosan also causes inflammations and catches more bacteria. Triclosan also makes the bacteria grow stronger and harder to kill.
Soap or hand sanitizers, both are good option but washing hands with soap is more effective.