There is an age old debate surrounding hand sanitizers and good old fashioned soap and water. A debate that recently has been thrust back into the spotlight! So we have decided to break it down for good and for all. Which is better between using hand sanitizer and washing our hands with soap and water? Which method will really help us stay healthy? The Signitizer presents: Hand Sanitizer vs. Soap and Water.
Pro Hand Sanitizer: It’s Portable!
One of the pros of using hand sanitizer is the portability of it. It’s extremely easy to find travel sized sanitizers at stores, and even easier to bring with you in public. What better, more convenient way is there to keep your hands germ free when you’re on the move? Hand sanitizers will instantly disinfect your hands, and they can effectively neutralize many types of bacteria, microbes, and viruses, including the coronavirus.
Pro Soap and Water: A Gentle and Thorough Clean.
Soap tends to effectively kill germs and viruses in a gentler manner than alcohol based sanitizers. Soap and water is also able to effectively destroy pathogens and parasites that hand sanitizers can’t – such as Giardia and C. difficile. Soap and water is also able to remove dirt; which hand sanitizers tend to rub around on the skin.
Con Hand Sanitizer: It’s Sticky.
While not all, some hand sanitizers leave users feeling residual stickiness on their hands. And for those of us with sensitive skin, hand sanitizer can be irritating, drying, and too harsh.
Con Soap and Water: Not Always Accessible
While you could always carry a bottle of soap around with you, you may not always be near running water. Soap alone is not enough to kill germs and viruses; it must be lathered using warm water to be effective. An additional con of soap and water is that it takes a bit more time and diligence to work compared to hand sanitizer. You not only need to lather properly, but for the correct amount of time, followed by drying your hands enough to not easily pick up more bacteria.
What’s The Verdict?
Both hand sanitizer and soap and water get the job done when it comes to destroying bacteria and other pathogens. However, you should always opt for soap and warm water when available. It’ll be the best for your skin, microbiome, and overall health long term. But in those moments when soap and water are unavailable, hand sanitizer is an excellent choice.