Everybody knows that germs and bacteria are carried on many things we handle in our every day lives. Washing your hands can be one of the most effective ways to preventing all types of germs, but the question is which method works best? Antibacterial soap, hand sanitizer or just regular old soap? Here are some facts about all three.
When using antibacterial soap, it is suggested to be used on hands for two minutes to be best affective. The downside of this is the everyday use of antibacterial soap can lead up to a resistance of the product and bactericidal agents. The FDA also known as the U.S. Food and Drug Administration states antibacterial soaps should not be used in place of regular soap and water due to the Triclosan found in these products. Triclosan has no serious harm found yet that has an effect on humans but a test was done on animals that showed Triclosan can alter hormone regulation.
Hand Sanitizer is used mostly when on the go and soap and water is not available. Most hand sanitizers claim they are 99.9% affective to killing germs. They work by removing the oil laying on the outermost layer of skin. The main ingredients are isopropanol,which is a strong type of alcohol, ethanol which is also known as pure alcohol or grain alcohol and Propan-1-ol which is made up of an alcohol with fusel oil. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests while using hand sanitizer to dab product into the palm of one hand then rub both hands together until solution is dry on your hands. Triclosan is also found in most hand sanitizers.
Regular Soap and Water
The positive side of using regular soap and water is that it will not cause the effects of drying out your hands, if you do not already have dry hands or sensitive skin to begin with. Soaps contain sodium/potassium salts and fatty acids. The United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests to wet hands in warm water then lather and rub in the soap for at least 20 seconds. They also give the tip of singing the “Happy Birthday” song in your head twice while rubbing your hands together, then rinse. Soap like materials have been around a long time, dating all the way back to 1550 b.c.
All in all I say regular soap and water is the best choice of these 3 and holds least negative effects from chemicals.
Hand Sanitizer on wikipedia
Centers for Disease and Control
US Food and Drug Administration