When you want to sanitize your hands fast, you may reach for a bottle of hand sanitizer. But how efficient or useful is hand sanitizer compared to washing your hands with soap & water?
According to the Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC), alcohol-based hand sanitizers can help reduce the number of germs & bacteria on your hands, but they do not acquire all types of bacteria. They may further be less active if you have dirt, grease, or other things on your hands, so should not be used to displace hand washing.
If you prefer to use hand sanitizers, use one with at least 60 percent alcohol.
It might be quick & easy, but sometimes hand sanitizer just doesn’t cut it. So when do you require to add some water & soap? Test your knowledge with this quiz.
Wash or Sanitize?
1. After a quick trip to the grocery store, you climb inside your car to drive home.
2. You cut up a raw chicken for tonight’s dinner.
3. You are stuck at the desk, tapping away at the keyboard, all evening.
4. All at home is sniffling, coughing, & sneezing, but you feel fine.
5. You’ve just worked the restroom—hand sanitizer is conveniently situated outside the bathroom door.
Hand Sanitizer How to use?
Proper hand-washing is most helpful, but when soap & water aren’t available, hand sanitizers can help prevent and keep your hands clean.
Washing hands with soap & water is especially essential if your hands are visibly dirty or if you have or are around specific types of germs, such as Norovirus.
- Check the description for how much to use & apply the product to the palm of one hand.
- Rub your hands together always.
- Rub the product always over all surfaces of your hands & fingers until your hands are dry, about 20 to 25seconds.
- This is about the time it needs to hum or sing “Happy Birthday” from beginning to stop twice.
- Rinse your hands well below running water.
- Dry your hands applying a clean towel or air dry.
Always clean hands before, during & after preparing food or before eating. Hands should also be washed
after using the bathroom or changing a diaper, after touching an animal or cleaning up their waste, after touching garbage, before & after treating wounds, after coughing, sneezing or waving your nose & before and after working with anyone who is sick.
When in uncertainty, wash up. Hand sanitizer is useful, but this doesn’t replace washing your hands. If you have a way to a sink, it’s always better to wash your hands with soap & water. Hand sanitizer might decrease the number of bacteria on your hands, but it won’t kill all types of germs on your hands as hand washing will.
One last thing: When it comes to toddlers, hold to hand washing. The CDC suggests that children under the age of three do not use hand sanitizer. Due to their small size, they can engage enough alcohol through the skin to cause probably harmful effects.