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Updated: Jul 20, 2021

Hand sanitizer or hand washing: which is better?

If anything, the covid pandemic has taught us to be diligent about washing our hands. We all know clean hands are important in helping to prevent illness, but what about hand sanitizer?

Hand sanitizer, a gel-like substance which can be used to clean the hands when water is not

readily available, was actually created in 1966 but did not gain popularity outside of medical settings until the 1990s. Hand sanitizer is alcohol based and is easy to use due to its portability. It boasts the ability to sanitize the hands without needing water. But is it as effective as good old soap and water?

Studies have shown that soap and water are the best way to remove germs and dirt from your hands. In a pinch, hand sanitizer can help kill the germs on your hands, but it does not remove them like soap and water do. Hand sanitizer is also not able to kill all viruses that may be present on the hands, such as viruses that cause stomach bugs. If possible, traditional hand washing is the best way to go!

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