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Hand Wash or Hand Sanitizer: Which One is Better?

Our body is exposed to the environment all day long. Hands are the most used part of our body and hence are the most likely to get dirty. We use hands for working on a laptop in the office, to open the doors, to pick up a glass of water in short we use them to do every single task in a day. After doing all these things we use the same hands for eating food, which means any unwanted bacteria or germs on the hands will enter our body via mouth. Dirty and unclean hands are the major reasons we get ill most of the times. Cleaning hands on regular basis throughout the day is the best way to keep ourselves protected from these bacteria and germs.


Washing hands is necessary but one may feel confused while deciding how to keep them clean, we can use different sorts of soaps, liquid hand soaps or the hand sanitizers to keep the hands clean. Hand sanitizers are best considered when one wants to clean the hands fast and has no other means like water and soap available at that time. In such condition a sanitizer is a very good option rather than letting the hands stay unclean but it should not be used as a regular substitute of washing hands with soap. They can be used in a combination with hand wash to get the most of the effectiveness against germs, bacteria and viruses.


One important thing to remember is that hand sanitizers are of no use if your hands are visibly dirty, meaning there are stains of dirt on the hands. In that case unless you clean the visible particles of dirt by washing hands with soap your hands will not be clean. Sanitizer is mostly used in cases when hands are visibly clean but one may think that while touching some things may have attached some bacteria on them. A research indicates that sanitizers do not eliminate all the germs but some of them get easily eliminated. It is suggested to use an alcohol based sanitizer if you actually want to eliminate the germs and bacteria; at least 60% alcohol based sanitizer will be able to clean out some of them. Hand sanitizers can be used easily, all you need to do is pour some amount of sanitizer on the palm and rub it all over the hand until the hand is dry and the sanitizer has covered all the area.

Washing hands with the soap and water will clean out the germs, viruses and bacteria but they are not meant to be killed through it. All a hand washing do is take out all the unwanted and dirty germs which have been hiding in the natural oils of your hand skin and flow them away with the water. Whereas a hand sanitizer is meant to, kill the germs right away. Hence, there is a huge difference in the functionality of both the items. But the basic purpose of cleanliness is common between both. A hand sanitizer is recommended to be used in situations when someone needs to clean the hands all day long and dirty hands can cause difficulties and health issues. A medical clinic or a hospital is the best example in that case, as doctors and other medical staff needs to stay germ free to treat the already infected patients.

Soap is necessary to be used for washing hands after using the bathroom as the hands get dirty of germs and bacteria and only soap can clean them at that time. In this case hand sanitizer is never a good choice. Another condition where washing hands is the best possible option, is the food industry. People working in food related items need to wash their hands again and again as there are many proteins and other particles which get attached to the hand and cannot be cleaned with a sanitizer. Hands should be washed properly for 20 seconds continuously clean them perfectly. Proper way of washing hands is to wet them with the running water and rub soap on them to make the lather and then rubbing the back side of hands, spaces between the fingers and under the nails for exact 20 seconds. Then wash the hands with water and dry with a clean dry towel or air dry. After going through all these points we can conclude that both have their individual uses and conditions to be used and it depends on your situation to choose the best out of it.

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