Does Hand Sanitizer Work?


| 3 Comments
We are all familiar with hand sanitizer. We see commercials on TV all the time that say hand sanitizer kills "99.9%" of germs, but is that actually true?
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Hand sanitizers active ingredient is alcohol- which works as an antiseptic. Hand sanitizer is everywhere from bathrooms to in our backpacks. According to webMD hand sanitizer works great and is very effective at killing both bacteria and viruses. However, what you may be very surprised to find is that hand sanitizer only works for around two minutes. A CBS report interviewed Dr. Jennifer Ashton about the effectiveness of hand sanitizer. In this report, Ashton confirms that hand sanitizers do in fact only work for two minutes. This does not mean that hand sanitizer does not work. Ashton tells CBS that the two minutes of effectiveness are very important, especially for doctors. Doctors apply sanitizer before seeing patients or preforming surgeries. Ashton says that doctors know that sanitizers only work for a short time, but sanitizers effectiveness against germs is important to keep both patients and doctors from getting sick. 

When asked if hand washing is more effective than sanitizer Ashton responds simply with we don't exactly know. Ashton says that to effectively clean your hands, one must wash under hot water for a prolonged period of time, which most of us do not do. She says that applying hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol we can get cleansing equal to or better than the average soap and water hand wash. If your wondering whether to use sanitizer or wash your hands remember that if you choose to wash, do so for a prolonged period of time.

3 Comments

I am a consistent user of hand sanitizer. whether it is before or after a meal, after the gym, or when dealing with my pet. I do remember my high school biology teacher mentioning something briefly about how hand sanitizer was ineffective. I never really looked into it, though. However, once I saw this post, I thought it would be worth looking into. I ended up reading this article on CNN health about whether or not hand sanitizer was effective. What I gathered from the article, in simple terms, that soap & water is more effective than hand sanitizer. However, if they aren't convenient, hand sanitizer is not a bad idea for a quick alternative.
http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/16/health/hand-sanitizer-toxic-upwave/

I love using hand sanitizer, but I usually use it only when I am in my room or someone offers it to me when I feel like germs are surrounding me. I definitely do not think that hand sanitizer should be used strictly as an alternative to washing your hands ever! I would never just use hand sanitizer after the bathroom, and I hate when I see them in public restrooms, because I have seen girls just using that instead of washing their hands. Sometimes I have used sanitizers and my hands actually just felt dirtier and I felt the need to wash my hands as a result. It kills some bacteria and germs, but not all of it. Here is an article that explains how it can actually be considered toxic, can dry out your hands, is not as effective as we think, and how washing your hands is definitely a better alternative. The study was a pretty unique and interesting, but I am not sure that I would believe it in all cases. When I see people without makeup, wearing glasses, I usually think that they are the smarter ones. I am one of those girls that wear makeup almost all the time and I would not say that people would think that I am smarter than the next girl. I do understand that appearing more classy looking, well-dressed, and clean will make that person look more mature and intelligent than someone in sweats hair up and dirty. I know this may sound odd, but I like to dress well and look prettier when I go take tests and quizzes rather than wearing sweats and my hair up. When I feel better about myself, I usually perform better in school. This website is one of many that use the saying "Dress well, test well" and it explains why most people that believe it do: http://www.thecampuscompanion.com/svelte/2012/09/14/dress-well-test-well/#.UqD9-pHe5g0

I'm sorry, I tried to post the link and it pasted my comment from another blog that I commented on! What I meant to fully post was:

I love using hand sanitizer, but I usually use it only when I am in my room or someone offers it to me when I feel like germs are surrounding me. I definitely do not think that hand sanitizer should be used strictly as an alternative to washing your hands ever! I would never just use hand sanitizer after the bathroom, and I hate when I see them in public restrooms, because I have seen girls just using that instead of washing their hands. Sometimes I have used sanitizers and my hands actually just felt dirtier and I felt the need to wash my hands as a result. It kills some bacteria and germs, but not all of it. Here is an article that explains how it can actually be considered toxic, can dry out your hands, is not as effective as we think, and how washing your hands is definitely a better alternative. http://www.cnn.com/2013/10/16/health/hand-sanitizer-toxic-upwave/

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