A Look at Hand Washing Versus Hand Sanitizer

Alcohol hand sanitizer has seen a huge rise in use in the past decade, particularly within healthcare and medical environments. One of the biggest advantages of hand sanitizer is that it is very quick and easy to apply properly and does not require running water. Let’s take a look at exactly how effective the product actually is.

Hand washing vs hand sanitizer in effectiveness

It’s a common question – how effective is hand sanitizer vs soap and water? Alcohol based hand rub is considered the preferred option in most clinical healthcare situations. It is quick to apply, cost effective and kills more bacteria than other hand hygiene methods. If your hands are visibly dirty, however, you should wash your hands with soap and water to ensure a thorough clean, and follow this by drying hands with a single-use paper towel or hand dryer.

Does hand sanitizer kill viruses?

Although alcohol sanitizer rubs are primarily used to kill bacteria, they can also kill some fungi and viruses, including the stomach flus norovirus and rotavirus. This can play a critical role in reducing the spread of sickness, particularly in a healthcare or food preparation context. Hand sanitizers can be used throughout the day to cut the risk – just be sure to apply the solution generously to the entire surface of your hands, as the alcohol needs to come into contact with the bacteria or virus to kill it.

An adult dispensing hand sanitizer to a child

How to use hand sanitizer effectively

Look for a hand sanitizer product that contains at least 60% alcohol. Squeeze or pump enough product onto your hands to wet them all over, then rub the sanitizer over all surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry. This process can take anywhere from 15 to 30 seconds. Remember that any areas that the hand sanitizer does not touch will not be decontaminated, so be sure to apply the product between your fingers and at your fingertips.

What to look for in commercial hand sanitizer products

If you are currently searching for hand sanitizer products and dispensers for your facilities, it is important to choose an option that has been laboratory tested and proven to kill up to 99.9% of pathogenic micro-organisms on the skin, such as the products supplied by Davidson Washroom. Another useful feature to look for is built-in moisturising agents, as this can keep hands from drying out if people are applying the product multiple times a day.

For information on our complete range of hand sanitisation products and dispensers, speak with the team today.