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Hand Sanitizers vs. Hand Soaps: Which Are the Most Effective?

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Hand sanitizers. Hand soaps. You might think that they are one in the same, but the fact of the matter is that they are not. With the increasing popularity and convenience of hand sanitizers, the lines that separate them from hand soaps have become rather blurry. Understanding their similarities as well as their differences will make it much easier to identify which product is the most effective at keeping your hands cleaned.  This is especially important during cough and cold season!

Healthy Hands

Portability is Essential

One of the biggest perks of using hand sanitizing products is their portability. Whether you decide to keep your favorite hand sanitizing product in your purse, pocket or the palm of your hand, it will always be readily available when the need for it arises. Perhaps you just want to clean your hands to enjoy a meal or just finished shaking the hand of a dirty stranger.

Instead of rushing to the nearest restroom to clean your hands with soap and water, a few moments of rubbing hand sanitizer into your hands can do just fine. Studies have shown that hand sanitizing products can kill over 99 percent of germs and bacteria. This is primarily because the vast majority of these products are alcohol-based. When you use a hand sanitizing product that contains at least 60 percent of alcohol, according to the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, this can effectively eliminate most germs.

A Protective Barrier against Viruses

One of the main reasons why people use hand sanitizers and soaps alike is to keep their hands thoroughly cleaned and their bodies protected from virus and bacteria. In order to effectively protect yourself, thoroughly washing your hands throughout the day is highly recommended. Before most hand sanitizers became popular alternatives, it was clearly understood by most people to use hand soap in order to achieve this goal.

It is true that using a hand sanitizing product, such as the hand sanitizers sold by The Honest Company, have been designed to help in this regard.

Using Just the Right Amount

When using soap and water to clean your hands, you primarily strive to get enough soap to lather both sides of both hands. However, when using the average hand sanitizing product, finding the perfect amount to use for maximum effectiveness may seem nearly impossible. However, studies conducted in recent years have proven otherwise. One study confirms that using a dime-sized amount of hand sanitizer is sufficient enough to cover all of the areas of both hands, according to Contra Costa Health Services (CC Health).

Since you will be rubbing in the hand sanitizer until it is fully applied to your skin, another perk that is enjoyed over using hand soap is that you won’t have to worry about excessive dryness. Many people refrain from using hand soaps due to the excessive state of dryness in which they leave their hands once the cleansing process has been completed. Using a hand sanitizer will minimize the risk of this problem becoming an issue and may even help to moisturize a person’s hands instead of drying them out.

The Value of Moderation and Balance

Whether you enjoy using hand soap more than hand sanitizer or vice versa, you need to always remember the importance of maintaining balance in this regard. When it comes to your hygiene and overall cleanliness, you should keep your options open in order to remain clean throughout the day.

Keep in mind that you will not always be able to have direct access to a sink in order to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. Having a hand sanitizer product readily available in your pocket or purse will at least make it possible to enjoy cleanliness to some extent.

Yes, it is true that you may not be able to clean your hands as thoroughly as you might like with a hand sanitizer. However, that is where moderation and balance will come into play the most. Make sure that you remain flexible, using both of these tools whenever necessary in order to remain clean. Doing so will greatly minimize your risk of being exposed to bacteria and viruses that may be floating around within your everyday environments (i.e. work, school, home, etc.)

The Bottom Line

Whether you decide to use a hand soap or a hand sanitizer is clearly up to you. Just keep in mind that each product has certain limitations that need to be considered before making your final decision. Portability and convenience may lead you towards using hand sanitizers whenever you are on the go, but you should never forget the lasting benefits and advantages of thoroughly cleaning your hands with soap and water whenever possible.

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Ditch my Timeshare

Wednesday 17th of December 2014

Kelli, hand santizers are too popular and they can actually be a bad choice in some cases. Some people may think they are getting the same protection as soap.

Santizers are meant to be an emergency situation or a last effort. If your hands were slightly soiled it may work fine, but I would not think they could substitute for hand washing.

Lou Lou Girls

Monday 1st of December 2014

Oh my! Great post! Pinned and tweeted. We always love partying with you, I hope to see you tonight at 7 pm at our party. Happy Monday! Lou Lou Girls

Lou Lou Girls

Sunday 23rd of November 2014

Hello gorgeous! Great article! Pinned and tweeted. I hope to see on Monday at 7 pm. We love to party with you! Happy Sunday~Lou Lou Girls