HAND SANITIZER VS SOAP AND WATER – WHICH IS BEST?

by Equinox Technology on September 20, 2021

hand sanitizier vs hand soap

During these trying, uncertain days, there are two essential hand hygiene measures none of us can live without: Hand Sanitizer and Soap and Water.

As we strive to keep ourselves, families, friends and neighbors healthy in the time of the coronavirus, many people are asking hand hygiene’s age-old question.

Is hand sanitizer as effective as, or superior to, washing your hands the old fashioned way with soap and water? The answer to that popular question is: it depends.

Let’s begin with clarifying the functionality of hand soap, compared to that of hand sanitizer. The primary purpose of hand soap is to remove germs and bacteria, not kill it. When washing your hands with soap, dirt and germs trapped in the natural oils of the skin are lifted and suspended in water.

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer, on the other hand, is proven to kill viruses and bacteria. The alcohol kills the bacteria by softening the bacterial membrane, allowing the alcohol to render bacteria ineffective.

hand sanitizier

When Is Hand Sanitizer the Preferred Choice?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol-based hand sanitizer is recommended as an acceptable alternative to soap and water in hospital and clinic-like settings because healthcare professionals often perform duties in sterile settings and are required to clean their hands constantly throughout day.

hand soap

When Is Washing With Soap & Water the Preferred Choice?

In other situations, soap and water is the recommended choice. For example, the CDC suggests washing your hands thoroughly with soap and water after using the bathroom because your hands may become contaminated with fecal microorganisms, and soap is designed to effectively remove those contaminants.

Another example of when soap and water is the superior hand hygiene choice is for the food service industry. People working in the food industry often have proteins and other fatty ingredients on their hands, which decrease the ability of antibacterial hand gels to adequately kill bacteria.

With soap and water, technique is very important. The vast majority of people do not wash their hands as thoroughly as they should. It is recommended to scrub your hands for a full 20 seconds, which can feel longer than you might think. Two good ways to go about it is to sing the ABCs or Happy Birthday twice in your head. Here is a helpful hand washing tutorial.

Which Is Better At Preventing Transmission of COVID-19?

When it comes to fighting the biggest public health threat of our lifetime, soap and water works better to remove the coronavirus. By disrupting the sticky bond between pathogens and your skin, soap allows the pathogens to slide right off. 

Not only does soap neutralize the virus, but you are physically knocking it off your hands when thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water. While sanitizer kills the germs, it can leave the dead microbes on your skin.

Soap and water causes the SARS-CoV-2 virus to fall apart like a house of cards and die. As University of New South Wales chemistry professor Palli Thordarson notes, using soap on COVID-19 viruses, is “annihilating the viruses, rendering them harmless.”

You will undoubtedly come across situations where soap and water is the ideal solution, but it isn’t readily available. In these situations, it is better to use hand sanitizer, a CDC-recommended coronavirus killer, than nothing at all.

B4 Brands offers a wide selection and sizes of hand hygiene products to keep you and your family safe during these uncertain times.

Recommendations for hand soap that is effective in killing bacteria and viruses

Soji Hand Soap Dispenser 500ML/17 Oz | Wall Mounted for Bathroom, Kitchen, Restaurant & Hotels | No-Drill Wall Mounted Adhesive Double Tape Soap Bottle - 2 Bottles
Soji hand soap dispenser
  • ✅ GIVES YOUR HOME A LUXURY LOOK - Soji Hand Soap Dispenser specially designed to be durable, long-lasting materials won't rust or discolor the end product. Made with glass recycling, can be repeated endlessly with no loss in quality to the end product.
  • ✅ QUALITY MATERIALS - Designed in U.S.A and made with ISO14001 environmental standard, the set features fortified PET plastic bottles and waterproof labels that are durable and allow you to mix and match. Extend product shelf life with amber glass for ultraviolet (UV) protection.
  • ✅ STICK WITHOUT DRILLING - Quickly install your Shower Dispenser on the wall. Swiftly attach it using the given adhesive and the 2-way tape.
  • ✅ COMPLETE PACKAGE - Match your soap dispensers in the kitchen and the bathroom! Amber bottle, wall mount, rubber funnel, and sticker label.
  • ✅ 100% SATISFACTION GUARANTEE – We stand by our product with 2-year warranty, 90 days money-back & lifetime tech support. Soji is a registered trademark of Equinox Technology Inc, products are CE, FCC, RoHs Certified.

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