Apr 21, 2020

Hand Washing VS Hand Sanitizing-The differences you should know

In the present scenario, public and the government is struggling to understand the pandemic COVID-19 and finding ways to restrain the spread of the same. With the effect of coronavirus, sale of hand sanitizers have instantly boomed in the market because hands are that part of our body that usually come in contact of other people and objects and often come in contact with certain bacteria and viruses. When head to toe hygiene is a priority for many individuals, the main focus goes on keeping the hands clean. Since hands are the breeding ground of many illness causing germs, keeping the hand sanitizer handy seems to be a good choice. Washing the hands with soap and water or with hand sanitizer both are the staggering ways to limit the transmission of many bacteria and viruses.

Is one method better than the other? Let's know what medical experts say about that:

Hand sanitizer is portable and much easily accessible if we are out where water and soap is not immediately available. They come in compact sizes and can be easily fit in pockets and purses. Hand sanitizers are rich in alcohol which kills almost all types of germs and bacteria.

I know, Too Good to Be True.

However, soap and water are more effective according to medical professionals as they believe that hand sanitizers may kill viruses but does not clean your hands like soap and water does. They also do not remove dust and grease from the hands. Soap and water though does not kill the bacteria but are sufficient in removing the bacteria from the hands.


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), recommends alcohol based hand sanitizer as an acceptable alternative way to soap and water in healthcare centres like hospitals and clinics. As healthcare professionals often while performing their duties come in contact with several bacteria and viruses, they often need to clean their hands throughout the day.

Hand sanitizer is often the best alternative while we are out of our home. As they are portable and convenient to carry in pockets, purses, hand bags and school bags.


In other circumstances soap and water is the recommended choice. For instance, CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests washing hands, after going for bio break, with soap and water because at that time the hands get contaminated with faecal microorganisms.

Soap and water is also a better choice for people who are working with big food industries because those individuals often have to work in such an atmosphere where high proteins and other fatty ingredients come in contact with their hands which thereafter decrease the ability of hand sanitizers to kill the bacteria.

To sum up we can say that the primary purpose of soap and water is to remove the bacteria and not to kill it. Alcohol based hand sanitizer, on the other hand, is proven to kill the bacteria. Therefore, hand washing and hand sanitizing both are effective in their own ways to clean the hands. The onus thus lies on you which option you would like to go for to cleanse your hands.

Hope you find this piece of article knowledgeable. If you did, then don’t forget to share it with your friends and I will see you super soon with yet another informative article. Till then, like I always say, STAY HEALTHY & STAY HAPPY.