If hand sanitizer kills 99.9% of germs, what stops us from using that all of the time instead of hand washing?


If hand sanitizer kills 99.9% of germs, what stops us from using that all of the time instead of hand washing?

In: Biology

The alcohol in hand sanitizers will dry your skin with excessive use. Dry skin can Crack, leaving an opening for germs. This is why most include a moisturizer in the formula.

Also, soap works through the action of detergent surfactants – ingredients that lift dirt and grease from your skin and allow it to be washed away.

A combination of uses is your most effective plan.

Nothing, really. The problem is that killing 99.9% of germs is usually not enough. Microbial colonies such as what you’d find on our skin can be made up of millions of individual bacteria. Wiping out 99.9% of a few million cells still leaves enough microbes to multiply and reach the same numbers after a surprisingly short time – many bacteria divide into two cells in a matter of minutes, and follow an exponential growth pattern.

It kills the germs, but does not carry them away. so you just now have dead germs and bacteria on you

Sanitizer is rubbish at cleaning off things like marker ink and stuff. It kills germs but it doesn’t CLEAN things, really.

TLDR: Hand sanitizer kills bacteria and viruses but it doesn’t wash it away, so it leaves the dead and living ones on your skin.

Soap and water are actually scientifically proven to be better at killing bacteria and viruses than hand sanitizer.

In addition to killing bacteria and viruses soap traps dirt and fragments of the destroyed virus in tiny bubbles called micelles, which wash away in water. In tandem, some soap molecules disrupt the chemical bonds that allow bacteria, viruses and grime to stick to surfaces, lifting them off the skin.

So while alcohol based hand sanitizers do kill bacteria by breaking down their exteriors, they don’t do nearly as good a job at washing them away from your skin.

Hand sanitizer was invented to be used only when hand washing wasn’t available. But due to it’s popularity and convenience people make the mistake of assuming that it’s better than washing your hands, which it’s not.

Sanitisers and cleaners are two entirely different things.

A sanitiser will kill bacteria and viruses.

A cleaner (such as soap) will remove dirt and grease.

Why are you assuming that germs are a bad thing? Fun fact, germs are on virtually every surface that you touch.

It could kill 99.9%. But it rarely does.

The claim assumes an absurdly long exposure period. Like 3minutes to achieve maximum sanitization. You would need to bathe in the stuff.

Not that 20seconds is worthless, but its not 99.9% effective either.

Because body oils and stains aren’t made of germs. Dirt isn’t made of germs and almost nothing except your digestive track, the microbe bug eggs in food and everything. And living organisms in the consumable matter in the air. Is.

Germs are just living vehicles. What gets you sick is a persons weak ass immune system. If your immune system is compromised it leads to health issues.

Essentially looking at it. All hand sanitizer does is kill nutrients in your body by killing the process for it to get to your digestion. The living organisims in your body probably die off and are allergic to it. If something is a virus, sanitizer will only annoy it. Sanitizer can not kill infections or a virus or anything that’s at a cognitive level above base germs. Penicillin does.

So why not wipe Penicillin all over your body like sun screen? It would be more effective. Equally as weird.

Because if there’s poop on your hands, sanitizer will kill 99% of the germs in that poop. But there will _still be poop_ on your hands.

Hand washing cleans more than sanitizer because it gets rid of nasty stuff that’s not just germs. If you have poop smeared on your hands, would you prefer soap+hand washing…or hand sanitizer?

Because excessive use of antibacterials and sanitizing can accelerate the development of resistant strains.

Another Explanation, is that bacteria will adapt to hand sanitizer over time, while washing your hand is also a mechanical process and is much harder for bacteria to resist.

So when you have a choice, wash your hand, if not, use hand sanitizer.

PS: When I say resist, it’s more like survival bias, only the bacteria that survive hand sanitizer (0.1%) will stay on your hand and multiply.

A few dodgy answers on this thread.
Hand sanitiser is very good at killing most bacteria and viruses and actually better for the skin on your hands than washing with soap and water if you’re cleaning your hands regularly. There are a few specific bacteria that hand sanitiser cannot kill, however, due to their structure. Usually these are found in faeces or soil.

I work in a hospital and the recommendation is to use hand sanitiser except in a few specific circumstances (your hands are visibly dirty, you’ve been to the bathroom, or a patient has an infection with a bacteria which is known to not be susceptible to sanitiser).

There’s now even a surgical scrub which surgeons use before surgery (instead of scrubbing with antiseptic soap) which is essentially just sanitiser and is approved for use as the sole scrub.

Out and about in general life, your hands get visibly dirty and you’re washing your hands more after going to the bathroom- so this is why you probably need to use soap and water. However in a hospital we are cleaning our hands almost every minute – they don’t get visibly dirty, it’s just because we are moving between patients and rooms. So we use hand sanitiser 95% of the time because it’s just as good at killing bacteria and its quicker, easier, and better for your skin.

Tldr hand sanitizer is good unless you’re hands are dirty or you’ve gone to the bathroom

Also, I doubt everyone uses hand sanitizer correctly. Pretty much everyone I know always uses far too little sanitizer. It should take about 20 seconds of hand rubbing for the sanitizer to be dried.

Google kid’s experiments with soap/water, sanitizer, and nothing using sliced bread in ziploc bags.

“Moldy bread experiment”

Wash your hands.

Hand sanitizer kills the creatures in the cesspool, but it’s now a cesspool with even more bodies for the next batch of creatures to feast on.

Soap removes the creatures and the substances in the cesspool.

Some good points, but I haven’t seen this one come up yet. It’s bad for your skin.

Your skin is *always* covered in germs and other microbes, which are beneficial (or ar least not bad) for you. In what ways our microbiome helps us exactly is still undergoing research, but at least they make it harder for “bad” germs to spread. Using hand sanitizer will kill them off, allowing nasty stuff to spread when you get in contact with it later.

Additionally, hand sanitizer is usually drying out the skin, causing tiny cracks, which potentially help bad germs to hide there or even get inside your body faster.

Only use it occasionally, for example when you are touching a wound. Otherwise soap is better.

Hand sanitiser doesn’t work as well when hands are soiled or greasy, and so soap is used because not only does it wash away the dirt and grease but it also breaks down the walls of bacteria and viruses and/or washes them away. Hand sanitizer is only good because of its ease of access due to no need for water and quick action, however soap is usually the better option

It’s not the same as washing your hands. Washing your hands removes dirt, food, germs etc. hand sanitizer might kill germs but it doesn’t clean them off your hands like soap and water.