Have you noticed stores are out of hand sanitizer? That’s why there are so many DYI sanitizer recipes on the internet. And there is a place for a hand sanitizer. When you need to wash your hands and have no access to water, a sanitizer is a great alternative. But that’s all it is, an alternative. Here’s why you choose soap over sanitizer.
A hand sanitizer is made from alcohol, and alcohol kills many pathogens by breaking up the proteins in the organism. The higher the concentration of alcohol, the more pathogens the sanitizers can kill. But alcohol doesn’t kill all pathogens. It also won’t remove the damaged pathogens from your hands. You also need to use the sanitizer properly. According to the CDC, when using an alcohol based hand sanitizer, you should put product on hands and rub your hands together. Make sure to cover all surfaces and rub until your hands feel dry. It should take about 20 seconds. Your hands are sanitized, but not clean. Remember, the dead pathogens are still on your hands.
Soap can also kill some pathogens. According to the NY Times, “When you wash your hands with soap and water, you surround any microorganisms on your skin with soap molecules. The hydrophobic tails of the free-floating soap molecules attempt to evade water; in the process, they wedge themselves into the lipid envelopes of certain microbes and viruses, prying them apart. Essential proteins spill from the ruptured membranes into the surrounding water, killing the bacteria and rendering the viruses useless.”
Soap doesn’t kill all pathogens either. But here’s the cool part. When you wash with soap, you’re also washing the pathogen off your hands. Soap mechanically loosens pathogens from your skin, and water rinses them down the drain.
Soap over Sanitizer
So yes, when I’m at the grocery store, I use a hand sanitizer. As soon as I get home though, I wash my hands with soap and water. Besides washing off those germs, my hands feel dry after using a sanitizer, and washing with my handcrafted soap makes them feel better.
Yours in Gratitude,