Do hand sanitizers really kill all germs?

2 min


Hand sanitizers are consumed as a sterilizing substance in the form of liquid, gel, or foam that fights against infectious bacterias on the hand. They comprise 60% of rubbing alcohol that kills the germs present on the surface of the skin. They are a good replacement for soaps. See for benefits of antibacterial sanitizers:

  • They are helpful if the water is not easily accessible.
  • They can kill most of the bacteria present on hands and decrease the spread of infections.
  • Many sanitizers are good to improve skin conditions as well.
  • They are portable so you can disinfect your hands anywhere, anytime.

But is a disinfectant enough to kill all the germs and is it as productive for health as it is assumed to be? The answer is obviously no and they are not a true replacement for handwashing, though they can kill most of the viruses and bacterias if there from 60 to 95 percent of rubbing alcohol in them there are some germs that are immune to alcohol and still stay in our skin which does not make it a reliable selection when it comes to strengthening your hygiene.

When are hand sanitizers useful?

They are practical as they are portable and keep your hands tidy if you are on vacation or a job where water is not accessible. Microorganisms prevail everywhere so disinfecting hand rubs can avert illness by annihilating most of the germs that you get from getting intact with the surfaces around you. It is a handy backup when you don’t have water and soap around.

Can it kill all germs?

Hand sanitizers have to be more than 60% alcohol-based otherwise it will not work. Although it can kill most microbes but not all of them that can be harmful to health like:

  • Cryptosporidium infections which inflict gastrointestinal and breathing problems.
  • Clostridium difficile that upsets the intestines and spurs inflammation.
  • Giardia is a parasite that can result in diarrheal infection.

Hand sanitizer vs hand washing

Water and soap is a useful option to maintain hygiene than relying on hand sanitizers only, as all professionals suggest to wash hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. Water can cleanse the germs from our skin while using hand sanitizer can kill them but can not wipe out them from our hands.

Sanitizers can only fight against germs but cannot combat dirt and grease which soaps or hand wash can do much better because they can clean oil and microbes thoroughly without letting them remain on your skin.

Soaps are a better solution than hand rubs and there isn’t any distinction between using ordinary soap or antiseptic soap as both are equally effective in keeping germs away from our hands as compared to sanitizers.

Bottom line

It is proven through research that sanitizers are incapable of eradicating all germs but they can improve your protection from many diseases when you cannot wash hands but wash them as soon as you find water.


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