Is Hand Washing Better than Hand Sanitizer?

Keep your hands clean. This has been one of the most important reminders that has been circulating for the past 2 years. Proper hand hygiene is one of the best defenses we have against COVID-19 and neutralizing harmful bacteria and viruses. When the spread of the virus started, hand sanitizers, hand soap, and alcohol-based hand rubs were hot commodities- often completely sold out at stores. Now, as Corona Virus cases continue to rise, keeping your hands clean remain critical.

The question here is, when it comes to hand sanitizer versus hand washing, which one is better? Jennifer Burgess, a family medicine doctor for Henry Ford Health, says hand washing is always better.

“Handwashing is a more thorough process to clean your hands, when done properly,” says Dr. Burgess. “While hand sanitizer is more convenient, it is important to rely on hand sanitizer only in more low-risk situations.”

When is it safe to use hand sanitizer? 

The greatest thing to use when you’re out and about is hand sanitizer. It is a simple technique to keep your hands clean whenever you visit a store or fill up with gas. Use just enough to be able to rub it between your fingers, on the backs of your hands, and all over your hands. However, you should only use hand sanitizer when your hands aren’t obviously dirty.

“If you can see dirt on your hands, you need to wash your hands properly with soap and water,” says Dr. Burgess. “Hand sanitizer also cannot replace handwashing before and after eating, or after you have used the bathroom.”

Every day, there are updates on how organizations are handling the COVID-19 outbreak. Although the way we wash our hands won’t change, we need be conscious of when to choose hand washing over hand sanitizer. To stay informed on COVID-19 changes, be sure to follow dependable sources:


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