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Written by Claudia Sammer on March 25, 2021

Can Hand Sanitizer Replace Hand Washing With Bar Soap?

Soap or Hand Sanitizer? Both? Or is one enough? How do I use it correctly? Those are probably questions that you have asked yourself a lot over the last year.

Let's look at some scientific facts first. Applying hand sanitizer may be easier and it's more convenient to carry around, but even the ones with sufficient alcohol content cannot remove all types of bacteria and viruses. Why? Although alcohol-based hand sanitizers can inactivate many types of microbes very effectively when used correctly 1-15, people may not use a large enough volume of the sanitizers or may wipe it off before it has dried 14. If too little is applied or it is wiped off before it has dried completely, sanitizers can't clean thoroughly enough and are ineffective. Soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizers at removing certain kinds of germs, like Cryptosporidium, norovirus, and Clostridium difficile1-5.

Hand sanitizers also probably cannot remove or inactivate harmful chemicals we may come in contact with. In one study, people who reported using hand sanitizer to clean their hands were found to have increased levels of pesticides in their bodies. If you have touched harmful chemicals, experts recommend washing your hands carefully with soap and water or as directed by a poison control center.

Many studies show that hand sanitizers work well in clinical settings like hospitals, where hands come into contact with germs and generally are not heavily soiled or greasy 16. Some data also show that hand sanitizers may work well against certain types of germs on slightly soiled hands 17,18. However, hands may become very greasy or soiled in community settings, such as after people handle food, play sports, work in the garden, or go camping or fishing. When hands are heavily soiled or greasy, hand sanitizers may not work well 3,7,16. Handwashing with soap and water is recommended in such circumstances.

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One of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wash your hands with soap and water whenever possible. If soap and water are not available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol). FDA

Bacteria resistance seen

Many studies show that sanitizers with alcohol concentrations between 60% and 95% are better at killing germs than those products with a lower concentration or no alcohol. Especially as lesser concentrations of alcohol merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright. 

More worrisome is that some bacteria have begun to show tolerance to low amounts of ethyl alcohol. Using Blue Bison Soaps can greatly reduce the risk of spreading the Corona Virus when following the CDC guidelines. When following the CDC recommendation for washing your hands, not only will Blue Bison Soaps help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others, it also won't dry your hands out like most hand sanitizers.

Why is soap more effective?

Blue Bison Soapery Vegan Friendly Awaken_2
Blue Bison Soapery Vegan Friendly Palm Oil Free Awaken Premium Bar Soap

Blue Bison Soaps combined with running water is by far the best way to eliminate germs from our hands. That's because soap molecules, themselves, are very effective at destroying the surface membranes of some bacteria and viruses, including the novel coronavirus.

Blue Bison Soapery Vegan Friendly Palm Oil Free White & Lily Aloe Premium Soap_2
Blue Bison Soapery Vegan Friendly Palm Oil Free White & Lily Aloe Premium Bar Soap

Since the panic over the coronavirus outbreak, it seems, people have forgotten that soap and water are our best defense against disease. Natural vegan friendly bar soap takes a little time to work — at least 20 seconds to disinfect your hands completely. That's about the time it takes to do the Mississippi count..

The new coronavirus comes encased in a layer of fat, or lipid envelope, which soap can break apart, making you less likely to get infected. People are stocking up on hand sanitizer but soap and water are the gold standards for preventing disease. So count to 20 using the Mississippi count and follow the CDC’s recommended handwashing steps:

  • Wet your hands with clean running water (warm or cold) and apply soap.
  • Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap & do the Mississippi count to 20. 
  • Scrub all surfaces of your hands, including the palms, backs, fingers, the skin between your fingers and also under your nails.
  • Rinse your hands under clean, running water that is not too hot to tolerate.
  • Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.
  • While bar soap is the most effective, always carry soap when traveling out side you home.

These steps can make all the difference in protecting you and your loved ones.

When to wash

Handwashing isn’t a one-and-done exercise. Good hand hygiene throughout the day is vital to protecting your health as well as that of your family and others around you.

We touch many things in the course of a day, picking up all manner of grime and germs. The CDC recommends washing your hands:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound
  • After using the bathroom, changing diapers or cleaning up a child who has used the bathroom
  • After blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
  • After touching an animal, animal food or treats, animal cages or animal waste
  • After touching garbage
  • If your hands are visibly dirty or greasy

Protecting your skin

Because all that handwashing can leave your skin red, chapped, and even cracked, the American Academy of Dermatology recommends hydrating your hands immediately after washing.

Apply a pea-sized amount of Blue Bison Skin Cream to your skin, and work it into your epidermis layer thoroughly, including fingertips and fingernails. Blue Bison Skin Cream will leave your skin feeling silky smooth.

Apply a pea-sized amount of Blue Bison Skin Cream to your skin, and work it into your epidermis layer thoroughly, including fingertips and fingernails. Blue Bison Skin Cream will leave your skin feeling silky smooth.

Article written by Claudia Sammer

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