Hand Wash Or Soap: Which Is Effective In Killing Germs?

There is a constant debate about which one is effective for killing germs on your hands - hand wash or bar soap. You may not know which one's better because all your life you have been advised to keep your hands clean all the time and wash them before touching food or after visiting the bathroom. In this article, you will come to know the difference between soap and hand wash.

We have been trained by our parents to wash our hands several times a day to avoid contact with germs. And as a result, soap had become a daily part of our lives for many years.

antibacterial soap vs regular soap experiment

Washing your hands with soap will help to get rid of bacteria, fungi, parasites that exist on your skin and these germs can be easily transferred by touch.

Some of the diseases which can spread by not washing hands are:

  • Norovirus causes viral gastroenteritis which is transmitted when people don't wash their hands. So, to prevent this illness, you must wash your hands after using the bathroom, and before preparing food you shouldn't touch your mouth and nose.
  • Hepatitis A is a viral infection which affects the liver and causes abdominal pain, jaundice, fatigue and fever. Hepatitis A is often spread through contamination of food because it has been prepared with dirty hands.
  • Airborne illnesses are usually spread via droplets which are sneezed, coughed into the air. And while sneezing and coughing, we use our hands but, some tend to not wash their hands at all. Poor hand washing techniques can spread the illnesses as well.
  • Nosocomial infections are generally caught from the hospitals. They are caused by antibiotic-resistant bacteria, for instance, MRSA (Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus).

Let's find out here which one is effective in killing germs - hand wash or soap.

Is Soap A Potent Way To Kill The Germs?

The term 'germ' refers to bacteria, viruses, and fungi. A wet bar soap has more germs on it because when the soap mixes with water, the soap's fats break down and lather. This lets the bacteria from your hands stick onto the wet bar soap.

This will not create a problem much as soap is water soluble. So, just rinsing the soap will reduce the bacteria on it. It is safe to use bar soap at home, preferably if there are fewer people.

Additionally, using soap can have an impact on your hands as well. Bar soap has a higher pH level which can remove the natural oils from your skin, thereby causing dryness of the skin.

According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, cleaning your hands with soap and warm water can also be useful in killing germs.

Is Hand Wash 100 Per Cent Efficient In Removing The Germs?

People should use liquid hand wash to minimize the risk of spreading harmful germs. The act of refilling hand wash dispensers can turn them into potential havens for microbes, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

So, you should either dispose the liquid soap dispensers or thoroughly clean them before refilling them once again. This will reduce the germs from harbouring.

The Conclusion...

So it's safe to conclude that if you are living alone or with a few family members, then using bar soap should not be a concern, as you can get rid of most bacteria by washing your hands thoroughly. However, a liquid soap/hand wash turns out to be useful if there are more members using it, or if you are concerned about dry hands. A thing to remember is to thoroughly clean the dispensers before refilling them.

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    Read more about: hand wash soap germs
    Story first published: Monday, August 6, 2018, 17:00 [IST]
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