We all know practising excellent hand hygiene is vital to maintain top hygiene standards, minimise cross contamination and reducing the spread of infection. After all, hands are the main carrier of infection. Although we may know this, many of us are still guilty of leaving hands unwashed after using the washroom. In fact, science suggests the average person’s hands probably carry at least 3,000 different bacteria belonging to more than 100 species – gross!
Viruses are often spread simply by touch and, according to the statistics, people clearly leave plenty of opportunity for infection and cross-contamination to occur. After using the washroom it’s vital we wash our hands correctly with the best, most hygienic method to get rid of any harmful bacteria, flu and disease. However, do we really know which method of hand hygiene is the most effective?
Even beyond the covid-19 pandemic, understanding the best method of hand hygiene will be important to protect your wellbeing and stay healthy day in and day out. This blog will discuss both hand soap and sanitising solutions, their effectiveness and which one takes home the hand hygiene trophy.
Table of Contents
How does soap work?
Germs and bacteria attach to oils and grease on our hands therefore soap works by getting rid of the oil and grease along with bacteria. Water alone doesn’t have the power or ability to remove germs and therefore, ‘water only hand washes’, isn’t enough to remove germs and bacteria which encourages infection.
Soap is made up of molecules that are surfactant meaning they bind to both water and oil well. When mixed with flowing water the soap is removed along with bacteria making it a great solution to removing bacteria on hands helping to maintain good hygiene standards. To be effective, however, it’s important to wash hands thoroughly with soap for the right amount of time in order to allow soap to bind completely to germs located on your hands. This then allows the soap to work at its full potential removing the highest number of germs possible which helps to prevent illness.
Read our useful blog on how to wash your hands with soap correctly and see if you’re washing your hands for the most effective amount of time.
How does hand sanitiser work?
Hand sanitisers can be an effective hand washing method where soap and water isn’t available. Hand sanitisers work by killing harmful microbial cells located on hands as the sanitising solutions contain ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol or both which can kill up to 99.9% of bacteria on hands.
Hand sanitiser sprays and wipes can prevent the spread of infections when used correctly and in the right situation: ensure to use the amount advised on the bottle, rub the solution in thoroughly and leave to dry before touching objects or surfaces.
Learn more about how to properly clean hands with sanitiser.
Opt for an alcohol-based sanitiser
It’s often recommended that you use hand sanitisers with an alcohol percentage of at least 60% as sanitisers with lower concentrations of alcohol aren’t as effective at killing germs, as Scientific studies suggest.
Although, if you manage to find good quality commercial alcohol free hand sanitisers, they can indeed be just as effective at promoting a healthy hygienic environment, killing up to 99.9% of germs. Alcohol Free Hand Sanitiser can also be a safer, non-sting, non-toxic option if this is preferred.
Both Soap and Hand Sanitiser Have their Place
Both soap and hand sanitiser solutions create a safer environment for employees and visitors. Your choice of hand hygiene solution should simply depend on the location it’s required in the workplace. For example, soap and water is the ideal solution for commercial washroom environments where running water is available whereas hand sanitisers are ideal for various locations in and around the workplace such as entrance points and stairwells. Having said that, if you have a choice, soap can be more reliable and effective.
There is no ultimate hand hygiene winner, as such, as both sanitiser and soap solutions work in their own unique way when it comes to eliminating bacteria.
Prevent the Spread of Infection with Citron Hygiene’s Soap & Sanitising Solutions
Maintain the highest levels of hygiene in your workplace to reduce employee sick days, keep people safe and your business running smoothly.
If you’re looking to maximise hygiene standards in your business, then get in touch with the hygiene experts at Citron Hygiene to learn more about our effective soap solutions and sanitisers for workplaces.
automatic hand sanitiser dispensers available in a range of sizes are designed to help combat the spread of harmful bacteria and ensure employees and visitors are well protected.