CoronaVirus – Handwash Vs Hand Sanitizer


Since the outbreak of CoronaVirus, there is an ongoing debate if hand sanitizer is more effective vs washing your hand? Let’s see what experts have to say on comparison between hand sanitizer or washing your hands.

Handwash for 30 Seconds is better than Hand Sanitizer

Buzzfeednews spoke to two germ experts i.e. Kelly Reynolds, associate professor of environmental health at the University of Arizona and and Jason Tetro, visiting scientist at the University of Guelph and author of the best-selling book Germ Files.

Hand Sanitizers with at least 60% Ethyl Alcohol

As per Tetro, only those hand sanitizers which have at least 60% Ethyl Alcohol are effective and should be applied in such quantity to get hands wet. It should take 15-20 seconds for your hands to get dry.

Hand Sanitizers kill most of Flu and Cold Germs

Alcohol based hand sanitizers kill most of the germs including cold and flu causing viruses like CoronaVirus. However, they arent effective against stomach bug norovirus, parasites like Giardia, and diarrhea-causing bacterium Clostridium difficile.

Hand Sanitizer Kills Good Bacteria on Your Hands

Another problem with hand sanitizers is that it also kills good bacteria on your hands which helps protect you. There is no evidence that killing of good bacteria may have adverse effect on your health but who want to kill its allies in these germ wars?

According to Reynolds, “Sure, it does kill the good bacteria, but there is no evidence that this actually leads to any adverse health effects, and the good bacteria will repopulate immediately if you just touch your arms or your hair or another part of your body,”

Washing Hands to Kill Germs and Viruses like Corona

Washing your hands for at least 30 seconds with soap can have magical effects. Hand washing kill viruses and cleans dirt, spores and debris. According to Reynolds, “Again, it’s not the soap alone that kills the germs — but the friction of lathering and washing away the organisms that makes handwashing more effective”

Read Also: WHO recommended Guide to Boost Immunity and Safe-Guard Health

Soap loosens the ability of the germ to stick to your hands and hence washing becomes more effective in killing and removing them.

Proper hand washing means you should wash your hands for 30 seconds or repeating complete washing sequence three times. Three times washing sequence makes requires approximately same time i.e. 30 seconds.

Therefore, it is very important that you wash your hands frequently for at least 30 seconds.

Business Insider Experiment Comparing Hand Sanitizer vs Thorough Hand Wash

Business Insider conducted an experiment where they compared a dirty hand cleaned with hand sanitizer vs thorough hand washing for 30 seconds. They captured the results in pictures using Ultra Violet light. See the three pictures below to understand the difference:

As you can see in below picture, most of the germs are cleared but some of bacteria is left on hand which will resurge again.

Famous actress Kristen Bell has something similar to share on her Instagram post for her 13 million plus followers. Check our her Instagram post:

Islam Proscribed Hand Washing Multiple Times a Day

It is well known fact that Islam has made it a compulsory requirement to wash your hands as part of ablution before prayers and also to do the same before eating anything. Therefore, following Islamic teachings will get you rewarded in your fight against Viruses like Corona and many other germs.

Imam Tirmidhi, Imam Abu Dawud, Imam Ahmad (rahimahumullah) and other Muhaddithun have recorded the following narration:

Sayyiduna Salman Al Farisi (radiyallahu ‘anhu) says, “I read in the Tawrah ‘Barakah in food lies in washing the hand after meals.’ I mentioned this to Nabi (sallallahu ‘alayhi wa sallam) and he said, ‘Blessing in food lies in washing the hand before and after eating.”

Source: (Sunan Tirmidhi, Hadith: 1846, Sunan Abi Dawud, Hadith: 3755, Musnad Ahmad, vol. 5 pg. 441)

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