The Rant: Washing hands vs. sanitizer

By: Anna Tomlinson
News Editor

The use of hand sanitizer is an easily accessible way to halt the multiplication of germs, which in-turn can prevent the spread of illness. There are many occasions when hand washing is inconvenient, or simply not possible. In times like these, hand sanitizer is in fact, handy.

Many myths cloud the benefits of hand sanitizer. For example, a number of people believe that the use of hand sanitizer will create super-bacteria, resistant to all soaps and sanitizers. This is not true, however. As long as alcohol is the active ingredient, and the concentration is between 60% and 95%, it is effective.

One place that controversy arises is in the restroom. While I certainly do not suggest foregoing hand washing, there are still many surfaces that need to be touched in order to exit the facility. This is where hand sanitizer comes in. It destroys those germs that we come in contact with after washing our hands. Plus, unlike soap and water which can leave hands dry, many of today’s sanitizers contain moisturizer, soothing as it kills.

Hand sanitizer is an incredibly fun way to get clean, and enjoy doing so. The fragrances are endless, and the specific therapies are as well. Bath and Body Works has a huge line of sanitizers, and it continues to grow. Scents vary all across the board, and their unique travel sleeves and compact sizes allow the sanitizer to easily hang from any bag and are an increasing trend.
The steady growth in the use of hand sanitizer has been beneficial to a generation so consumed with the worry of germs and illness. The use of hand sanitizer has been proven to reduce the spread of cold and flu viruses. This creative technique to promote the use of cleanliness has been embraced significantly.

Washing hands
By: Tyler Moulton

Although hand sanitizer is a commonly used product to clean hands, people should really look under the microscope when they are finished. Hand sanitizer does kill the bacteria, but it does not get into the small places on your hands where it is most likely to be. Using hand sanitizer can also be dangerous, but when using soap and warm water there are hardly any risks.
When it comes to using hand sanitizer, there are some risks. Some people may be allergic to the chemicals in it (when it touches their skin or from the smell of it,) however there are not many people who are allergic to soap and water. If infants and toddlers get hold of hand sanitizer they could possibly swallow it, which would make them extremely sick or possibly kill them. It could even get in their eyes and cause them pain.

Using soap with any temperature of water will work better than hand sanitizer, but warm water and soap is the best. When using warm water and soap, it eliminates the living temperature for the bacterium which is a key part in their growth. The soap kills them and the warm water washes them away. Together, they can reach small cracks on your hands like under your finger nails, while hand sanitizer can only reach the main places on the hand and doesn’t get rid of the bacteria.

Also, water and soap is not just used for washing hands, but to clean off dirty places such as a car, table, or a counter top. Water and soap have been around longer then hand sanitizer and has been most commonly used. Hand sanitizer is mainly used for a backup after people get done washing their hands, but the water and soap are mainly relied on to get the job done.
All in all, warm water and soap are more effective than hand sanitizer.