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Hand Soap vs Sanitizer: Which to Buy to Fight Coronavirus?

Hand sanitizer is in short supply at the moment – but is it really better to use hand sanitizer than regular hand soap and water? Here are the answers.

Stay home, keep your distance, wash your hands – these are phrases that have become commonplace in the last couple of months. No one would have thought that the government would be forcing people to remain indoors, or that the Health Minister would be advising citizens on which songs to sing while washing their hands. But should you be using soap or hand sanitizer while singing that tune?

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Still, this is the new reality that we now find ourselves in. The coronavirus has killed 82,000 people as of writing this article, and it’s going to take many more lives before it goes away. Washing your hands is considered to be one of the most effective ways to stop yourself from getting the coronavirus.

Why is washing your hands so important?

Washing your hands will kill the virus on your hands. As you wander around the city, opening doors and pressing elevator buttons, not to mention shaking hands with people and holding the rail in the subway, you’re picking up tons of germs. Some of those could be the coronavirus – assuming someone infected had spread the coronavirus particles there.

The virus is believed to live on surfaces for many hours, which means that there is ample time for you to touch it and then touch your mouth, nose, or eyes. Then, bam. You’re infected.

Washing your hands frequently and avoiding touching your face are the best weapons that you have against the virus when out in public.

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Which is better: Soap or hand sanitizer?

This takes us to the question of the day: what should I be using to wash my hands? The answer to that is soap or hand sanitizer. But which one is better? Soap.

Washing your hands thoroughly with regular soap will do a better job at killing any virus that you may have touched than hand sanitizer will. That’s not to say that hand sanitizer isn’t also effective – it is – but washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is the best way to ensure you’re not about to get infected.

Soap is generally being left out of the panic buying spree that has briefly gripped most Western nations. Many people ran for the hand sanitizer and totally forgot about the real weapon. There are many discount hand soaps to choose from - you don’t need a $12 scented soap with Himalayan salt in it. Just buy the $1 discount hand soap from your local store. Simple.

Why is soap better than hand sanitizer?

The reasons for this are varied. First of all, hand sanitizer is applied to hands quickly and isn’t washed off. With soap and water, you can wash continuously for much longer – 20 seconds at least – and wash off all of the residues.

On top of that, there is a lot more friction involved when washing your hands with soap. This helps to destroy the liquid droplets that the coronavirus (and other viruses) encase themselves in. The drying that follows also makes the skin his habitable for viruses.

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When are hand sanitizers good?

Hand sanitizers need to be at least 60% alcohol to be effective and this can cause skin irritation. They’re best carried around as a backup for when you can’t wash your hands in a sink. In fairness, there are many circumstances where you might want to have hand sanitizer on you.

Hand sanitizers have shot up in price by up to 200%, but you can still get good quality, alcohol-based hand sanitizers with coupon codes. Use this hand sanitizer discount coupon to get a good deal on Purell Hand Sanitizer.

If you’re walking around in the city, then sinks might not be available – especially on public transport – so it makes sense to carry some around. The thing is, soap and water are way more effective at destroying viruses, so your best bet is to stick to the good stuff and always try to avoid bar soap in public.

What to take away

So, now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s have a quick review:

  • Soap is better than hand sanitizer

  • Always wash and scrub for at least 20 seconds

  • Use a hand drying if possible

  • Avoid bar soap when out of the house

  • Carry hand sanitizer as a backup precaution and when on public transport

  • Remember to sing a tune when washing ;)