July 3, 2022, 8:42 pm

Siyam Hoque

2020-06-04 06:15:28 BdST

Hand sanitisers or soap and water: Which is more effective?

Since the beginning of the coronavirus pandemic, there have been debates over which is more effective – hand sanitisers or soap and water.

There were rumours that sanitiser gel was more effective in removing coronavirus, which led to a soaring sale of the gel and wipes.

But is it really more effective than the simple soap and water?

Studies have suggested that using running water and soap to wash hands is more effective than a dab of hand sanitiser gel, reports Xinhua.

A study by the American Society for Microbiology last year showed that antibacterial gel cannot be adequately rubbed in during use.

On the other hand, washing hands with soap will dislodge viral cells from hands, and rinsing thoroughly with running water will remove them completely, which is key to washing away viruses.

Experts say hand sanitiser with over 60 per cent alcohol content is effective in killing most viruses. However, the must-have alcohol can be harmful to sensitive skins and even cause damage to healthy ones.

A spokesperson for Japanese chemical products company Kao Corporation has said that too much hand gel can dry out the skin and remove natural oils on the surface, increasing vulnerability to infection.

So, hand sanitisers are best used in moderation, and should always come as the second choice when hand washing is not possible.

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