I wish I was less of a scientist… when thinking about hand sanitizer

I wish I was less of a scientist when I have to use hand sanitizer.

Today in the kitchen at work, I noticed two bottles of hand sanitizer next to the sink and thought to myself, “Why in God’s name would you use hand sanitizer when you had access to soap and water?”

Really, why would you? I wouldn’t, for the reason below.

Source and Explaination here.

Source (xkcd) and Explaination here.

Another thing to consider- hand sanitizer just kills the bacteria/viruses, it doesn’t remove their dead corpses from your hands.  If you had poop on your hand, but I assured you all the bacteria in it were dead, would be fine with leaving the poop on your hands?

There’s a difference between disinfected (no infectious agents to get you sick) and clean (free from germs, dirt, and filth).  I much prefer clean.

My mother (a school nurse and RN) always jokes, “Back in my day, we didn’t declare a jihad on germs, we just washed them away with soap and water.”  She has a point.

I do use hand sanitizer, but only when there is no soap and water available, and even then I like to use it and then use a baby wipe to wipe them off once they are dry.

Even the CDC recommends soap and water over a hand sanitizer (see here for the recommendation and step by step instructions on how to wash your hands)!

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Filed under I wish I was less of a scientist..., Scientist

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