Our hands are covered with germs! Around 800,000 germs, at this very moment, some of which are flu germs or norovirus!
So what works best when it comes to fighting germs, soap or hand sanitizer? University of Maryland researchers recently put both methods to the test in a germ face-off!
They coated their hands with bacteria, then pressed them to petri dishes before and after cleaning their hands one of four different ways: With regular soap, antibacterial soap, alcohol-based hand sanitizer, and an alcohol-free sanitizer.
Then, they stuck the dishes in an incubator to analyze bacteria growth.
The result? Both regular and antibacterial soap got rid of the most bacteria and viruses. But the real key is how you use soap. Studies show most of us only spend five seconds at the sink, that's not enough. Researchers say you have to wash your hands for 20 seconds to get the bugs off.
So, how did hand sanitizers do? Researchers say they’re a good option when you can’t get to a sink, but they eliminate a lot fewer bacteria than soap. But non-alcohol based sanitizers aren’t worth the money - because they do almost nothing. Instead, go for a sanitizer that contains at least 60-percent alcohol. Because alcohol destroys the proteins in bacteria, killing them off.