Is hand sanitizer as effective as hand washing?

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You can’t walk through an office without seeing big bottles of hand sanitizer. Many of us keep a bottle in our purses and cars… maybe you’ve even thrown one in your child’s backpack.

But, did you know that using hand sanitizers does not replace washing hands with warm soap and water?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, hand sanitizers can be used in addition to hand washing, but should not be used as a substitute for washing with soap and water.

The alcohol-based sanitizers can reduce the number of some germs, but not as well as soap and water.

Hand sanitizers can certainly come in handy when we’re not near a sink, but it’s important not to rely too heavily on them.

And remember, it takes 20 seconds of proper hand washing to eliminate germs.