Soap & Water vs. Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer (specifically alcohol-based products) is commonly used to decrease the spread of germs. But are there certain germs or types of germs it does not kill? Below is a list of situations where you should always opt for soap & water instead of hand sanitizer:

  • If hands are soiled or greasy
  • If hands have wounds or open sores
  • Stomach or intestinal bugs that cause vomiting and/or diarrhea
  • Hand, Foot and Mouth

Note: hand sanitizer manufacturers are prohibited by the FDA from making claims about virus reduction. It is widely believed, however, that alcohol-based sanitizers adequately eliminate common cold viruses, including influenza.