Soap and water washing is more effective – and is the only option with dirty hands…
The current coronavirus situation seems to be causing a great deal of unease, with hand sanitisers “flying off the shelves in UK pharmacies” in the midst of a certain amount of reported “panic among shoppers” according to a recent article on the European Cleaning Journal (ECJ) website.
All of which potentially leads to a significant question being asked – why the mad grab for hand rub gels, when a much more effective hygiene solution is already, as it were, close to hand?
Soap and water hand washing.
The ECJ article states in the aforementioned article that
“The UK Government advice regarding Coronavirus is to carry tissues at all times to catch coughs and sneezes and to wash the hands with soap and water after coughing, sneezing, blowing one’s nose, visiting the washroom and before eating.”
NHS England and NHS Improvement London in their advice Coronavirus public information campaign launched across the UK state
“…wash hands with soap and water…”.
The Fit for Travel website provided by Health Protection Scotland and NHS National Services Scotland advises the more “traditional” method over gels, which should only be deployed if access to the former isn’t available.
“Frequent and careful hand washing is one of the most important ways of preventing the spread of infection.”
“If soap, clean water and towels are not available, alcohol hand rub can be used.”
Gels no good with dirty hands
Perhaps one of the most compelling reasons why soap and water washing is hugely preferable is that rubs are, to any significant extent, of very limited value when hands are anything other than clean. Public Health England’s Novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV) infection prevention and control guidance advises
“Use soap and water to wash hands or an alcohol hand rub if hands are visibly clean.”
“…hand sanitizer will do in a pinch, especially if it has a relatively high alcohol content, but washing is far superior because the physical scrubbing action helps to remove germs.”
You might even say, you have to hand it to soap and water…
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