Most antibacterial hand wash products sold in the markets claim to be capable of killing 99.9% bacteria. But in effect, they can kill viruses, pathogens, and other germs with equal efficiency. In today’s time when the Covid-19 pandemic is raging across the world, the importance of antibacterial hand wash cannot be overemphasized. The pandemic has shown that every human can be a potential carrier of the deadly coronavirus and, therefore, we must maintain a safe distance from anyone outside our homes.
Why must we use antibacterial hand wash?
But even if we maintain a safe distance, the problem is not totally over. An infected person can spread the bacteria or viruses onto the surfaces that he touches in the course of his normal life. These surfaces could be doorknobs, lift switches, and different surfaces in public places. Virtually everything is susceptible to be infected by a person. To minimize the risk of spreading infection, the least we can do is to use alcohol based antibacterial hand wash. It kills bacteria, viruses, and all kinds of germs in our hands. So, when we touch a surface with a hand fully sanitized, there is no risk of passing on an infectious bacteria or virus.
Why is antibacterial hand wash so effective?
An antibacterial hand wash usually contains alcohol and chlorine. It may also contain other chemicals that can kill bacteria and viruses more effectively. Among some of the common chemicals used in antibacterial hand washes is triclosan or triclocarban. These are strong chemicals and if applied properly they can sanitize the hand surfaces efficiently. In a hospital environment where a health worker goes on to offer medical treatment from one patient to another, if he does not use antibacterial hand wash often, he might end up communicating the infection from patient to patient. So, the use of antibacterial hand wash is extremely necessary for many circumstances including when dealing with an infected patient whether at home or hospital.
Antibacterial vs. soap hand wash
In normal circumstances, however, the use of antibacterial hand wash may be avoided. Why? It is because it may kill more bacteria than necessary. In our hands and other body surfaces, there are bacteria that our bodies need to fend off harmful bacteria. When we use strong antibacterial hand wash we end up washing off even good bacteria. This should be avoided in normal circumstances. Vigorous handwashing with soap and water lasting for about 20 seconds and rinsing away between the fingers can be as effective as an antibacterial hand wash. This practice should be maintained always when there is no serious threat of infection.