Dr. UMA(Professor & HOD, AIIMS)Washing hands with soap and water is better than rinsing with just water or using hand sanitizer.
1. Washing with water only- Reduces the amount of infective agents but does not remove them completely.
2. Washing with soap and water – Removes infective agent completely. Soap is made of innumerable molecules which have two ends , one fat(lipid)-loving and other water-loving. Fat loving end of soap molecule compete with the outer lipid layer (envelop) in virus and penetrate it leading to disintegration of virus which then gets removed by water. Also, fat loving end of soap molecule break the bond between dirt, infectious agents and hand which get easily washed away with water.
3. Wash hands for at least 20secs each time.
4. Using soap & water for hand washing is better than using hand sanitizer .
If using sanitizer ‘Remember’
A. Sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol.
B. Use sufficient amount of sanitizer to cover all areas of hands.
C. It is not very effective if hands are visibly dirty