5 myths about hand sanitizer, debunked

Although washing your hands with soap and water is the most effective way to remove any germs, alcohol-based sanitizers are a strongly recommended substitute when soap and water isn’t available. However, with the growing popularity of sanitizers comes misconception and misinformation.

Below are five common myths about hand sanitizers, debunked.

Myth 1: If you use hand sanitizer, you don’t need to wash your hands

Yes, if you are in a pinch and don’t have access to water you can use sanitizer, but that does not mean hand sanitizers can always be used interchangeably. According to the CDC, classic soap and water still trumps sanitizers for three reasons:

  • Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
  • Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when the hands are visible greasy or dirty.
  • Hand sanitizers might not remove all harmful chemicals (for example, pesticides and heavy metals) from your hands.


Myth 2: Using alcohol-based hand sanitizer can create supergerms

Using alcohol-based sanitizers will not contribute to the creation of supergerms. This is the result of antibiotic resistance, which happens when germs develop the ability to overcome the specific drug designed to kill them.

The active ingredient in most hand sanitizers (including Ethisan) is ethyl alcohol. The alcohol acts within seconds of application, destroying the cell membrane and denaturing proteins within the bacteria destroying it immediately depriving it of any opportunity to adapt


Myth 3: Hand sanitizers kill the “good ones”

There are two types of germs commonly found on our hands. One is transient germs, or as some may call it, illness-causing germs, which we are trying to eliminate. The other “good germs” are resident germs.

It’s true that the alcohol in sanitizers eliminates both types of germs, however, resident germs quickly grow back, unlike transient germs which do not.


Myth 4: Sanitizers dry out your hands

According to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC), they recommend using a hand sanitizer that contains at lease 60% alcohol in order to be effective against transient germs. However, this can cause your hands to feel dry use-after-use. But you can buy hand sanitizers that contain a moisturizing agent that offset this.

At Ethisan all our products have been developed to be used repeatedly without damaging the skin. Our sanitizer is gentler on hands than soap and water because it does not strip natural lipids away from hands.


Myth 5: All hand sanitizers are the same

There are two kinds of hand sanitizers, alcohol-based and non-alcohol-based – both work in different ways. The active ingredient in your sanitizer matters because it will affect its efficiency. Typically non-alcohol-based sanitizers are less effective at neutralizing germs and bacteria compared to alcohol-based sanitizers.

Browse our products to see what sanitizer is best for you.