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If you are like most people, you are probably concerned with germs and keeping your hands clean. However, you might not know whether it’s better to wash your hands with soap or use hand sanitizer. Check out our pros and cons of each one so that you can decide which one is better for you.

Hand Soap

Long before hand sanitizer was invented, people relied on soap and water in order to get their hands clean. While washing your hands is generally considered the best way to get rid of germs, there are also some cons to it as well. Here’s what you need to know.


Effective – By washing your hands with soap and water, you can thoroughly kill any germs on your skin. You can use pretty much any hand soap that you’d like as even mild or natural ones tend to be very effective.

Cheap – It doesn’t cost a lot to wash your hands. If you factor in the cost of soap and water, most people probably only spend a few cents a day washing their hands. This makes it a very cost-effective way to get rid of germs.


Not always convenient – Washing your hands doesn’t take that long, but it isn’t always convenient if you are in a rush. You really need to wash your hands for about 20 seconds in order to kill germs, and you will also have to spend a few seconds drying them. Many people try to hurry the process of washing their hands, and they end up not washing them for long enough to kill all of the bacteria on them.

Limited Access – You won’t always have access to soap and water. Because of the limited access to these supplies at times, you will need to utilize another method to get rid of germs on your hands.

Hand Sanitizer

There are all sorts of different types of hand sanitizer available. However, there are some things that you should keep in mind when trying to decide whether it’s the best way for you to remove germs on your hands.


Portable – It’s small size allows you to always have it with you to use no matter where you are. You can take hand sanitizer anywhere you go, and it can easily be stored in your purse, car or even your pocket.

Quick – It only takes a few seconds to use hand sanitizer. It’s a great option for those that are pressed for time.


Not Always Effective – Hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol in order for it to be effective. It may be necessary for you to read the ingredients on the label of the hand sanitizer in order to determine how much alcohol is in it.

Can Be Irritating – Some people do experience irritation that can result in itching or redness. The alcohol can be very drying to the skin as well, and it can cause cracks in the skin.

In conclusion, both hand sanitizer or washing your hands with water and soap can be effective at getting rid of germs on your hands. However, there are some cons of using each one. While keeping your hands clean is an important part of hygiene, you also need to be concerned about your oral health as well. By brushing and flossing daily and seeing your dentist regularly, you can have good oral hygiene. Give Dental Specialty Associates a call today to set up an appointment for a cleaning or exam.