How trusty are antibacterial gels compared to soap and water?

Anti-bacterial gels are so handy, especially in the midst of flu season! But what are its pros and cons when we compare it to trusty soap and water? Admiral is here to shed a little light.

Firstly, how do antibacterial gels work? Simply, the alcohol contained in the gel comes into contact with bacteria and viruses and kills them. However, the alcohol MUST come into contact with the germs in order to eliminate them. Therefore, when choosing a hand sanitiser, opt for one with a good alcohol content – 60 per cent is a good amount (our Purell hand sanitiser is one of the best in the industry, with an alcohol content of 63%).

Bearing the above in mind, it’s pretty obvious then that if you have visible dirt on your hands there may be bacteria underneath the dirt that the alcohol doesn’t get to. In such cases, if soap and water is available one should use it to clean their hands thoroughly. If there is no soap available it would be a good idea to rinse away the dirt with water before using hand sanitiser.   

Something else you must perfect for anti-bacterial gels to be useful is your technique. The alcohol works through friction, so after applying the gel on your hands you need to rub them together rigorously to allow the alcohol to do its job. 

We wouldn’t recommend forgoing routine hand washes with soap and water in favour of anti-bacterial gel – i.e. after using the bathroom or before preparing food – but in day to day situations, when used correctly, the right sanitiser is indeed very effective at keeping your hands germ-free this winter.

Do you have any more questions about hand sanitisers or any other cleaning related queries? We’re always happy to help – tweet us here or ask away on our Facebook page here