Hand Washing vs Alcohol Hand Sanitizer


Hand washing refers to an act of hygiene that involves cleaning of hands with or without the use of water and soap in order to remove dirt or eliminate the threat of microorganisms. Most individuals are trained to wash their hands properly from the early years of life. This is being done with the view to ensuring that all the individuals in the society live a healthy lifestyle. Alcohol hand sanitizers refer to hygienic methods that allow individuals to clean their hands without water and soap. The ethanol fluid in the sanitizer fights bacteria on the hands hence cleaning them. Various researches indicate that hand sanitizers would be more efficient compared to hand washing. In addition, it has been reported that hand sanitizers would be effective in reducing the spread of diseases among individuals.

This essay explicates the differences between hand washing and alcohol hand sanitizers.

According to the research, both hand washing and alcohol hand sanitizers will be efficient in eliminating microorganisms, if they are used effectively. Microorganisms on the hands will be effectively eliminated, if warm running water and soap are used to clean hands. Running warm water would play a major role in the elimination of disease causing bacteria in cases the entire process is adhered to (Rosner, 2007). The research asserts that individuals should ensure that when they clean their hands they rub them thoroughly with soap before washing them in warm running water. This would help to eliminate disease causing elements from the hand skin, hence promoting healthy living. Similarly, alcohol hand sanitizers will be effective in eliminating disease-causing microorganisms in cases, if they are used in a proper way. The research asserts that the effective use of sanitizers is critical in fighting the spread of diseases among individuals. The research on school children showed that children had been reportedly missing school on some occasions due to illnesses caused by lack of observance of rules of hygiene. Thus, it would be more effective to alleviate such cases through both hand washing and alcohol sanitizers (School, 2007).

Alcohol hand sanitizers are vital in reducing the prevalence of diseases while hand washing using soap would be an avenue for increased spread of diseases. According to the research, sanitizers would be effective in reducing the spread of diseases especially among children in schools. It was established in the research, conducted to determine the level of absenteeism in schools, that most students who used sanitizers were no easily affected by the prevailing diseases. Their absenteeism rate declined as compared to the students who continued cleaning their hands using soap (Association, 2011). It means that hand sanitizers would be more effective in fighting against the spread of diseases in the environment. Hand sanitizers are more hygienic compared to soap that is often shared among several people hence increasing the threat of diseases in the environment. Hand sanitizers kill more bacteria as compared to washing hands with soap and water. Thus, it is advised that sanitizers should be kept in the most convenient areas in case, if safety is to be put into consideration.

Alcohol hand sanitizers are effective in saving the time required for hand hygiene compared to hand washing. Sanitization would not involve any following procedures such as drying hands because of the nature of ethanol components used. They have the capability to dry faster as the hands are cleaned by individuals. Thus, they would save an individual’s time and would ensure that less time is spent on hand cleaning (Vessey, Sherwood, Warner, & Clark, 2007). On the other hand, hand washing involves the waste of an individual’s time especially in relation to the procedures required to hands cleaning. The research points out that hand cleaning using water and soap include other procedures related to the hands drying. All of these are wasteful activities that lead to waste of time that could be dedicated to other vital areas. For instance, students reported that, it takes them extra ten minutes to wash hands in the dining hall as they go for lunch. Therefore, individuals should stick to alcohol hand sanitizers in order to save  time required for other vital activities (Vessey, Sherwood, Warner, & Clark, 2007).

Hand washing could also be applied to moral, legal, and ethical practices apart from hygienic factors only, this is unlike alcohol hand sanitizers that focus on hygienic factors. According to the research, Jews apply hand washing to other vital aspects in the society apart from cleanliness. For instance, individuals are supposed to wash their hands every morning as an act of blessing. This indicates that hand washing is not only limited to hygienic factors within the society. Through continuous applications, the practice is adhered, hence, it is easy to adapt to in normal life. The wide applications make hand washing a common practice in such regions. The wide applications of hand washing make it a common practice in the entire world as well as  the ability to follow the steps required. On the  contrary, alcohol hand sanitizers are restrictively used for hygienic purposes (Rosner, 2007). They are strategically placed in the required areas to make it easier for individuals to use. They have limited uses and individuals would only utilize them in the case of observing hand cleanliness standards.

The use of the antibacterial soap has been noted as contributing to bacteria resistance compared to alcohol hand sanitizers use. The research points out that the antibacterial soap is likely to increase the bacterial  resistance because of the low levels of triclosan. There would be massive bacterial resistance hence leading to the emergence of more diseases within the body of an individual. Therefore, it has been discovered that these kind of soap would only cover the upper layers of the washed hands while leaving the other parts directly exposed to bacteria that cause diseases (School, 2007). On the contrary, the alcohol sanitizer has been admited as one of the best methods to help fight bacteria in the process of washing hands. Individuals are able to scrub themselves with the substance in the sanitizer hence effectively killing the bacteria. It exposes bacteria to direct harm through the destruction of the elements used to clean hands. This is a vital characteristic as it makes alcohol sanitizers safer and effective to apply to most areas where hygienic standards are to be observed. For instance, it could be used in hotels to ensure that customers get the best services they require.

Alcohol hand sanitizers increase the level of adherence to hygiene among individuals compared to hand washing. According to the research, alcohol hand sanitizers are more convenient for individuals hence increasing the degree of response to hygienic standards within the environment. Individuals are able to take more caution and ensure that they follow hygienic rules; this boosts hygienic levels in the world hence ensuring that individuals live free from diseases or disease causing elements. The research conducted in the elementary school indicated that most students preferred to use alcohol hand sanitizers as a part of  hygiene observation process. due to their convenience and usability (Association, 2011). On the other hand, hand washing using soap is a tiring activity that would likely reduce the levels of adherence to hygiene rules in the society. The research intimates that individuals would be forced to carry soap from one place to another hence making it difficult to adhere to the existing hygienic standards. In addition, people would stop sharing one soap hence transferring disease causing microorganisms that would affect the next user. Teachers at the elementary school asserted that it was hard to continually cope with washing hands using soap and water (Vessey, Sherwood, Warner, & Clark, 2007).

In conclusion, hand washing is an act of maintaining the levels of hygiene through using soap and water to eliminate the unwanted microorganisms. Hand washing is a practice that is taught among individuals from an earlier age. People are encouraged to observe the hygienic standards to the end in order to ensure that the entire society leads a happier life that is free from any threat of infection. Alcohol hand sanitizers refer to strategically placed hygiene points at various areas that are perceived to be of importance. There is only one similarity that exists for both hand washing and alcohol hand sanitizers. They both would be instrumental in eliminating bacteria in case they are effectively used. The research reports that both hand washing and alcohol hand sanitizers would be effective in fighting off microorganisms that would lead to the spread of diseases within the environment. On the other hand, they have many distinctions. For instance, alcohol hand sanitizer is faster compared to hand washing hence effective in saving time. This means that students would always waste much time in case they resolve to use hand washing. Hand washing is widely applied to many religions, for instance it is used by the Jews to indicate various things related to ethics. Alcohol hand sanitizer can be considered as the best form of maintaining hygiene as compared to hand washing that requires many technicalities. Thus, most individuals should embrace the use of alcohol hand sanitizers.

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