Do I need to use antibacterial soap?
No. Antibacterial soap is no better than a good cleaning of conventional soap and water to remove pathogenic microbes or prevent diseases they can cause. Studies do not show differences in the number of diseases that affect people and families who use this soap compared to conventional soap. In addition, there are concerns that soap may make bacteria more resistant to antibiotics, but more research is needed. The FDA banned the use of certain antibacterial soap ingredients in 2016, but the replacement may not be much better.
What you need to do: Wash your hands properly
To truly protect yourself, vigorously sweat at least 20 seconds, the amount of time it takes to sing the “Happy Birthday” song twice. Then rinse and dry with a clean towel. If you’re using a public sink, turn off the faucet (and open the door at the exit) with a paper towel. The tap handles often contain about 229,000 microbes per square inch!
Is soap and water more effective than hand disinfectants to remove certain types of bacteria?
Mostly. According to the CDC, soap and water kill certain microbes better and most people don’t use enough hand disinfectants to make them as effective as possible. However, antibacterial gels and alcohol-based towels are a proven, antimicrobial alternative to rid your hands of bacteria and viruses when soap and water are unavailable. In one study of 292 families with young children in Boston, those who used hand sanitizers for five months reduced the spread of gastrointestinal infections by 59 percent. In another study, families who washed hand gels about five times a day reduced the risk of a cold by 20 percent compared to families who were less likely to wash their hands. For best results, squeeze half a half half(about five cents in diameter) or grab a napkin and vigorously thave your hands, front and back. Note that alcohol-based hand gels must contain at least 60% alcohol to effectively destroy microbes.
Do you need to use an antibacterial household cleaner?
Like hand soap, a regular household cleaner is sufficient. Still, antimicrobial products probably won’t hurt you and can reduce the transmission of some bacteria that are important when someone in your home has an infection. What’s the downside? These cleaners fight bacteria, but are not necessarily viruses, and many common infections such as colds and flu are caused by viruses. In addition, if you don’t follow the instructions, you usually have to leave for about 10 minutes, but most people don’t, so you can’t work the magic of antibacterial.
That you’d like to try make a handmade cleaner
Hot water and dishwashing detergents have been proven to be effective for killing bacteria on the surface of the kitchen and bathroom. And baking soda and vinegar solutions, commercial cleaners tapped 99.9 percent, but another study killed 90 percent of bacteria such as Salmonella, Staphylococcus aureus and E. coli. Depending on the bacteria hanging out around, the 9.9 percent difference means the difference between being healthy or getting sick, and may be especially important if your home includes babies, the elderly, or people with weakened immunity.