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An image depicting a comparison between two cartoon-style soap dispensers. The left dispenser is yellow with a happy face, while the right one is blue with a smiling face. "THIS OR THAT?" is written at the top, and "VS" is in the middle below the dispensers. Which one will make you feel healthier?

Soap vs Sanitizer – Which is Healthier?

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Our Verdict

When comparing soap to sanitizer, we picked the soap.


Both are good at killing bacteria / inactivating viruses, but there are several things that set them apart:

  • Soap doesn’t just kill them; it slides them off and away down the drain. That means that any it failed to kill are also off and down the drain, not still on your hands. This is assuming good handwashing technique, of course!
  • Sanitizer gel kills them, but can take up to 4 minutes of contact to do so. Given that people find 20 seconds of handwashing laborious, 240 seconds of sanitizer gel use seems too much to hope for.

Both can be dehydrating for the hands; both can have ingredients added to try to mitigate that.

We recommend a good (separate) moisturizer in either case, but the point is, the dehydration factor doesn’t swing it far either way.

So, we’ll go with the one that gets rid of the germs the most quickly: the soap

10almonds tip: splash out on the extra-nice hand-soaps for your home—this will make you and others more likely to wash your hands more often! Sometimes, making something a more pleasant experience makes all the difference.

Want to know more?

Check out:

Mythbusting Handwashing

Take care!

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