Making sure your hands are clean are one of the most important ways to prevent illnesses caused by the transfer of germs. Bacteria and viruses are everywhere and unless you live in complete isolation you are exposed to hundreds of germs every day.
You would be surprised as to how many people do not wash their hands after coming in contact with hundreds of germs during an act, such as using the bathroom. According to studies, only about 77% of men and 93% of women wash their hands after using a public restroom.
According to the Food and Drug Administration, it is recommended that hand sanitizers are not used to replace soap and water, but are only used as an adjunct. Research has even shown that plain soaps are just as effective, if not more effective than antibacterial soaps when reducing bacteria related illnesses. It is even proven that antibacterial soaps can increase bacterial resistance to antibiotics.
Even though it is recommended that you wash your hands whenever possible, there are some tips on when it is best to sanitize your hands as opposed to washing them. It is important that you wash your hands when you can actually see the dirt or any substance on your hands. After sneezing or coughing, after using the bathroom, after contact with bodily fluids, and before preparing food are all times necessary to wash hands. It is okay to use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when your hands are not visibly soiled, before and after contact with a sick person and after coughing or sneezing.
It is sometimes difficult to find somewhere to wash your hands, so it is always a good idea to carry some hand sanitizer with you to help to prevent the transfer of germs to you or to anyone around you.