What's Actually The Best Way To Clean Your Hands?

Antibacterial soap? Hand sanitizer? None of the above?

Take a moment to think about your average morning. In the course of just a few hours, many of us are holding onto subway poles, pressing elevator buttons, using communal meeting rooms, and shaking hands with strangers. We're constantly exposing our hands to germs without often even realizing it. 

Some of us keep hand sanitizer at our desks to help keep us from getting sick, but some people say sanitizer does more harm than good. Is that true? Should you always head to the restroom to wash your hands with soap and water instead? And, when it comes to soap, is antibacterial the best option? 

In a new video by YouTube channel AsapSCIENCE, researchers tackle all of these questions. They answer once and for all whether hand sanitizer is actually bad for you and what the best way to clean your hands is. 

So, have you been going about this whole killing germs thing all wrong? 

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Turns out, the number one thing you should be getting rid of is your antibacterial soap. 

"Your best bet is always using regular soap and washing with cold water, saving sanitizer for sink-less situations, and avoiding antibacterial soaps for the sake of your health, the environment, and future generations," the video's narrator said.

Studies have shown that antibacterial soaps are no better at killing bacteria than regular soaps. Antibacterial soaps often contain triclosan, an agent that has been found to contaminate rivers and harm marine organisms in the process. Triclosan has been linked to promoting antibiotic resistance in bacteria, which could potentially lead to superbugs. 

Hand sanitizer most often uses alcohol as its active ingredient which makes it an OK substitute should you find yourself in a position with dirty hands and no bathroom with regular soap in sight.

For more information on the subject, check out the video above.

Cover image via Unsplash 

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