If you haven’t gotten the memo to wash your hands regularly, especially now with COVID-19 floating around, it’s time to break out the soap and get scrubbing. But something that’s not as clear is whether you should stock up on hand sanitizer, or even make your own if the Jumia prices are giving you heartburn.
So, what do the experts recommend? Wash your hands whenever possible, and if you can’t get to a sink, sanitizer is good, too (both the kind from the store and the kind you can make). Here’s the breakdown of why soap comes first, and why sanitizer has its pros and cons.
The way sanitizer works is primarily through the power of alcohol. Alcohol can “murder” many types of bacteria and viruses by destroying their outermost layer, rendering them unable to take over a host. This isn’t effective with viruses with a hard outer shell, like norovirus. Still, in a pinch, it’ll keep you protected from a lot of the invisible gunk you might pick up on mass transportation or a public restroom.