Hand Sanitizer vs Soap: What Works Best Against Germs?

Posted on 02/11/2019

Hand sanitizers and soaps are the best line of defense against germs, especially during flu season.  Germs are everywhere, and we’ve summarized the ‘dirty dozen’ places where you’re most susceptible to getting germs. As many as 400,000 germs (per hand) can accompany you as you go about your day:

The ‘dirty dozen’ places where germs love to hide:

1. Public Bathrooms

2. Restaurants

3. Your Workplace

4. Airplanes

5. Hotels

6. Swimming Pools

7. Movie Theaters

8. Day Care Centers

9. Schools

10. Your Home

11. Your Doctor’s Office

12. Hospitals

But which one works better – hand sanitizer or soap? And what kind is best?

In a recent study, alcohol-based hand sanitizer showed significantly fewer bacteria colonies compared to ‘natural’ non-alcohol sanitizer’s. Researches provide the alcohol-based sanitizers work because alcohol breaks up bacterial proteins and kills them.

What about soap? Tests comparing regular and antibacterial soap found they were about equally effective in fighting germs and bacteria. Though these soaps might have similar effectiveness, it’s how you use them that are important. Studies show most of us spend around ­­five seconds washing our hands at the sink and that's not sufficient. You have to wash your hands for a full 20 seconds to really get the bugs off.

When it comes to fighting bacteria, washing your hands with any kind of soap for the appropriate amount of time is your best option but hand sanitizers work well if you can't get to a sink. Look for a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.


At Raining Rose, all of our hand sanitizer sprays contain 62 percent alcohol, and all of our hand sanitizer gels contain a minimum of 65 percent alcohol (some contain 70 percent). For a quick look at the hand sanitizer products we offer, visit our products page and select “Hand Sanitizer” under the “Filter by Category” option. Included in our offerings is the popular Iced Pear Hand Sanitizer with Silicone Attachment, as well as the vanilla-scented Credit Card Hand Sanitizer Spray.