When your hands are dirty do you reach for soap, alcohol hand sanitizer, non-alcohol hand sanitizer, or a wipe? In fact, many people are ditching the age-old method of soap and water for hand sanitizers and wipes. In this experiment I decided to put these methods of cleaning your hands to the test by rubbing my hand on a basketball and then dousing them with a hand cleaner. This report will cover what bacteria is, how soap and water kill bacteria, the origin of hand sanitizer, why you should clean your hands, the difference between natural and alcohol based hand sanitizer, if wipes even work, and many more interesting topics.
What Are Bacteria?
Bacteria are minuscule single-celled organisms that are found everywhere (Nordqvist, Christian). It is impossible to escape bacteria. They are everywhere. They are in your stomach and in the air. Some bacteria are beneficial while others can kill (“Bacteria and Hand Washing”). The most common bacteria found on hands are Staphylococcus epidermis, or Staph. Staph is harmless when it is just on your hands but if it enters the body via a cut it can be very dangerous(Kelly, Patti). From the kitchen sink to your coffee cup, everything is covered in bacteria. Just imagine how many bacteria are in your hands right now ("KidsHealth”)
The idea of hand sanitizer has exploded from a joke to a $175 million dollar business. Now when you walk into a store hand sanitizer rules the shelves. Does hand sanitizer even work? Recent study has concluded that although hand sanitizer does remove germs it cannot cut through dirt or grime. So, you could really only clean your hands with hand sanitizer after you had washed your hands with soap and water(Kelly, Patti).
Why Should You Clean Your Hands?
Cleaning your hands is the best way to stop germs and bacteria from spreading. You touch millions of objects a day and each object has millions of bacteria. So, each day your hands are swarming with millions of both harmful and healthy bacteria(“KidsHealth”).
The Beginnings of Hand Sanitizer
Hand Sanitizer was not always such a big business. David Owens from the New Yorker states, “In 1988, a family owned hand-soap company in Ohio invented an alcohol-based hand cleaner which was meant to be used by health-care workers when soap and water were unavailable.” This was a big breakthrough. Before hand sanitizer had been greasy and white. Salesmen went into stores squirting this product onto people’s hands but no one would buy it. David Owens explains, “People couldn’t get their minds around it. They didn’t know what it was for.” This unsellable product was Purell. Purell now rules the shelves of supermarkets worldwide.
How Does Hand Sanitizer Kill Bacteria?
"Dictionary.com" defines hand sanitizer as a "preparation or substance that is used for killing germs. “But how does it kill bacteria? The answer in many hand sanitizers is alcohol. There are two major ingredients in alcohol that are used in hand...