Handwashing Kills Germs
Science tells us—as did most of our parents—to wash your hands. It’s one of the most important steps to prevent the spread of germs and to avoid getting sick.1 In fact, studies have shown that handwashing can prevent 1 in 5 respiratory infections, like the cold or the flu, and 1 in 3 diarrhea-related sicknesses.2
Soap Types & Germs
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention notes that bar soap and liquid soap are both effective, and that there is no added benefit to using antibacterial soap compared with plain soap. All of the above soaps are equally effective at killing germs.2
Hand Sanitizer: An Effective Way to Kill Germs
While washing hands with soap and water is the most effective way to reduce germs, it may not always be convenient or if there is a disaster, clean, running water may not be available.1 In these instances, the use of an alcohol-based hand sanitizer—liquid or wipes—that contains at least 60% alcohol is an effective option for quickly reducing the number germs on your hands.2
Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
In addition to the convenience of hand sanitizer on the go, you can also whip up your own hand sanitizer with some of your favorite healthy home products right from the comfort of your own kitchen or bathroom. Just follow the recipe below, adjusting the amounts to make larger or smaller batches as desired.
DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe
- 1/3 cup Swanson® Aloe Vera Gel
- 2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol)
- Small, watertight container(s)
- Essential oils for aroma—we love Swanson® Certified Organic Lemon and Swanson® Certified Sweet Orange essential oils
- Mix together the Swanson® Aloe Vera Gel and the rubbing alcohol
- Add in your essential oils for aroma
- Pour mixture into your airtight container(s)
- Grab, rub and go!
For more educational resources on handwashing and hand sanitizers, check out the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s handwashing fact sheets. Want to learn more about protecting your immune health? Check out the articles The Science Behind Your Immune System & How to Keep it Strong, Benefits of Vitamin C and 21 Vitamins & Supplements for Immune Health and Jetsetter Wellness: Staying Healthy on the Go.
About Lindsey Toth, MS, RD
Registered Dietitian, Swanson Health Products
Lindsey is a nationally-recognized registered dietitian and nutritionist with a soft spot for ice cream. She empowers people to take charge of their health by finding the balance between the pleasure and nourishment in food. Her philosophy is that you should take care of your body because it’s the only permanent home you have. It’s what inspired her to pursue a career in nutrition and, ultimately, led her to Swanson Health.
1 3 Reasons Why Handwashing Should Matter to You. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://blogs.cdc.gov/publichealthmatters/2018/10/handwashing-matters/
2 Handwashing at Home, at Play, and Out and About. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/pdf/handwashing-poster.pdf