Alcohol-based Gels vs Hand Rubs

Alcohol-based Gels vs Hand Rubs

woman in black shirt holding white plastic bottle

Which is more effective: alcohol-based gels and hand rubs, or disinfectant alcohol-based wipes? Researchers at Special Pathogens Laboratory in Pittsburgh, PA, wanted to figure out just that.

Their study found that alcohol-based wipes are more effective than alcohol-based hand rubs.

In their study, they said infections acquired in a health care facility could be decreased if there were better hand hygiene products.

In their study, to find which product was more effective, they tested an ethanol wipe against an ethanol rub by immunizing participants' hands with bacteria before the researchers cleaned them with the wipe and the rub. The study used a wipe with 65.9% alcohol and a rub with 62% alcohol. The ethanol wipe was more effective in eliminating bacteria, the study found.

Even though the study's focus was to show the difference between the wipes and the rub, the team also tested antibacterial soap. Although the soap was more effective than both the wipe and the rub, soap requires water to disinfect but wipes and rub do not.