Liz Crenshaw's Guide to Consumer Issues, Recalls and More

Ask Liz: Are Hand Sanitizers Effective?

By Liz Crenshaw and Katie Roberts
|  Thursday, Jul 21, 2011  |  Updated 9:13 PM EDT
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Ask Liz: Are Hand Sanitizers Effective?

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Hand sanitizer: a convenient way to get your hands clean in a hurry. But just how effective is that gel or foam when it comes to killing allergens like peanuts? Does it match up to the likes of washing your hands the old-fashioned way?

The Centers for Disease Control came through with the answer.

Hand sanitizers are able to kill many kinds of germs, including many types of bacteria and viruses. However, they don’t work very well against most allergens.

The CDC said that since allergens aren’t living germs, the sanitizer can’t kill them. So the safest bet is always to wash your hands with soap and water.

If a hand sanitizer is your only option, try to use one that is at least 60 percent alcohol to clean your hands.


Check out more from Liz Crenshaw's Consumer Watch.  Ask Liz a question by clicking here.  You can also follow her on Twitter and Facebook.

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