Hand sanitizers

For at least two years we have been buying and selling “hand sanitizers”, gels made from alcohol that are supposed to kill germs when you rub them in. Purell and Lysol are popular, also Bath and Body Works sells a number of scented ones. Have these products had any effect on the incidence of colds, flu, or other such diseases? Sales reps from these companies could not answer this for me.

Didn’t Unca Cece address this recently? Bottom line was that germs are everywhere and that antibiotic soaps were probably counterproductive since they just increased the germs’ resistance. He specifically excluded the alcohol-based disinfectants since they operate on a physical, cell disruption basis.

That’s what I recall, anyway. IMO, we worry too much about small stuff.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”

Well you just go on not worrying, but me, I’m still gonna use the gel sanitizer on my hands after that dirty-diaper change on the hiway, thank you very much. I don’t fancy eating my travel snacks with poo-particles full of living bacteria crawling on them.


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Aw shucks! I didn’t say don’t use 'em!

I had deleted from that post a diatribe about how germophobic some people I know (and one person I’m married to) are. That was the source of the “worry to much” comment. Should have left that out as well, I guess.

I am not, in fact, in favor of not washing your hands after using the restroom, diapering the little ones, etc. And just for good measure you ought to wash your hands before eating and most certainly before preparing food. It’s just that, other than these simple rules, I don’t think it’s worth too much psychic energy thinking about germs.

“non sunt multiplicanda entia praeter necessitatem”

The active ingredient of most hand sanitizers is alcohol. This leads to two conclusions:

  1. There’s no chance of them creating resistent bacteria; alcohol is poison (otherwise, yeast would have mutated into a form that never dies).

  2. A bottle of rubbing alcohol is just as effective and cheaper. Add some perfume if you want to mask the smell.


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Pseudomonas bacteria can live in a bottle of pure alcohol. :slight_smile:

Now themsh my kinduh bactria, my cute lil pushodo buddiesh. " Come to me mah psuedomona babeeeeee." Whoa what do those little rascals do,Holly? I mean besides live in alcohol? I mean can I catch Psuedo pnuemonia or something when using alcohol to keep from catching something? Really, I couldn’t find um in my limited micro bi references.
They must be really physically tough little bugs.That takes a lot of guts. Imagine what a real monas could do. But from a psychological point of view and for sheer intestinal fortitude those E.coli ain’t no shirkers either.


“Pardon me while I have a strange interlude.”-Marx

Those Moist Towelettes have the best instructions, though – “Open packet and use.”