Talk

Advanced search

Hand gels are anti bacterial, not antiviral. What am I missing?

(96 Posts)
Poetf Fri 09-Oct-20 13:23:43

It just occurred to me, why do we have to antibac our hands everywhere we go, when the gels are not anti viral, so presumably useless against the virus?

OP’s posts: |
NC4NW123 Fri 09-Oct-20 13:24:27

Good question I do not know but I’d like to

ivftake1 Fri 09-Oct-20 13:24:58

Still works against a virus

ivftake1 Fri 09-Oct-20 13:25:19

Destroys the virus's protective layer

diplodocusinermine Fri 09-Oct-20 13:26:36

Anything with 70% plus alcohol content will do the job, and many antibacs also kill viruses. Just read the blurb ( most these days will stipulate if they kill covid).

NannyR Fri 09-Oct-20 13:27:26

If they have a high enough alcohol content (65%?) they also destroy viruses.

thedevilinablackdress Fri 09-Oct-20 13:27:28

The alcohol breaks down the lipid outer layer of the virus. Same as soap.
www.which.co.uk/news/2020/04/hand-hygiene-soap-and-sanitiser-gel-what-you-need-to-know/

wafflyversatile Fri 09-Oct-20 13:28:11

The alcohol destroys the virus protein rendering it useless.

Slightlybrwnbanana Fri 09-Oct-20 13:29:16

Bless

BoulangerieBabs Fri 09-Oct-20 13:29:22

Hand sanitiser with a high enough alcohol percentage will work in a similar way to soap, breaking down the outer layer.

Hand washing is the best way to destroy the virus in your hands but if you're out and have no access to hand washing facilities then it will help to tide you over until you can wash your hands with soap and hot water.

safariboot Fri 09-Oct-20 13:31:39

The best thing is soap and warm water. Sometimes seems like the obsession with "sanitiser" has made people forget that. When restrictions were starting a crapload of businesses closed their handwashing facilities! For fuck's sake.

Hand sanitiser that's 60% or higher alcohol is effective against Covid-19 and most other viruses, but is still second-best to actual washing. Alcohol-free gel is typically ineffective.

Doctors have spend decades trying to get people to realise that viruses are not bacteria, but now "antibacterial" products are being widely marketed for preventing coronavirus! sigh .

dalmationsandcats Fri 09-Oct-20 13:32:39

How has it taken you since March to work this out?!
As everyone has said, as long as it contains 70% alcohol then it will destroy the virus.

Poetf Fri 09-Oct-20 13:44:32

Slightlybrwnbanana

Bless

Bless? Are you trying to be sarcastic?

I do actually have a PhD so your patronising comment has fallen flat. (Clearly, my PhD is not in the anti-viral qualities of hand gels. wink)

I encourage inquisitiveness in my team and fully believe that there are no stupid questions; I would much rather someone ask me something they don’t understand rather than pretend they don’t know.

And to everyone else - thank you for explaining it to me!

OP’s posts: |
Poetf Fri 09-Oct-20 13:46:34

Slightlybrwnbanana

Bless

Oh it gets better - you’re a teacher! Are you this rude to your students when they ask you a question about something they don’t know or understand? Yikes 😬

OP’s posts: |
dementedpixie Fri 09-Oct-20 13:47:29

This was asked at the very start of covid, many months ago. As long as it has at least 60% alcohol then it breaks down the outer lipid layer of the virus and destroys it.

Poetf Fri 09-Oct-20 13:50:00

dementedpixie

This was asked at the very start of covid, many months ago. As long as it has at least 60% alcohol then it breaks down the outer lipid layer of the virus and destroys it.

I clearly missed the memo grin

OP’s posts: |
Slightlybrwnbanana Fri 09-Oct-20 13:50:00

You advanced searched me? I'm flattered. Come on, from a grown-up it was a pretty daft question!

timeforanewstart Fri 09-Oct-20 13:51:39

Dettol is anti bac and also claims to kill some virus as well
Guess they have to proove this in tests to claim this?
I bought handgel at beginning of this of chemist online when it arrived it had no mention of alcohol content when i finally got an answer it was something like 35 % so useless , so i have huge bottle of useless sanitiser now
Learnt to look at the content

bumblingbovine49 Fri 09-Oct-20 13:52:47

Luckily for us the Covid virus does not have a very strong ' envelope' so soap and water and alcohol along with vigorous rubbing break that down.

Some viruses ( eg norovirus) are a lot tougher so are more difficult to get rid of with soap and water and/ or alcohol so hand gels don't work for them anywhere near as well.

In hand gel the anti bacterial chemical action doesn't work on viruses but the alcohol does. So you need to buy one with high enough alcohol content, and it doesn't matter if it is ' antibacterial' or not ( not for Covid as anyway)

Autumngoldleaf Fri 09-Oct-20 13:53:07

Yes op alcohol spears it.

But everyone should remember it's actually a respitory virus... It's airborne so masks, Windows fresh air is the way to go.

timeforanewstart Fri 09-Oct-20 13:53:14

No such thing as a daft question , how would anyone learn if they never asked
What might seem daft to some isn't to another

LadyWithTheNeonSparklers Fri 09-Oct-20 13:56:33

It's not a daft question but it was asked a lot near start of all this.

I do wonder what the hell is in many of the hand gels dispensers in shops.

CrumbsThatsQuick Fri 09-Oct-20 13:58:55

This question made me smile...where have you been for the last 6 months?!!!

Have you also tried.... www.lmgtfy.com

TazMac Fri 09-Oct-20 14:00:59

Some viruses ( eg norovirus) are a lot tougher so are more difficult to get rid of with soap and water and/ or alcohol so hand gels don't work for them anywhere near as well.

I knew that hand gel had to have minimum 60% alcohol to be effective and soap and hot water are better but I didn’t know that other viruses, such as norovirus are tougher to get rid off. What kills off norovirus?

MJMG2015 Fri 09-Oct-20 14:06:41

It's like you've been hibernating since March 🤣🤣

Still it's not, by a long way, the daftest question I've heard today.

You definitely need to be careful when buying it though, as lots will promote that it kills 99.99% of germs (and in small print have bacteria). It NEEDS to have a HIGH alcohol content. There's an ongoing debate what that exact % is but the higher the better & definitely at least 60%

Join the discussion

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.

Join Mumsnet

Already have a Mumsnet account? Log in