What hand sanitiser actually works on – and all the bugs it won’t kill

This week, coronavirus cases in the UK exceeded 280, leading to widespread panic about the spread of the disease.

Thankfully, there are a number of preventative measures you can take to reduce your risk of catching the COVID-19 virus.

One of these key methods is regular hand-washing, although this can be tricky when you’re on the go.

While hand sanitiser is a great alternative when you’re out and about, experts have warned that it’s not as effective as using hot water and soap.

Now, Popular Science has created a handy diagram to show what hand sanitiser actually works on, and all the bugs it won’t kill.


  • Coronavirus: How to protect your workplace amid disease outbreak

  • Coronavirus: Almost half of dog owners kiss their pets despite risk of transmission

On its Instagram , Popular Science explained: “What does hand sanitiser *actually* kill?

“COVID19 has inspired a major debate about hand sanitiser, which only kills certain microorganisms. Use this chart as a helpful guide to what your standard sanitiser (60% alcohol content) actually works on.”

The chart reveals that hand sanitiser is effective against a range of microorganisms, including COVID-19, MRSA, influenza, hepatitis B, E-coli, HIV and tuberculosis (scroll down for the full list).


  • Coronavirus: Women more vigilant than men with hand washing amid outbreak, survey shows

However, hand sanitiser is not protective against eight key microorganisms – norovirus, foot and mouth disease, calicivirus, poliovirus, hepatitis A, Cryptosporidium, Clostridium difficile and polyomavirus.

Based on the findings, experts are urging the public to wash their hands with soap and water where possible.

Speaking to Mirror Online, Babak Afshar, a doctor with Zava, explained: The primary advice is using soap and water to wash your hands – that’s the best way to get rid of bacteria. Hand sanitiser isn’t as good, but is better than nothing, especially if you’ve been out in public.”

Read More

Coronavirus prevention

  • Women more vigilant with hand washing
  • 'Handshake alternatives' explained
  • Baby wipes don't keep your hands clean 
  • 'High-touch' areas to disinfect at home

What hand sanitiser works on

  • COVID-19
  • MRSA
  • Influenza
  • Hepatitis B
  • E-coli
  • Hepatitis C
  • Acinetobacter baumanii
  • Enterococcus faecalis
  • Zika
  • Candida albicans
  • HIV
  • Pseumonas aeruginosa
  • Tuberculosis
  • MERS
  • Ebola
  • SARS

What hand sanitiser doesn’t work on

  • norovirus
  • Foot and mouth disease
  • Calicivirus
  • Poliovirus
  • Hepatitis A
  • Cryptosporidium
  • Clostridium difficile
  • Polyomavirus

Source: Read Full Article