Question: just becaue i use detol or a form of hand sanitiser, does that mean all the germs are gone?

Keywords: , , ,

  1. Not necessarily.

    Detol is a type of disinfectant and it does kill ‘germs’, but it won’t get them all. Some will be missed and some will be resistant to the Detol. Also the key word here is ‘sanitiser’. Sanitisers do not sterilise, they sanitise which means they remove a lot of common germs. Sterilisation on the other hand is intended to destroy all living things present on the the thing being sterilised.

    The huge increase in disinfectant and anti-bacterial agents being used when it’s not actually necessary is actually starting to cause some concern. The danger is that the germs will become resistant to theses agents and then it will be much harder to kill them when we really need to.


  2. Hi Britty – It will depend on the type of hand sanitiser. There are ones that claim to kill 99.99% of germs – but I haven’t found where they get those numbers from, apart from “laboratory tests”. I would be interested to know where the infomation comes from – wouldn’t you?

    The active ingredient in most of these products is not actually disinfectants or anti-bacterial agents, but forms of alcohoI. Not always ethanol (which is the form of alcohol in drinks like beer and wine) but other types like iso-propanol.

    To be effective the product will need to be made of more than 60% alcohol. In the lab where I work, we regularly use 70% alcohol to sterilise our work space. We have spray bottles and wipe down all our surfaces with 70% alcohol (the other 30% is water) before starting our work to remove any contamination from our work environment. And this is very effective.

    There have been studies showing that using hand sanitisers in places like hospitals and child care centres can help stop the spread of stomach bugs – so I would say they are very good at killing germs – but you can never say that ALL the germs are totally gone.