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My SIL is a student studying nursing. She insists that the gels are better than soap and water and refuses to wash her hands when she comes over. I looked it up and this is what they are saying now.
In our house however, the rule is VERY firm--soap and water as soon as shoes are off. I can see the convenience of the gels, but with ds severe food allergies we gotta be traditionalists in that sense cuz the gel doesn't do jack for the allergens. You can't kill proteins.

What are your thoughts on the gels for regular ol' handwashing (not necessarily the allergy issue)?
 

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Soap and water here.
 

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Soap and water here too - whilst the gels may kill bacteria, they do nothing to remove actual 'dirt' kwim? I also really dislike the feel of them on my hands. I do carry a tiny bottle of gel in my diaper bag in case of dire need, but it is my last resort. I almost feel that it 'masks' the dirt....
 

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We use soap and water normally, but I read that using gel, in ADDITION, to real handwashing can cut down on the transmittal of stomach viruses between family members by 40%. So, after recurring bouts of nasty stomach stuff over the winter, we add the gel if someone is sick.
 

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Homemade Soap and water, since the hand gels I've used before have Proplyene glycol in them and I'm trying to be as chemically free as possible.

And the goats milk soap gets my hands clean and they stay smooth too! Haven't had any sickness in our family since we switched to handmade soaps.

Cara
 

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Some medical group did a huge study (I'll have to look it up) that compared soap and water to antibacterial soap/gel. You know what they found? Except in the case of high risk diseases or patients with compromised immune systems, good ole soap and water worked just as well for removing germs. Hospitals are being advised to stick to this system because as we all know, those germs are becoming resistant to the antibacterials in the soap. And guess what? Once you wash your hands with them, that soap goes down the drain and into the water system. Not good!
 

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Some hospitals have started providing gel but it's not because they work better. It's because healthcare personnel are really bad about rushing around & not stopping to take the time to actually wash their hands every time they should. So it's better to provide them with those gels that they can just squirt on & go than to have them doing nothing at all. In your home, plain soap & water is the way to go IMO & that's also what the CDC recommends.
http://www.cdc.gov/od/oc/media/pressrel/fs021025.htm

There's info here toward the bottom about different products:
http://www.cdc.gov/mmwr/preview/mmwrhtml/rr5116a1.htm
 

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When I worked in a nursing home, gels were only to be used inbetween care with different residents as long as hands were not visibly soiled ie if you only helped a resident put a sweater on, or providing a drink, assistance with medication. Any other activity required washing with soap and water. Sorry to your SIL, but 'ol school still rules.
 

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We also have added alcohol gel to hand washing since some bugs love to live near the sink and gel is an extra precaution in the hosp. setting. At home I prefer a regular soap. Antibacterial soaps just cause more resistance and kill off your normal skin flora. I only use gel if you are like out and soap/water is not available.
 

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I have never and will never use the gels(or any antibacterial soap). I am not a believer in destroying all bacterias. If you are exposed to them on daily basis' your body will build natural antibodies to them and fight them off when you are exposed to large amounts. I know that those with severly suppressed immune systems can't/shouldn't be exposed to germs but I'd go to handwashing and non-antibacterial soap. For our family I would rather expose them in small amounts and boost their immune system naturally than rely on a gel to protect the family. Flu's don't hit our family, the last one was over 2 1/2years ago and only 2/7 got it. We went to my moms while 2 of them had it and out of an additional 8 people only 2 more got it. This was all before I started boosting immune systems in my family too.

Our hospital has jars of the gel outside every door with signs posted to use the gel every time you enter or leave the room. I believe this is more an administration thing since I have never seen any patient, visitor or hospital employee actually use it.
 
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