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Handwashing vs Sanitizer? Which do you prefer?

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On my cruises, I notice the cruise staff advises sanitizers do a better job cleaning than handwashing.  I'm skeptical of this and with medical reports in recent days... I'm wondering if cruise lines will change their viewpoint.

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As a nurse we always soap and water hand wash before eating, because sanitizer doesn't work for food born illness.  But what are they going to do, set up sinks in front of the dining room. I always pop into the bathroom on my way and wash. But the reason soap and water works is the vigorous rubbing of your hands. So if you must use sanitizer, rub your hands vigorously as if you are washing at the sink; keep rubbing through the ABC song.

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57 minutes ago, xlxo said:

cruise staff advises sanitizers do a better job cleaning than handwashing

I don't know what lines you sail on, but the ones I sail on usually have a note in all the dailies reminding guests if the wisdom of frequent handwashing.  Some lines are even placing handwashing stations at the entrance of the buffet. And of course there are also bathrooms close to all of the dining spots, where guests can wash their hands.

 

However, for those guests who are less than scrupulous about handwashing,  having the hand sanitizer dispensers outside all of the dining venues is better than nothing.

 

Even the article you cited states "Alcohols are preferable, better and faster, for actually killing germs but not removing dirt, residue or organic material,” Larson added. “It is, however, clearly the best option whenever a sink and clean materials (soap, towels) are not available.”

Edited by mom says

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And interestingly, sanitizers are not great against noro virus.

 

 

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Hand washing when available.  Sanitizer in other situations.  The reason the crew advises sanitizer is people don't wash their hands thoroughly.   

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MSC Seaside has handwashing stations when entering and leaving the buffet areas.  Especially handy after eating a messy sandwich, no need to hunt out the restroom to wash.  I believe they have them on Celebrity Edge, too.  EM

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It's not which one I prefer, but which one is more effective. And it's NOT hand sanitizer.

Good old-fashioned handwashing with soap and water, plus a healthy amount of scrubbing, and thorough rinsing, is the way to go.

Leave the sanitizer for situations where soap and water is not available.

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It's a FACT that handwashing with soap and water is a far better deterrent than sanitizers.  Most sanitizers work on bacteria but not viruses.  

 

Part of the problem is that people don't actually wash their hands, they run them under water for a few seconds.  That isn't enough, and frankly it's disgusting.  In order to truly get your hands clean, they must be washed with soap and water for 60 seconds.  When I was in hospital a couple years ago they had signs that the first five seconds is water, then a lather with soap and rinse for 15 seconds, then a second lather with soap where you also clean under fingernails for 20 seconds, and then the last 20 seconds (or longer if you need it) is rinse.

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I much prefer hand washing. I hate the feel of hand sanitizer. 

Of course, I wonder what would happen if you told one of the "sprayers" that have to get everyone that you are allergic, do they just let you go?

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If you go to a doctors office even ones that have sinks the doctors seem to only use hand sanitizers.

Although to me washing is preferable I find myself using Purelly the majority of the time when out of my home.

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Hand washing...it actually REMOVES dirt and bacteria.  Sanitizers leave everything still on your skin....whether it's totally "dead" is anyone's guess.

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I prefer to wash, but the soap on the cruise ships leaves my hands cracking after about a week -- this thread is a good reminder to make sure I've got some hand lotion in my day bag for our upcoming trip to use after washing!

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43 minutes ago, lenquixote66 said:

If you go to a doctors office even ones that have sinks the doctors seem to only use hand sanitizers.

Although to me washing is preferable I find myself using Purelly the majority of the time when out of my home.

 

If you look closely, most times in medical areas, it is NOT Purell or even an alcohol based sanitizer.

 

 

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If I have to pick a side, handwashing, without a doubt. 

 

It worked for hundreds of years, and we got by mostly fine.  I wash my hands after using the bathroom, before eating, after returning from ports, after touching an animal, and so on.  I only use sanitizer in medical settings, like a clinic or a hospital, and when social norms dictate it.  For example, before walking into the lido buffet, even if I washed my hands minutes earlier.  It's no skin off my nose to do it, and worth the effort to keep people from looking at me suspiciously.

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1 hour ago, lenquixote66 said:

If you go to a doctors office even ones that have sinks the doctors seem to only use hand sanitizers.

Although to me washing is preferable I find myself using Purelly the majority of the time when out of my home.

 

Maybe you need to find a new doctor.  Mine all wash their hands in a sink with soap and water as they enter the room.

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Princess has hand washing stations at entrance to buffet on several ships we have cruised, which are coupled with sanitizers monitored by ship staff atbuffet entrance.  We use both typically, in a shirts&suspenders effort. 

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48 minutes ago, SimplyMarvie said:

I prefer to wash, but the soap on the cruise ships leaves my hands cracking after about a week -- this thread is a good reminder to make sure I've got some hand lotion in my day bag for our upcoming trip to use after washing!


You can also bring your own soap.  

 

I don't leave my house/cabin without some hand lotion in my pocket or bag.  Because I cruise on small ships, I return to my cabin to use my bathroom instead of the public ones.  

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Do both, at every opportunity.    Hand washing is the first line of defense (and don't touch your face even with clean hands), sanitizer second.   Sanitizers may not be very effective against viruses but then can kill some other very nasty organisms such as e coli.     

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6 hours ago, ducklite said:

 

Maybe you need to find a new doctor.  Mine all wash their hands in a sink with soap and water as they enter the room.

 

6 hours ago, ducklite said:


You can also bring your own soap.  

 

I don't leave my house/cabin without some hand lotion in my pocket or bag.  Because I cruise on small ships, I return to my cabin to use my bathroom instead of the public ones.  

The last time I was at a doctor who washed her or his hands was before Purcell was in use.

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Must admit that my wash/sanitize didn’t save me from the woman in the buffet line who spun around and hacked a massive open cough directly in my face.  Honestly, if you DO get sick use room service and avoid the general population, and at least cover your mouth.  Geeze!

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12 hours ago, lenquixote66 said:

 

The last time I was at a doctor who washed her or his hands was before Purcell was in use.


Take a look at the science.  Purell does nothing against most viruses.  My husband is an EMT.  They carry a different sanitizer than the public can buy.  It is used on scene after flooding the contaminated area with water as a stop gap until they can get to a facility where they can properly wash their hands and any other surface that came into contact with blood or other bodily fluids.  It is not considered a substitute for hand washing.

 

 

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On 9/22/2019 at 7:55 AM, leaveitallbehind said:

RCI's newer ships also now have handwashing stations as you enter the buffet.

And I can't tell you how many times I saw people just breeze right through that space on Anthem last year, either because they couldn't be bothered to wait for an open sink or because they just didn't care that it was proper hygiene to do it. 

 

I usually stop by my room before heading to a meal, I wash my hands there and try not to touch anything on my way to the meal, with the sanitizer at the venue entrance the last defense...

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20 hours ago, SimplyMarvie said:

I prefer to wash, but the soap on the cruise ships leaves my hands cracking after about a week -- this thread is a good reminder to make sure I've got some hand lotion in my day bag for our upcoming trip to use after washing!

Of course, when you reach into your bag to get that lotion after washing, you pick up whatever had been on your hands the last time you used the bag.  It kind of undermines the point of washing your hands before meals.

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