thread: Should we bother with Antibacterial handwash?

  1. #1
    Registered User

    May 2006
    Igglepiggle Land

    Question Should we bother with Antibacterial handwash?

    I just spoke to a family friend who said we should do away with antibacterial handwashes in our house as it limits the amount of bacteria the kids can get into, thus making them more suspectable to illnesses outside of our house.

    I can understand where she is coming from, and generally if we are out at a park or shopping centre and the kids have had their hands over a trolley or play equipment (same thing aren't they ), and we go to sit down for a snack I'll pull out the anti bacterial hand wash and rub it over the kids hands (the air drying one) before the kids eat. Generally at home its just DH and I that use the handwash though, and if the kids get dirty hands we just use water to wash their hands.

    What are your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Registered User

    Dec 2007

    I have a small bottle of the no water stuff I keep in my bag JIC but rarely use it - soap and hot water works wonders.

    And yes, the antibacterial stuff is a waste of time imo - it kills the GOOD bacteria on your hands too, not to mention the chemicals etc in it - hideous and unnecessary. Plus like your friend said, I have problem with sterile environments esp for kids anyhow.

    ETA: Another myth like that of the glove wearing while food preparing Total load of bollocks.

  3. #3
    Registered User

    Apr 2008

    hmmm interesting one.

    I have a child who sticks EVERYTHING in her mouth so sometimes I dont know why I bother using handwash when there are germs on everythign else but it makes me feel a bit better! LOL!

    I definitely am all for exposing kids to germs (not having someone cough all over them but YKWIM) but I would definitely keep the handwash as i think it is important for everyone to use after going to the toilet or before preparing food. I think there are enough germs in the world to expose kids to so may as well keep the house as clean as possible.

  4. #4

    Nov 2007

    I have it in my bag for public toilets - they ALWAYS run out of handwash, and in my car first aid kit. Personally I wouldn't use it at home, I feel like its overkill at best, but you're right, they all say 'Kill 99% of germs', but some germs are good....

    So environments I can control, such as my home, I don't feel it necessary. But certainly, outside, I think its a great tool

    ETA - Not thinking straight, I carry around Aquium/Dettol no water stuff, not an antibacterial handwash

  5. #5
    Registered User

    Jul 2005
    Rural NSW

    We don't use it at home unless one of us goes down with gastro and then I might splash some Dettol around. I'm have a small bottle of Dettol handwash for the car but not at home. I'm a firm believer that living in a home that is too sterile is worse for your immunity than living in one with relaxed standards.

    As soon as we come home from the city DH and I both "wash the public off" by just using warm water and soap. But having said that I read a study recently that the average persons' mobile phone has MANY times the amount of harmful bacteria than a swab from a public toilet. Interesting.

  6. #6
    Registered User

    May 2006
    Igglepiggle Land

    Interesting you say that Bath.....

    Reading a Dr Karl book he says that if aliens came down onto Earth and went into the average house, they'd think they should go into the kitchen to 'relieve' themselves or go to the toilet for a meal due to the toilet actually being cleaner than the kitchen

  7. #7
    Registered User

    Jan 2006
    The Hawkesbury

    We use it, but in my eyes, unless your scrubbing your hands with it every 10 minutes each day, you will still get some germs. I always use the no water stuff after visiting a baby change room at the shops and when other kids that i dont know have been poking around my kids. Was how DS picked up a really bad case of gastro a few years ago so im a little paranoid about that now. But also just generally when i feel it is necessary. We usually also use it a bit when someone else in the house is sick. Alot of germs are air born aswell so again, you wont be able to protect the kids entirely with the antibacterial stuff.

  8. #8
    Registered User
    Add STARRYSKY on Facebook Follow STARRYSKY On Twitter

    Aug 2007

    I personally dont use them, used to ALOT when working in pharmacy( and every second person comes and breathes on you then says "I have the worst gastro/flu/cold etc)
    For you guys with small kiddies, please be aware of the safety issues associated with things like the dettol waterless and aquim hand sanitisers, they are 99% alcohol and could be nasty if swallowed by babies/toddlers, also HIGHLY flammable.

  9. #9
    Registered User

    Aug 2006
    On the other side of this screen!!!

    I just use the el cheapo home brand liquid handwash (not anti-bac), but I keep a pump pack of Aqium on hand for those yerk situations...(ie after emptying bins, de-pooing the kitty litter tray) and yes I use it more often when there is illness in the house.

    I also keep a small thing of aqium in my hand bag and use it religiously after using public toilets (even tho I washed my hands well other people who touched the door handle on the way out have not), as well as things like atm touch pads, the pen at the doctor's, and anytime I blow my nose with a tissue & I'm not near handwashing facilities. I practically bathe in it whenever I go near the hospital, they are the dirtiest places of them all.

    You can say what you like but I have managed to avoid illness throughout the time I was having chemo by following these guidelines...BUT I'm not yick about normal environmental germs at all, I don't use antibacterial cleaners in my house, for eg, am perfectly happy for kids to play in the dirt in the backyard. It's the people-germs I prefer to avoid.

  10. #10
    Registered User

    Feb 2008
    Near the Snowies!

    we just have normal handwash, i don't really see the need for antibacterial stuff (unless someone was sick or prem/sick baby etc), and I believe that 'antibacterial' overkill is one of the reasons we have such nasty bugs around these days that are resistant to antibiotics. The bacteria have to adapt to the antibacterial environment in order to survive, leading to the creation of "superbugs", I'd prefer just everyday bacteria in my house

  11. #11
    Life Subscriber

    Jul 2006

    It is true that we totally overuse antibacterial products now. The result is that we kill most of the "soft" bugs which means the worse bugs are becoming more prevalent. It used to be that the really bad ones like MRSA were pretty much only contracted in hospitals but they are now becoming commonplace in homes. Personally I avoid antibacterial products for every day use. I think they have their purpose when you need to kill germs, but not in a product for everyday handwashing.

  12. #12
    Registered User

    Mar 2006

    I use a hospital grade equivelant at work (instead of washing hands between patients we use this - more effective than hand washing, more convenient, and more gentle on our hands believe it or not).

    I have a small dettol one in my handbag. I use it when I'm in a public toilet but very few other times. I usually forget I have it. I rarely use it on DD. The only time I religiously use it at home is when someone has gastro.