General Question

flo's avatar

Do they sell hand sanitizers etc., that only kill the bad bacteria?

Asked by flo (13313points) July 18th, 2018

For example they say hand sanitizers are bad because they kill the good bacteria too.
1)Why are they being sold?
2)Why don’t they make the kind that kill the bad ones only? Or have they already, and are the ones that we see in hospitals etc. those kind? Do you have a link addressing this?

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17 Answers

zenvelo's avatar

Something that kills bad bacteria kills all bacteria.

It’s like bullets; they don’t make bullets that only kill bad guys.

2davidc8's avatar

^^^ What he said.

There are dozens, if not hundreds, of different kinds of bacteria on your hands. How can one (or a few) chemical distinguish the good ones from the bad ones?

snowberry's avatar

Simple. They’re sold because people will buy them.

kritiper's avatar

Their not being sold so much these days, and former manufacturers are being informed not to, because their being in the environment makes the bad bacteria badder. You can use rubbing alcohol to kill bacteria, or bleach.

JLeslie's avatar

No. Hand sanitizers are antiseptics that kill bacteria similar to stepping on an ant. SPLAT! Dead. Ant, spider, cricket, you name it, dead under that heavy foot.

Antibiotics that you take when you are sick typically work within the bacteria so it no longer can multiply, and that mechanism is different in different types of bacterias, so not all antibiotics work on all bacterias.

@kritiper alcohol and bleach kill the good bacteria too. They are antiseptics.

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, I knew that. I would have said gasoline, too, but that’s not something that is usually found in the home.
If a person is concerned about some substance killing bacteria, they don’t usually care if it is a antibiotic or a antiseptic. They just want to kill the bacteria!

snowberry's avatar

@kritiper Actually, I absolutely care whether I’m using an antibacterial or antiseptic product! Whenever possible I do not use antibacterial products because I know they tend to create superbugs! I even read labels!

kritiper's avatar

@snowberry OK, that covers you. What might the OP think???

Dutchess_III's avatar

I don’t use them either. When I was in the hospital recently, I was a bit bothered by the fact that every time the staff came in the room they squired antibacterial foam, and also every time they left.

JLeslie's avatar

@kritiper My point is you recommend bleach and alcohol, but alcohol is what is in most of those hand sanitizers, so it’s the same thing.

snowberry's avatar

I am allergic to that crap (the fragrances). It isn’t enough that they use the chemicals to kill the bacteria, but the manufactures seem to be convinced that fragrance is also essential to killing germs! Lots of this stuff makes me seriously ill. It’s nuts!

When my husband had a heart attack over Christmas, I had multiple asthma attacks both in the emergency room and in his hospital room. It got so I stopped going to see him. The staff seem to think that I was unsupportive!

I had to spell it out for them. Apparently they’ve never heard of people having multiple chemical sensitivities. They were absolutely clueless, and seemed to have no concept how to deal with it.

These days I think twice before even considering going to a doctor or a hospital, even to visit somebody. I don’t know what I will do if I have some sort of emergency and need medical care.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You’ll find plenty germs at my house @snowberry, so come on down!

kritiper's avatar

@JLeslie Yes, alcohol is in sanitizers but some people may have alcohol and not hand sanitizer. And rubbing alcohol has a poisonous substance in it, like gasoline, but hand sanitizer type alcohol may not. So it may not be quite the exact same thing…

kritiper's avatar

There are sanitizing ingredients in some of these hand sanitizers that may have already been compromised by some MRSA type superbugs. You want to make sure, if you’ve a mind to, to kill these powerful bacteria with powerful enough chemicals.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I would just avoid them altogether. Hand cleaners and soaps, whatever. If it says “Antibacterial,” just don’t buy it.

JLeslie's avatar

I just want to say that I almost never use hand sanitizer, I just wash my hands with soap and water if I need to.

flo's avatar

Thanks all.

Soap and water is the ideal, but sometimes we’re on the go.

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