According to researchers, washing hands with regular soap and water is just as effective as using anti-bacterial soaps and sanitizers, if hand washing is performed correctly. Studies show that washing hands thoroughly for 15 seconds removes 90 percent of bacteria. However, most people do not wash their hands often enough, thorough enough or dry their hands thoroughly. Gel sanitizers are good in that a few squirts can thoroughly cover the entire hands and it does not require water. Thus, while all the new fancy products to keep our hands clean have their benefits, when used properly, good old soap and water does the trick very nicely.
Source: Reuters; January 2007.