A scientist from the University of Ottawa put this to the test. He used several students as test subjects. Three household name cleaners were used and the results were disturbing. The cleaners only killed between 46% and 60% of the germs on the student’s hands. So if these numbers are so low, how can companies boast such a high kill percentage?
A report by the Wall Street Journal found that since there are no government regulations on what germs cleaners have to kill to report a 99.9%, companies set up ideal conditions in a lab and knock off the easiest germs to kill. These lab tests are nothing like what you would see in real life, the countertops and human hands used for testing are scrubbed completely clean, then reapplied with a weak bacterium that is easy to kill. An article posted by thenakedscientists.com out of the University of Cambridge looks specifically at hand sanitizer and soaps. The state that even if these products could kill as many germs as they say they do, a lot of a lot is still a lot. They credit this to the fact that human hands are very good at retaining bacteria.