A range of commercial hand wash agents was compared against 4% chlorhexidine gluconate (Hibitane) for immediate and residual (substantive) germicidal effect in hygienic hand disinfection. Chlorhexidine gluconate (4%) liquid detergent gave an immediate and residual reduction in number of microorganisms released from finger tips after a short exposure (15-s) hand wash. An iodophor product containing 0.75% available iodine gave comparable results for the immediate reduction of microorganisms released, but it did not give a residual effect. Other products, including those containing Irgasan DP 300, para-chlorometa-xylenol (PCMX), or low concentration iodophor (0.005% available iodine) as the active ingredient, did not give an immediate or a residual reduction in microorganisms released from finger tips.

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Author notes

1Department of Food Science.

2Department of Foods and Nutrition and Department of Microbiology.