Local students prove hand sanitizer may not be as effective as you think

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HASTINGS, Neb. (KSNB) - It's something most of use often to clean our hands.

But a couple of young students are saying hand sanitizer isn't as effective as we may think.

Adams Central High School sophomores Ariel Willems and Tara Allen participated at a regional science fair at Hastings College Tuesday.

They wanted to do a project on hand sanitizer because people use it all over the globe.

The two hypothesized that if hand sanitizer killed bacteria then it's as effective as washing with soap, but if it doesn't then it's not a good substitute.

Tara and Ariel felt the Purell brand would work the best.

Here's how they got their info.

"We started out by testing bacteria in petri dishes with the gause inside of them and then we put them inside an incubator to see if the hand sanitizer would stop the growth inside of them. We figured out it does," said Ariel Willems, a sophomore at Adams Central High school.

Although some hand sanitizers did work, not all of them killed bacteria.

Ariel says Bath and Body Works' hand sanitizers may smell good but they don't really work.

Purell was the most effective.

After doing the experiment, Ariel and Tara say washing with soap and water is probably your best bet.