Hand hygiene is the single most effective way to prevent coronavirus and various infections. Human skin provides a favourable environment for the existence and multiplication of a variety of microbes. The hands/skin come in contact with harmful bacteria/ germs while using common public places, public transport, polluted/contained environments, etc. Several products are available for hand hygiene: bar soap, liquid soap, gels, hand sanitisers and foams. The conventional toilet soap washes away the germs but does not kill them. Also, the soap itself can get contaminated with germs. Today, several hand-wash soaps are/claim to be antibacterial and at Consumer Voice we proceeded to test precisely this attribute with regard to liquid hand washes. We conducted antibacterial activity, ‘zone of inhibition’ and bacterial kill efficacy tests in the lab to judge the effectiveness of 10 liquid hand-wash brands in removal/ killing of microbes/germs.

Some of these liquid hand washes contain triclosan (TCN) or triclocarban (TCC), which are potent chemicals with antibacterial action. Generally, the antibacterial material is essentially of an aqueous solution of potassium soaps, sodium soaps, or both, made from oils, fatty acids or their mixture; it may be a homogeneous, clear, translucent or opaque liquid with good lathering and cleaning properties. It may also contain permissible synthetic detergents. They quickly form a rich lather while using with the water. The hand-wash liquid/antibacterial liquid Comparative Test material also generally contains perfumes for their acceptability among users.

Liquid hand-wash products are commonly known to be antibacterial/anti-germs. Most of the brands have declared their variants as providing protection from germs/killing germs/removing germs – this is clearly understood as being effective in fighting germs. In addition to antibacterial chemicals like TCC/TCN, some herbal ingredients are also equally effective in removing germs, as verified in the course of our laboratory tests. All the 10 brands were found to be effective in removing/killing germs.






Value For Money


Bacter Shield




Antibacterial performance tests – specifically for antibacterial activity, ‘zone of inhibition’ and bacterial ‘rate of kill’ efficacy on contact – were carried out to judge the effectiveness of the liquid hand wash in removing bacteria.

  • Antibacterial activity is determined by comparing the effectiveness of antibacterial chemicals present in a certain quantity of liquid hand wash with specified maximum inhibition concentration.
  • Based on the overall test findings, in the non-soap-based liquid hand-wash category Dettol is the top performer; in the soap-based category it is Hamam.
  • The value-for-money brands are Bacter Shield in the non-soap-based category and Patanjali in the soap-based category.
  • All the tested brands can be recommended as they are specifically formulated to remove germs from hands.
  • All brands passed in the efficacy tests for antibacterial activity, zone of inhibition and contact kill.
  • Foam height was high in soap-based hand wash as compared to the non-soap-based varieties.
  • All brands passed in the efficacy tests for antibacterial activity, zone of inhibition and contact kill.
  • Foam height was high in soap-based hand wash as compared to the non-soap-based varieties.
  • Antibacterial/germicidal ingredient triclosan was found highest in Bacter Shield and Savlon but was well below the specified limit.
  • Bacter Shield and Palmolive performed highest in sensory panel tests.
  • Only one brand, Patanjali Herbal, claimed to be antibacterial and the tests confirmed it to be so. The rest of the brands did not claim to be antibacterial but were found effective in killing germs.
                                                                                           LET’S FIGHT CORONAVIRUS WITH BETTER HYGIENE

(This report was done in the recent past by Consumer VOICE. )


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