Can You Over Sanitize? Can You Be Too Clean by Doing This?

Written by: Arooj Paulus – B. Sc (Applied Psychology)

Last updated date : March 20, 2023

Our collective usage of cleaning chemicals and sanitizers is growing in this odd new world we live in. People nowadays take hand sanitizers with them in public to clean their hands after touching surfaces such as lift buttons, door handles or money etc. All thanks to novel viruses. You may be wondering that can you over sanitize? You may keep hand sanitizers handy to avoid any germs. So can you be too clean by doing this? Sadly, No.

As many of the cleaning agents we use in our schools, hospitals, offices, and houses have serious health risks. It may be the cause of allergies, asthma, irritable bowel syndrome, and other immune diseases.


Chapter 1:

The Hygienic Theory

In todays world people have numerous options to choose for cleaning agents. While over cleaning reduces their contact with germs. The human body has the natural ability to fight germs on its own. The immune system is in charge of keeping the body healthy without the need of any medications. However if you over sanitize, your body will not have contact with germs hence reduce its naturally ability to fight with germs and infection.
A lack of exposure to bacteria, viruses, and allergens may prevent the normal development of the immune system. ~ Hygiene Hypothesis

Therefore, washing your hands regularly, before handling food, and after wiping your nose, is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself from common viruses and germs. Although hygiene is necessary. But over hand wash and over sanitize can cause health problems and dry skin as well. As you may kill the bad but good bacteria as well.

Ice Breaker

However this does not mean that you should stop cleaning yourself and your house. Just learn the correct way to be clean and healthy.

Chapter 2:

Psychological Effects When You over Sanitize

Don’t be a cleanliness freak. If you over sanitize, it can effect your physical and mental health as well.
  • You are over thinking about germs.
  • It will make you fear of germs and yo may think overly about all the diseases that they can cause.
  • You are adding an extra worry in your list.
  • You may stress and spend extra time in cleaning your self and your home.
  • In severe cases it can develop into obsessive compulsive disorder.

Chapter 3:

When Is It Too Much Cleaning?

When it comes to cleaning, though, when is it too much? Can you over sanitize? When do you move from being a clean person to cleaning obsessively? When does cleaning go too far and create issues for you or your family?

Let us consider all of your concerns. Read on to find out the answers to all of these questions.

When Should You Clean?

A main technique for lowering contact and spread of infections is skin cleanliness, mainly of the hands. Hygiene is very important to stay healthy and avoid different health issues. However over cleaning can also weaken the immune system. So balance is the key!

Minimize the use of hand sanitizers while simply washing hands with soap and water is the best way to clean hands. If you over clean yourself then your skin may feel irritated, red, rash and painful. So overdoing can create a health issue.

Here are some of the tips to know when it is necessary to clean hands so that you do not over sanitize.

  • After you use the toilet.
  • After sneezing, coughing, or blowing your nose.
  • Before eating or handling food.
  • After coming into contact with animals or their waste.
  • After coming into contact with dirt or garbage.
  • Before and after treating a cut or wound.
  • After having come into touch with body fluids.
  • Contact with a sick individual before and after.
  • Whenever you feel or look to be dirty.
When You Over Sanitize?

When you are sanitizing your body or your surroundings, it can be easy for you to use more product and use it again and again. Remember over use of any thing can be harmful. And use the sanitizer only when you are out and do not immediately wash your hands. You have read above when to clean yourself.

Chapter 4:

How Can You Stop to over Sanitize?

Hope you have understood the side effects when you over sanitize or clean. Here are some tips to clean yourself, particularly your hands. So that you can keep yourself healthy yet clean at the same time.
1. Use Warm Water for Washing

Warm water will not only better clean your body or hands but also is suitable for your body’s natural oils. Too hot or too cold water can be harsh on skin.

2. Use a Good Quality Soap

Soaps can dry out your skin, so use a hydrating soap. Find ones containing components like glycerin and lanolin, as well as those that indicate moisturizing on the cover. Liquid soaps are preferable to bar soaps since they are gentle on skin due to their low PH levels. Perfumed soaps should be avoided since they might damage a sensitive or dry skin.

3. Select Sanitizer Wisely

Spending in a good sanitizer is essential. Use a alcohol based sanitizer with at least 60% proportion of alcohol. Even a small amount of good quality hand sanitizer will be enough to clean you. So that you don’t have to squeeze more and more and over sanitize yourself.

You can also select an moisturizing sanitizer for sensitive skin.

4. Be Gentle

In addition to using a gentle cleanser, be sure to wash with gentle hands. Due to our busy lives, we tend to hurry through the washing process, but be careful not to be too harsh, since this might irritate the skin.

  • Wash your hands for 10 seconds if using soap.
  • If you are using sanitizer then it should not be rinsed or wiped off until it is completely dry. Otherwise, it’s not really useful over germs.
5. Moisturize Skin after Washing

Use of cleanser or soap can dry out your hands. So make sure to moisturize regularly to avoid irritation of skin. Make a habit to take a bath and moisturize your skin before bed. Creams are better option in contrast to lotions because creams are more moisturizing as they have less water content.

Chapter 5:

Call to Action

If your constantly worry about being clean and cleaning, you can read “Can’t Clean Your House? Here’s How to Get Motivated” to manage physical and mental health. Further you can start a “Managing IBS” to manage your irrational thinking styles. Learn to think rationally by joining us now.

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