If you are among those who believe waterless handwipes are more effective at getting your hands clean from potential viruses, think again.

A new study from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill says moms are right when they tell children to wash their hands. Nothing works better that soap and water at removing hepatitis A, cold germs and viruses that cause acute gastroenteritis, the study found.

The UNC researchers also said “waterless handwipes only removed roughly 50 percent of bacteria from volunteer subjects’ hands.”

“We studied the efficacy of 14 different hand hygiene agents in reducing bacteria and viruses from the hands,” said Emily Sickbert-Bennett, a public health epidemiologist with the University of North Carolina Health Care System and the UNC School of Public Health. “No other studies have measured the effectiveness in removing both bacteria and viruses at the same time.”

For details, see: www.unc.edu/news/archives/mar05/rutala031005.html