'GMA' Tries Different types of Hand Sanitizer and Soap to See Which Works Best

The E. coli we used for our experiment was a harmless strain, not the deadly E. coli 0-157 bacteria. Swine flu is a virus, but the advice is the same: Alcohol kills viruses and soap -- any soap -- used well, washes them off.

When to Use Which

Experts say washing with soap and water is first choice, especially if you have visible dirt on your hands. Sanitizer can't cut through that grime. Hand sanitizer is great for when you can't get to soap and water, and it's actually more effective at eliminating germs because it kills them rather than just removing them.

You should supervise young children when they use alcohol-based hand sanitizer, but poison control centers tell us it tastes so terrible that kids don't usually eat much and don't suffer any ill effects.

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