Infection can spread through a few ways – either directly from an infected person to a susceptible person where there is a physical transfer of the micro-organisms or indirectly when the susceptible person comes into contact with a contaminated surface. Throughout the day, one will definitely come in contact and touch a bed, tables, chairs, door knobs, handrails, washroom surfaces, cutleries, trays, cups, computer keyboards, buttons and knobs of electronic devices, office desk-top, phones, vehicle seats, steering wheels and many more.
These surfaces are contaminated through air-borne micro-organisms, contaminated droplets or even vector-borne (insects and animals) - including flies, mosquitoes, ticks, cats, dogs, rats and other. It could be from an infected person who happens to touch the surface just before the susceptible person does.
In most cases, it has been observed that cross infection is from surfaces to hands. Advice from the Centre for Disease Control (CDC) and the World Health Organisation (WHO) who have been highlighting that hand hygiene is the most effective way of preventing any diseases spreading. Frequent hand washing is probably the single most effective and simplest method. With anti-microbial soap and water, it is deemed even more effective.
Then comes alcohol-based gels and liquids; convenient and fast acting, especially when water is not readily available
Microbial soap leave a residue of active compounds that target bacteria - but it won't get rid of all of them, nor will it know which ones could make you sick. Similarly, alcohol evaporates fast, does the job of killing but there is no protection after it dries up. The microbes have all been removed at the time of use, however there is still nothing present to stop recolonisation as soon as another contaminated surface is touched.
Sanitizers with high alcohol content is also not suitable for some as it may cause dry skin and lead to cracked skin. Also it is a pose as a hazard as it can easily be flammable when near any open flame like barbeques, candles and lighted cigarette butts.