Hand sanitizers are not so good at killing germs. In fact, as opposed to common belief, researchers suggest that they last for just about two minutes, says a recent report by Medguru.

As the protective shield is short lived, researchers suggest repeated use in order to help protect hands against germs. However not all bacteria gets killed.

In a report by Medguru, Dr. Philip Tierno Jr., PhD, director of clinical microbiology and immunology at NYU Langone Medical Center stated, "Alcohol sanitizers last only a minute or two and must be reapplied when recontamination occurs.”

In a survey conducted by Healthpoint, Ltd., a company that markets wound-care products, surveying 1,000 Americans, more than half of the adults expected sanitizers to last more than 30 times that of their soaps.

Almost 68 per cent were reported as using hand sanitizers and 52 per cent kept it close at hand. Doctors in fact suggest that regular hand washing for 20-30 seconds will help.

However, sanitizers provide quick protection against germs and are advised as good options in situations where hands are often in contact with many people, e.g., while shaking hands.

Medguru quotes Len Horovitz, attending physician and internist at Lenox Hill Hospital, as stating that, “Hand sanitizer is better than nothing if you are going to shake someone's hand or if you are out on the street with no sink or paper towels, but the best germicidal thing you can do is wash with soap and water."