Hand washing is the primary, simplest and most effective way to limit the spread of germs and infectious diseases. People clean their hands by using regular soap, antimicrobial soap and alcohol based hand rubs or sanitizers. Regular soap are detergent based product, in the form of bar, leaflet, tissue and liquid. They do not kill the germs; they clean by physically removing dirt, organic substances and contaminating organisms. Soap is mostly effective against loose transient organisms.
Antimicrobial soaps are detergent based products with antiseptic agents which are intended to mechanically and chemically kill all transient and resident bacteria that can cause illnesses by their long term lasting action. They inhibit the growth of virus. Alcohol based hand sanitizers come in the form of gel or rub cloth. They contain 60%95% ethanol or isopropanol. Alcohol based hand sanitizers have a broad spectrum activity; they inhibit the growth of most clinically important viruses, yeasts, and fungi.
According to the CDC, in vitro testing proved that Alcohol sanitizers are effective even against some resistant bacteria such as mycobacterium tuberculosis and certain envelop virus such as herpes simplex virus, human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). My hypothesis is that Alcohol based hand sanitizers are more effective than regular soap and antimicrobial soap. The regular soap do not kill the bacteria it only physically remove the loose transient bacteria, therefore there can still be a chance for the resident bacteria to cause illnesses.
Even though the antimicrobial soaps kill both the transient and the resident bacteria, the frequent exposure of those bacteria to the antimicrobial agents may cause them to become resistant to them. It will give rise to more resistant microorganism strains. Alcohol sanitizers have the fastest bactericidal effect. It is effective against gram positive and negative bacteria even some of the most resistant ones.