Peanut allergy is the third most common food allergy in young children and is the most common food allergy in older children, adolescents and adults. Researchers studied about 20 participants who were not allergic to peanuts. Participants washed with various cleaning agents, plain water, and an antibacterial hand sanitizer after applying a teaspoon of peanut butter to their hands.
Results show hand wipes, liquid soaps, and bar soaps effectively removed the peanut allergens. However, plain water left allergens on three of 12 hands, and the hand sanitizer left allergens on six of 12 hands.
Researchers say the hand sanitizers may not be as effective as some might think and their use may not really remove the allergen, but just spread it around. Researchers also tested cleaning products in removing peanut butter from a clean table. Lysol sanitizing wipes, Target brand cleaner with bleach, and even plain water were all effective in removing the peanut butter. However, dishwashing liquid left allergens on four of 12 tables.
Thus researchers say their results suggest that even if a child licked the table vigorously after it had been cleaned with the dish soap, he probably still couldn't get enough allergen to cause a reaction.