The use of alcohol hand sanitizer has exploded over the past two decades, and even more so since the coronavirus pandemic shocked the world. Thanks to containing between 60% and 95% ethyl or isopropyl alcohol, these hand sanitizers have become a convenient and effective way of providing protection from infectious diseases when it’s not possible to wash your hands. However, there are other advantages to using alcohol hand sanitizer beyond the convenience factor. In this article, we will go over the major advantages of using alcohol hand sanitizer.
Variety of Choices
Alcohol hand sanitizer comes in a few different forms, making it even more convenient. There are gels, sprays, and foams that all provide the same germ-killing benefits. Sometimes, you will find it more advantageous to use a hand sanitizer gel, while other times, you find it more helpful to use one that is a spray. Whichever variety you use, you will still be protecting yourself from infectious diseases when you are unable to wash your hands.
As briefly mentioned earlier, alcohol hand sanitizer is incredibly convenient. You can easily stick a bottle of hand sanitizer into your pocket, backpack, or purse. You can also leave a bottle at your workstation, in your car, or anywhere you find it will be helpful to disinfect your hands after touching potentially contaminated surfaces. After all, finding a sink is not always possible, which is where a bottle of alcohol hand sanitizer comes in handy.
Applying this type of sanitizer will only take around 15 seconds until you have successfully killed anything that could be potentially dangerous to your health. Once you have rubbed the hand sanitizer into your hands, the alcohol will evaporate, and your hands will feel nearly dry very quickly. This can be a benefit over washing your hands in a public restroom where there are air dryers that will potentially expose you to dangerous germs caught from other people using the air dryer.
Highly Effective at Killing Germs
When matched up with regular hand soap, studies have found that alcohol-based hand sanitizers are able to more effectively reduce the spread of bacteria and viruses. These studies look at hand sanitizers with 70% alcohol, which is the ideal amount of alcohol a hand sanitizer should have. While you may think that more is better, hand sanitizer actually becomes less effective if it contains too much alcohol. When using a standard alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 70% alcohol, or close to it, you are ensuring you are getting the most protection possible.
How to Use Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Effectively
Using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is not overly complex, yet there are a few things to keep in mind before using it. It indeed is one of the most effective ways of protecting you from all sorts of viruses and bacteria, especially when you are out of reach of soap and water.
For alcohol hand sanitizer to work well, it needs to contain at least 60% alcohol. This is the threshold necessary for killing germs, according to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention. Getting a 95% alcohol hand sanitizer and applying it to your hands will not be nearly as effective in killing germs and microbes as using something with less alcohol, like a 70% solution.
Not only does hand sanitizer need to contain at least 60% alcohol, you also need to apply enough of it. This can vary depending on what product you are using, so it will be essential for you to to read the label to make sure you are using enough sanitizer to effectively eliminate harmful viruses and bacteria from your hands. The CDC has stated that while alcohol-based hand sanitizers do work really well, you need to use enough of it to actively kill the microbes on your hands.
Not only do you need to use enough hand sanitizer, you need to know how to apply and distribute it properly. Here’s a quick and easy guide to using hand sanitizer:
Squeeze or spray the sanitizer onto one palm.
Rub your hands together.
While rubbing, ensure the sanitizer is spread across the entirety of your hands, including your fingers. Cover every part of your hands.
Allow your hands to dry, which should take a few seconds.
Things to Consider
There are also some key things to consider when using alcohol hand sanitizer. This makes the use of hand sanitizer something that should not replace washing your hands with soap and water, but should instead be used when you do not have access to washing your hands normally.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can kill a great deal of viruses and bacteria, but there are some germs, such as cryptosporidium, norovirus, and others that the CDC says cannot be removed using hand sanitizer. To get rid of those, you will need to wash your hands the old fashioned way.
Also, if your hands are exceptionally greasy or dirty, as in you can visibly see they are very dirty, hand sanitizer will not be as helpful in eliminating germs and microbes as much as soap and water will.
Getting the Most Out of Alcohol Hand Sanitizer
Where hand sanitizers shine is in settings and environments where your hands are not getting overly soiled or greased up. If you are concerned about getting infected with COVID-19 while going shopping where you would touch surfaces that are potentially contaminated, you can carry around a bottle of alcohol hand sanitizer with you.
While it shouldn’t be your go-to for every need you have to clean your hands, it will be a handy infection prevention tool that you can use when you do not have access to a sink and some soap. Now that you know about all the significant advantages of hand sanitizer, you can get the most effective one that will suit your needs when necessary. This is an inexpensive solution that is worth sticking into your pocket or bag when you’re heading out into high-traffic areas that may be contaminated with dangerous pathogens.