Does Hand Sanitiser Really Work?

hand sanitiser

Pssst! Want to get rid of that pesky virus? Read on! Many hand sanitisers can be used without water and come in conveniently sized travel bottles. This makes them a great and efficient solution to reduce the spread of germs while you’re on the go or are unable to access clean, running water.

Although hand sanitisers are perfect for when you are on the move (provided that they meet the minimum requirements), healthcare professionals agree that nothing beats a thorough hand wash with regular soap and water.

How Effective Is Hand Sanitiser?

The main ingredient in most hand sanitisers is isopropanol (rubbing alcohol) or ethanol (the principle ingredient in alcoholic drinks). Alcohols have a long history as an effective disinfectant against some viruses and bacteria, as long as the solution has enough alcohol in it.

Hand sanitiser is a practical backup if you don’t have access to soap and running water. But in general, sanitisers aren’t as effective as good ol’ hand washing.

When you return home, it’s best to thoroughly wash your hands before touching additional surfaces. Have a quick look at this infographic on how to properly wash your hands below.

What Are The Benefits Of Hand Sanitiser?

  • Transportability; most hand sanitisers are designed to be easy to carry around and compact so that you have access to it at all times.
  • Alcohol-based sanitizers can reduce about 97% of the bacteria on your hands.
  • It’s cost-effective and long-lasting.
  • Great for group settings; offices, schools etc.
  • Lessens risk for diseases, not only COVID-19, but also the flu and other contagious diseases.

What Are The Limitations Of Hand Sanitiser?

  • Should the hand sanitiser not be stored properly, come in contact with oxygen for extended periods of time (be left open), be left in the car and/or be past its expiry date the sanitiser will probably effectiveness.
  • Sanitisers that have an alcohol percentage of less than 60% are not recommended.
  • It is not a replacement for thorough handwashing with soap and water.

The Alcohol & Hard Water Are Damaging My Skin, Help!

The UK already has notoriously hard water which already contributes to an array of skin irritations which may leave your skin feeling dry and itchy. Now, add a splash of 70%+ alcohol-based hand sanitiser to the mix and your skin is even more affected.

Read More About Why You Need a Whole House Water Filter System.

Get Your Hand Sanitiser & Water Filters
Right Here, Right Now!

You Can Look Up Some More Facts About Hand Sanitiser From the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Below:

Why? Soap and water are more effective than hand sanitisers at removing certain kinds of germs, like Cryptosporidium, norovirus, and Clostridium difficile. Although alcohol-based hand sanitisers can effectively inactivate many types of microbes (when used correctly) people may not use a large enough volume of the sanitisers or may wipe it off before it has dried.

Why? Many studies show that hand sanitisers work well in clinical settings like hospitals, where hands come into contact with germs but generally are not heavily soiled or greasy. Some data also show that hand sanitisers may work well against certain types of germs on slightly soiled hands. However, hands may become very greasy or soiled in community settings, such as after people handle food, play sports, work in the garden, or go camping or fishing. When hands are heavily soiled or greasy, hand sanitisers may not work well. Handwashing with soap and water is recommended in such circumstances.

Why? Although few studies have been conducted, hand sanitisers probably cannot remove or inactivate many types of harmful chemicals. In one study, people who reported using hand sanitiser to clean hands had increased levels of pesticides in their bodies. If hands have touched harmful chemicals, wash carefully with soap and water (or as directed by a poison control center).

Why? Many studies have found that sanitisers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitisers.

Hand sanitisers without 60-95% alcohol:

  • May not work equally well for many types of germs;
  • and merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright.

Why? The steps for hand sanitiser use are based on a simplified procedure recommended by CDC. Instructing people to cover all surfaces of both hands with hand sanitiser has been found to provide similar disinfection effectiveness as providing detailed steps for rubbing-in hand sanitiser.

Why? Ethyl alcohol (ethanol)-based hand sanitisers are safe when used as directed, 23 but they can cause alcohol poisoning if a person swallows more than a couple of mouthfuls 24.

P.S. Don’t Forget To Sanitise Your Everyday Items Too!

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