Cleaning hands with hand sanitizers is the key to prevent the spread of germs and avoid getting sick. After the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizers have become a must for every house as they provide an effective and convenient way to clean your hands.
Washing your hands with soap and water can remove germs from the hand while hand sanitizers work by killing many types of germs on the skin instantly. In general, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can reduce all types of germs effectively if they have at least 60% alcohol in them.
Hand sanitizers typically come in liquid, gel, and foam form. Depending on the ingredients used, they can be classified into two types: alcohol-based hand sanitizer and alcohol-free hand sanitizers. Read on to learn how they work.
Active Ingredients in Hand Sanitizers
According to the FDA, a hand sanitizer must contain either ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, or benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient. These three chemicals are found to be most effective at killing germs.
How Hand Sanitizers Works
As we know, alcohol is an organic compound made up of carbon, oxygen, and hydrogen. They are highly soluble in water that makes them the perfect solution for disinfectants. Alcohol destroys pathogens or bacteria by breaking apart proteins, splitting cells into pieces, or disrupting the cell metabolism.
Alcohol kills germs through a process called denaturation. Alcohol molecules bond with bacteria’s cell membrane. This causes the cell membrane to break apart and make all its components exposed. The alcohol molecule then dissolves the bacterial proteins and the cell dies quickly.
Ethanol is most effective against viruses. At 60-80% concentration ethanol becomes the most potent virucidal agent that can inactivate lipophilic viruses like herpes, influenza, vaccinia as well as hydrophilic viruses like adenovirus, rhinovirus, and rotavirus. However, propanol is more effective against bacteria compared to ethanol. For this reason, many hand sanitizers have a combination of both.
One of the advantages of using alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the bacteria it kills doesn’t develop resistance to it. Therefore, alcohol does not lose effectiveness even after continued use.
Alcohol Concentration in Hand Sanitizer
Researchers suggest that hand sanitizer solution with as little as 30% of alcohol has little pathogen-killing ability. Its effectiveness increases with the increase in alcohol concentration. When the hand sanitizer’s alcohol concentration is increased to 60%, it works faster and kills a broad variety of bacteria and viruses. However, the effectiveness of alcohol tops out at 95% or more.
The right percentage of alcohol is key to hand sanitizer’s effectiveness. An ideal hand sanitizer should have 60%-95% alcohol to kill germs effectively.
Why You Should Use a Hand Sanitizer?
Germs are everywhere! They can get to your hands during daily activities and spread through coughing, sneezing, and rubbing the eyes. Germs can also be transferred to family members and friends and make them sick. Washing your hands is the most effective way to prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of getting sick. Water and soap might not be available all the time and everywhere. Hand sanitizers come in handy and it can be used without water to instantly kill all the germs.
When to Use Hand Sanitizer?
Many people are unaware of when to use hand sanitizer for the best results. CDC recommends using hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol
- Immediately before and after visiting someone who is sick.
- When soap and water are not readily available, use hand alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- After entering or exiting public places like hospitals, offices, and restaurants.
- After using public transportations like autos, buses, trains, metros, etc.
- After touching railings & handles.
Wash your hands with soap and water after playing outdoors, gardening, camping, and fishing, and then apply the hand sanitizer.
How to Use Hand Sanitizer for Maximum Effectiveness
Hand sanitizer will help you get rid of germs on your hands only if you apply it properly. Read on to learn how to apply hand sanitizer the right way.
- Squeeze an adequate amount of hand sanitizer on one hand.
- Rub your both hands together, cover the front and back of your hand with sanitizer and even between your fingers.
- Do this for at least 20–30 seconds until all the sanitizer is absorbed and your hands feel completely dry.
Make sure to not use hand sanitizer in the first place when your hands are visibly greasy or dirty. Also, make sure to take enough hand sanitizer according to your palm size to kill germs effectively. 2-3 ml hand sanitizer is adequate for medium and large size hands. However, you may check the hand sanitizer product label to see how to use it.
How Long Does Your Hand Sanitizer Last?
According to experts, sanitizers are effective but they do not provide you with prolonged protection. Hand sanitizers are fast-acting chemical solutions that can significantly reduce the bacteria and viruses on your skin. Against popular belief, hand sanitizer’s effect lasts for about 2 minutes. It must be reapplied to prevent recontamination.
Like other products, hand sanitizers expire. The active ingredient of alcohol is volatile and evaporates when exposed. While hand sanitizer manufacturers provide tight containers to prevent alcohol evaporation, some might have little air leaks that can cause alcohol to escape over time. This reduces the efficacy of hand sanitizers and makes them less effective.
How Hand Sanitizers Work Against Coronavirus
Some of you may worry whether your hand sanitizer is effective against coronavirus or not. Fortunately, alcohol-based hand sanitizers work against coronavirus in two ways. Firstly, it disrupts the external cell membrane of coronavirus. Secondly, the sanitizer removes oil from your skin that tends to harbour these viruses.
How to Choose a Hand Sanitizer that Really Works
Alcohol concentration is one of the most important factors to consider while you are buying a hand sanitizer. Remember to look for a product that has at least 60% alcohol. When you are buying a hand sanitizer, go through these steps to find the best hand sanitizer that will really work for you.
- Avoid buying a non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
- Regularly using alcohol-based hand sanitizer can make your skin dry and rough. Search for a hand sanitizer that has moisturizers too.
- Most hand sanitizers contain artificial fragrances that smell good. Some chemical fragrances are toxic. They can pass through the skin and into the blood and cause serious allergic reactions. Avoid them!
A good hand sanitizer can kill 99.9% of germs. With alcohol-based hand sanitizers, you can avoid seasonal flu, HFMD, H1N1, cold, and other bacterial and viral infections.
Why Choose Puritol Hand Sanitizer?
Puritol hand sanitizer is made with the highest quality ingredients. It is a 70% ethanol/propanol-based formulation that can effectively kill bacteria, viruses, fungus, and pathogens. Puritol hand sanitizer also protects your skin from oxidative damage. It has a natural moisturizer that makes it gentle to the skin and also does not cause irritation. The hand sanitizer is non-sticky and provides a cooling effect on your skin.
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers work by killing microbial cells. They are available in small-sized bottles, and gel tubes that fit in your pocket or handbag making it convenient to carry and practical to use. Buy Puritol Hand Sanitizer online!