What is the Best Hand Sanitizer for Coronavirus?
The coronavirus pandemic has increased the demand for hand sanitizers.
Hand hygiene is important in reducing the number of germs that contaminate the hands. But still, people are struggling to choose a hand sanitizer that would help them.
You may be wondering:
- How effective is hand sanitizer at killing viruses?
- Does hand sanitizer really work?
- Which is the best hand sanitizer for coronavirus?
You’ll find all the answers in this article. Let’s first break down exactly what hand sanitizer is so we’re all on the same page!
What is Hand Sanitizer?
Hand sanitizers were first used in hospitals as a quick and effective solution for doctors to disinfect their hands between patients. Nowadays their usage is a lot more widespread.
Hand sanitizers are a liquid or gel made of alcohol plus additives such as oils or perfumes. They’re used as an antibacterial agent or disinfectant.
Hand sanitizers are a great option for when you’re not at home and can’t wash your hands easily. A small bottle can easily can fit in your pocket, purse or handbag. With hand sanitizer, you can disinfect your hands wherever you are (even if you don’t have access to water).
The Different Types Hand Sanitizer (And Which Type to Avoid)
Yes, there are different types of hand sanitizers. For example, you might find these various types:
- All natural
In most cases, it’s best to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at least 60-70% ethyl alcohol.
The alcohol-free hand sanitizers can potentially kill some viruses, but does that make you feel reassured? Hand sanitizer ingredients found in many all natural sanitizers don’t offer the same effectiveness and reduction rate as alcohol-based sanitizers. Why take the chance?
Also, pay attention to the hand sanitizer ingredients. It is believed by some that a particular antibacterial agent called triclosan can reduce the effectiveness of a hand sanitizer.
How to Use Hand Sanitizer (Plus How Much to Use)
Hand sanitizer is more effective when it’s used properly.
Too much sanitizer can irritate the skin and dry it out, removing natural oils and raising vulnerability to infection. That’s why hand sanitizer should be used moderately.
Where Can I Buy Hand Sanitizer?
Hand sanitizer is available on Amazon. Here are the bestsellers:
Are Hand Sanitizers Effective Against the Coronavirus?
The short answer is yes.
Alcohol-based sanitizers can quickly kill the majority of germs, including bacteria and viruses.
The experts agree that alcohol-based hand sanitizer is able to kill most viruses, but for maximum safety ensure that you buy a hand sanitizer has at least 60% ethyl alcohol.
In general, viruses are more resistant to germicides than bacteria. For example, alcohol can’t kill viruses that have a hard outer shell like norovirus or poliovirus.
But the coronavirus is a coated virus, which means that it has a membrane as an outer layer that can be attacked by the alcohol. Alcohol interrupts the RNA molecule of the virus (the essential part of the virus that it uses make copies of itself). This is how hand sanitizers are effective against COVID-19.
Can I Make Hand Sanitizer at Home?
It is not generally recommended to make homemade hand sanitizers, since the quality and effectiveness will vary by batch.
Using different active or inactive ingredients will impact the quality of the final product (and might render them much less effective at fighting germs). If you want to be sure that the hand sanitizer that you are using is of good quality, buy one.
But for those who are determined to make their own hand sanitizer, it certainly is possible. There are standard ingredient concentrations recommended by the WHO.
No matter which route you choose, always remember to wash your hands and disinfect surfaces at home regularly.
Which Hand Sanitizer Do Hospitals Use?
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are used in healthcare facilities.
The CDC guidelines regarding handwashing in the hospitals require caregivers to use an alcohol-based waterless antiseptic agent if there is no visible dirt.
The hand sanitizers in the hospital are made of the same ingredients as the ones used by the general public.
The optimum concentration of alcohol used in the hand sanitizers in the hospital is from 70% to 95%.
Handwashing vs. Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizers are effective, but they don’t kill all germs (especially when your hands are visibly soiled). Alcohol-based sanitizers won’t help you to remove dirt or oils.
Handwashing is effective in a different manner than alcohols: It helps to remove dirt plus other potentially hazardous pathogens. For the general public, washing your hands has been proven to be more effective than using hand sanitizer.
The type of soap used is less important than the way the hands are washed.
Wrap-Up: Best Hand Sanitizer for COVID-19
To sum up, cleanliness is the best defense.
Keep your hands clean regularly, and always ensure to regularly disinfect items and surfaces you touch. Use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
Also, try to avoid direct physical contact with other people. Be safe and smart, and don’t leave your home without a hand sanitizer as backup.
For detailed information, see these websites:
- Occupational Safety and Health Administration: COVID-19
- Centers for Disease Control and Prevention – Coronavirus
- CDC – Hand Sanitizer Fact Sheet
- CDC – Show me the Science on Hand Sanitizer