With the current pandemic and the various ways to prevent its spread, it can be hard to know which information to trust. Washing and sanitizing our hands has become ever more important as we try to get back some semblance of normalcy. Hand sanitizer has become a hot commodity for individuals and businesses alike. Now that it’s such a vital resource, here is everything you wanted to know about hand sanitizer.
Not All Sanitizers Are Equally Effective
It should come as no surprise that different manufacturers have different recipes for hand sanitizer. With this knowledge, it is important to know what kind of hand sanitizer you should be looking for. The CDC recommends a solution of at least 60 percent alcohol to be effective against germs. Be wary of more watered-down solutions, as these can be much less effective in sanitizing your hands.
It Does Not Actually Clean Your Hands
Soap and water cleaning is still the most effective way to rid yourself of the dirt and grime that accumulates on your hands. In fact, hand sanitizer becomes less effective against germs on your skin if the skin has foreign contaminants on it. If your hands are dirty or greasy, it is worth it to give them a scrub and rinse before using hand sanitizer, as this will make sure the solution reaches your skin.
Sanitizing Technique Is Essential
Pumping or spraying the sanitizer onto your hands is only the first step, and it is, debatably, not the most important one. Use hand sanitizer in the same way that you would wash your hands with soap and water. Make sure you get the solution all over your hands, between fingers, and under nails, and then rub your hands together until they’re completely dry to make sure it has taken full effect.
Home Remedies Are Not Recommended
While the pandemic has caused there to be a shortage in the supply of hand sanitizer, the FDA recommends that consumers do not attempt to make their own. Not only is there no way to be sure that they are effective, but there have even been reports of skin burns caused by homemade sanitizers. Leave sanitizer production to the professionals to ensure you are getting a product that will actually do what it says.
With health at the forefront of everyone’s minds right now, we need to be realistic with our expectations. Hand sanitizer is not a cure-all—it is but one tool we have in our pockets. Knowing everything we can about hand sanitizer is just one way that we can keep ourselves and those around us safe and virus free.