Is Your Hand Sanitizer Effective in the War Against Germs?

Learn the truth about the effectiveness of your hand sanitizer

Are you a hand sanitizer addict? Do you whip out the sanitizer every time you touch doors knobs, gas pumps, turnstiles, handrails, and light switches? If you are, you are not alone. Many people are concerned about the spreading of germs, especially during flu season and have chosen to use an antibacterial hand sanitizer. The question is, do they work?

How effective is your hand sanitizer?

If you have a choice between cleaning your hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer, you should always choose soap and water. Washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds remains the most effective way to kill germs. Hand sanitizers and hand sanitizer wipes are not supposed to take the place of soap and water.

Keeping this in mind, if you are some place where you can’t get to soap and water, hand sanitizers can be effective but there are some things you need to know. According to the CDC not all sanitizers that claim to kill 99.99% of all bacteria really work.

In studies performed by the CDC, antibacterial sanitizers are only effective if they contain at least 60% ethanol. Products that contain 40% ethanol were not effective in killing germs so be aware of this when purchasing sanitizers. During research, the CDC noticed that many discount stores had bins of discounted sanitizer that did not meet their specifications in killing germs, and they were inferior products.

To be sure your sanitizer has at least 60% alcohol to kill germs, you can check online. Purell is one hand sanitizer that is effective containing 65% ethyl alcohol to kill germs, containing 65%.

In your battle against germs during flu seasons and at all other times, your hand sanitizer can be effective. Just be sure it meets the specifications and contains at least 65% ethanol.