Is hand sanitizer really effective for cleaning hands? Find the answers here
Of course you know what hand sanitizer is in this day and age. A few years ago almost no one used the stuff, but now sanitizer hand gel is everywhere you look. And with good reason: with the outbreak of H1N1, people are more concerned than ever with protecting themselves from seasonal viruses.
Does it work?
So does hand sanitizer instantly sanitize? Or is it all a big hype?
Hand sanitizing is a very effective way to kill germs. But two major caveats exist regarding that statement.
First of all, hand sanitizers absolutely must contain between 60 and 90% alcohol for effectiveness. The ideal content is around 70 or 75%. Because obviously the higher the alcohol content, the more germs get killed. If your hand sanitizer contains less than 60% alcohol, it’s absolutely useless and toss it out.
The types of instant hand sanitizer that contain less than 60% alcohol usually contain perfume and functions more as a cologne than any sort of germ killing agent.
If your hands are visibly soiled then the sanitizer hand gel fails to work. For obvious reasons, if your skin is caked in filth, soap and water needs to get rid of that first. Then sanitize.
When should you use it?
A danger exists that too much hand sanitizing may create a semi-sterile environment. This actually leads to more bugs and prevents you from developing natural immunities. The key is common sense. Don’t use hand sanitizer every five seconds. Save it for times when you come in contact with a sick person or someone lacking in hygiene.
If you use sanitizer hand gel improperly, it’s just as bad as not using it at all. But when you don’t have access to soap and water, hand sanitizer is an effective way to kill off dangerous germs providing you use the right ones.