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How Useful Are Hand Sanitizers?

Apr. 07, 2022

Germs are everywhere! They can come in contact with the hands and objects we touch during our daily activities and make us sick. Cleaning your hands with soap and water or a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol at critical times is one of the most important steps you can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to those around you.


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend using hand sanitizer made with 60 percent alcohol to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 and other infections.


With the outbreak of coronavirus (COVID-19), it's no surprise that many people are taking extra measures to stay safe, including stocking up on sanitizing sprays, gels, and soaps.

 FDA Approved Hand Sanitizer

  FDA Approved Hand Sanitizer

How useful are hand sanitizers?

They are definitely useful in hospitals to help prevent hospital staff from transferring viruses and bacteria from one patient to another.


Outside the hospital, most people get respiratory viruses through direct contact with people who have already contacted them, and hand sanitizers are not helpful in this situation. And they have not been shown to have more disinfecting power than just washing hands with soap and water.   

Convenient cleaning

However, hand sanitizers do work during peak respiratory virus season (about October through April) because they make it easier to clean your hands.


Washing your hands every time you sneeze or cough can be a challenge, especially when you're outdoors or in the car. Hand sanitizers are convenient, so they make it more likely that people will clean their hands, which is better than not cleaning them at all.


However, according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), for hand sanitizers to be effective, they must be used correctly. This means using the proper amount (read the label to know how much you should use) and then rubbing it on the surface of your hands until they are dry. Do not wipe or wash your hands after application.

WHO Recommended Hand Sanitizer

 WHO Recommended Hand Sanitizer

Are all hand sanitizers the same?

It is important to make sure that any hand sanitizer you use contains at least 60% alcohol. Studies have found that less concentrated hand sanitizers or hand sanitizers that do not contain alcohol are not as effective at killing bacteria as hand sanitizers with 60 to 95 percent alcohol. In particular, alcohol-free sanitizers may not be effective against different types of bacteria and may cause some bacteria to develop resistance to the sanitizer.


Are hand sanitizers and other antibacterial products bad for you?

There is no evidence that hand sanitizers and other antibacterial products that contain alcohol are harmful. Theoretically, they may lead to antimicrobial resistance. This is the reason most often used against the use of hand sanitizers. However, this has not been proven. In hospitals, there is no evidence of resistance to hand sanitizers containing alcohol.


However, while there are no studies that show that hand sanitizers definitely pose a threat, there is also no evidence that they protect you from harmful bacteria any better than soap. So while hand sanitizers have a place in hospitals or when you can't get to the sink, washing with soap and warm water is almost always a better option.


Portable hand sanitizers do make a difference during peak respiratory virus season (about November through April) because they make it easier to clean your hands.

 Learn More

If you want to learn more about hand sanitizers, you can reach us through our website or send us an email. Our hotlines are also available. Our customer support agents will contact you as soon as we get a query from you. We are dedicated to providing the best hand sanitizers for our clients.



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