Hand Sanitizers

Guide to Choosing the Most Effective Hand Sanitizers

The proper hand sanitizer helps ensure your health and safety and the health and safety of those around you. Yet, not every hand sanitizer is suitable for every situation. This guide will help you decide which hand sanitizer makes the most sense for your situation.

What is a Hand Sanitizer?
Simply put, a lubricant is a substance such as a liquid, gel or jelly, that minimizes friction. There are many different types of lubricants available, and each one differs according to how you plan to use it. For example, some lubricants are for instruments, some for skin, and others serve different purposes.

Hand sanitizer is standard in specific industries like healthcare. There is also a growing need for its use by the general public. Hand sanitizer helps reduce the risk of the transmission of viruses, bacteria and microorganisms.

A hand sanitizer is a perfect solution when soap and water are not readily available. It also offers portability, allowing you to carry bottles with you on the go. Hand sanitizers come in three forms: gel, liquid, and foam.

Uses for Hand Sanitizers
There are many uses for hand sanitizers. Consider some of the following:

  • After sneezing or blowing your nose
  • After visiting a friend or relative
  • After touching an animal
  • After touching a gas pump
  • After touching garbage
  • After touching a shopping cart, self-checkout screen, or a credit card machine
  • After touching an ATM screen or buttons
  • While caring for someone who's sick
  • When preparing food
  • After using the bathroom or public restroom
  • Instead of handwashing during a power outage
There are times when hand sanitizer is not appropriate, though. For example, if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy, it's far better to opt for soap and water. Hand sanitizers are a great way to keep hands clean when soap and water are unavailable. But it is not intended to replace soap and water altogether.

What to Look for in a Hand Sanitizer
First, the CDC recommends using a sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. The type of alcohol in your hand sanitizer matters. The FDA has approved hand sanitizers containing either ethanol (ethyl alcohol) or Isopropyl alcohol (Isopropanol or 2-propanol) as safe for use.
Note: Avoid any hand sanitizer made with methanol or 1-propanol as these ingredients can be toxic.

Also, there are some antiseptic hand sanitizers available on the market made with non-alcohol ingredients. These products are not FDA-approved, and the CDC does not recommend them. There is no proof that non-alcohol hand sanitizers are as effective against germs as the ethanol-based hand sanitizers mentioned above.

Hand sanitizers come in a variety of scents. If you have small children in the house, avoid products that smell like food or dessert. Hand sanitizers, when ingested in any amount, can be toxic.

Best Types of Hand Sanitizers
Choose a hand sanitizer product that fits your needs. For some, that might include scented hand sanitizers. Remember those around you when using scented hand sanitizers. Some might be sensitive to or allergic to these scents. If that's the case, then consider an unscented hand sanitizer.

Additionally, some hand sanitizers contain aloe to soothe your skin. There are also hand sanitizing wipes for an on-the-go solution.

Don't abandon handwashing altogether. Wash with soap and water between hand sanitizing as well. Hand sanitizers can leave a protective film behind. Over time, this can leave your hands feeling tacky. So, practice good hygiene with soap and water when possible.