Hand Sanitizers & Cleanliness
Here are the facts: handwashing with warm water and soap is the most effective way to reduce the amount of germs and chemicals on the hands. But what do you do if soap and water are not available? Hand sanitizer is the next best answer – but what kind? How much alcohol content is the right one? Below we will answer these questions and more with the most up to date information available from the CDC (Center for Disease Control).
What is the Necessary Alcohol Content for Hand Sanitizer?
If soap and water are not available, and you have hand sanitizer, you need to use a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. The guidelines for effective handwashing and/or use of hand sanitizer in community settings was developed from several studies conducted by the CDC and other top medical facilities in the United States and Europe.
When Do Hand Sanitizers Not Work?
Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
Many studies show that hand sanitizers work well in clinical settings like hospitals, where hands encounter germs but generally are not heavily soiled or greasy. Hands that become very greasy or soiled from handling food, playing sports, working in the garden, or going camping or fishing will not be affected by hand sanitizers. Those dirty hands need to be washed with soap and water!
Is There A Proper Way to Sanitize Your Hands?
When using hand sanitizer, apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount) and rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry.
If you are a person that is on the go and doesn’t always have access to warm water and soap, carrying a small bottle of hand sanitizer will do the trick. The higher concentration of alcohol the better – it will dry quickly and kill more types of germs!
Just like having unsoiled hands matters for hand sanitizer effectiveness, the cleanliness of the surfaces around you matters. Whether that means cleaning the windows, doors, sidewalks, decks, or patios around your home and business. The more often you clean communal surfaces, the less likely you will get germs from them and infect those around you! Be safe out there.
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