Hand sanitiser is one of the most effective weapons that normal people like you and I can use in the fight against the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. It has very quickly become something that many of us carry with us and use several times on a daily basis.
But what exactly is hand sanitiser, and how does it work?
Hand Sanitiser Dispenser frequently asked questions (FAQs)
Naturally, people have plenty of questions concerning hand sanitiser, especially how it works and how it should be used. That’s why we’ve put together a set of the most commonly asked questions about hand sanitiser and the answer to these questions.
What is hand sanitiser?
The main ingredient in most hand sanitiser products is isopropanol, more commonly known as rubbing alcohol, or ethanol. Alcohols have a long and well-known history as an effective disinfectant against many types of viruses and bacteria. That is, as long as the cleaning solution has a large enough concentration of alcohol in it.
How does sanitiser work?
The alcohol or ethanol in hand sanitiser does all the work to kill bacteria and viruses on your hands. Alcohols have long been known to kill germs by attacking their protective outer proteins and dissolving their membranes. This stops the germs from functioning, killing them.
Is hand sanitiser effective against COVID-19?
Yes, it is. Although washing your hands with soap and water remains one of the most effective ways to help prevent the spread of illnesses like COVID-19, hand sanitisers are an excellent alternative where handwashing facilities are not available or washing your hands isn’t feasible or possible. It’s worth noting that it’s usually only alcohol-based hand sanitisers with 60% alcohol or more that are a suitable alternative, though.
Does alcohol-free hand sanitiser work?
Although strong alcohol-based hand sanitisers are the best, some alcohol-free hand sanitisers are also effective. It’s important to read the product’s label to ensure it uses the right ingredients such as Benzalkonium Chloride. You can read more about alcohol vs alcohol-free hand sanitiser on our blog.
How much hand sanitiser should I use?
This depends entirely on how big your hands are. We recommend applying enough sanitiser gel so that you can cover your hands completely and keep them wet for around 10 to 15 seconds. Don’t put so much on that it takes minutes to dry, however. Once you’ve used hand sanitiser a few times, you’ll get a natural feel for it.
How long should I rub my hands together for?
Rub your hands together for anywhere between 10 and 30 seconds or until your hands feel dry. As you’ve probably heard by now, a good way to gauge this is to sing “Happy Birthday” to yourself—this takes around the same amount of time!
Do I need to wait for the sanitiser to dry on my skin?
Yes. Rub your hands together until the hand sanitiser feels dry on your skin. Do not wave your hands around to try and dry them and do not rub your hands on your clothes. These actions can cause other microorganisms to be picked up on the hands and damage your clothes, especially if the sanitiser is alcohol-based.
When should I use soap and water instead of sanitiser?
As a general rule, it’s always a better option to use soap and water. This kills more germs. However, it’s not always possible or convenient. This is where hand sanitiser comes in. Regardless, you should try to use soap and water instead of hand sanitiser if your hands are heavily soiled with dirt, grime, or grease—only soap will remove visible dirt.
Is hand sanitiser bad for the skin?
No, sanitiser is not “bad” per se. However, people with dry skin or skin conditions such as eczema may find that they suffer from some skin irritation. It’s better for these people to use soap and water. If those with skin problems do use hand sanitiser, they should always apply a moisturising cream once the hands have dried off.
Do “natural” hand sanitisers work?
Research currently suggests that hand sanitisers made from “natural” or herbal ingredients have no effect on pathogens found on the hands, including coronavirus pathogens.
Where can I buy hand sanitiser?
Hand sanitiser is widely available both online and in shops. There is no longer a scarcity or shortage. At HandStations.co.uk, we sell hand sanitisers and other sanitation products to both private and commercial customers.
Visit our online store to find out more.