How to Know If Your Hand Sanitizer is Effective?
Hand sanitizer is a current buzzword — alongside social distancing and hand washing. Sure, COVID-19 needs no more introductions.
Although a thorough soap-water wash remains the most effective hand cleaning method, you won’t always have a faucet around. Even if you can access a sink, washing hands with soap and water after EVERY contact sounds widely impossible.
Accordingly, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) recommends, “Hand sanitizers when you can’t use soap and water.”
Supporting bodies of research say in the absence of water, alcohol-based sanitizers may be as effective as, if not more than, hand washing.
A 2018 research study found about 97% of people wash their hands wrongly. This, among other perks, gives hand sanitizers an edge over water and soap approach.
Knowing where to buy hand sanitizers and determining an effective hand sanitizer are common questions, lately.
If that sounds like your concern, no worries, this article looks at what makes an effective hand sanitizer, where to buy the recommended over-60% alcohol-based sanitizer, and other safety guidelines.
CDC Recommends 60% Alcohol-based Sanitizers.
Is my sanitizer effective?
Ethanol, ethyl alcohol, isopropanol, and isopropyl alcohol are all names for active alcohol ingredients. Confirm that one of these names is on your hand sanitizer label. If the alcohol percentage falls within CDC’s 60% minimum recommendation for ethanol and 70% minimum recommendation for isopropanol, you’re safe.
Anything slightly below this alcohol percentage benchmark would reduce the effectiveness drastically and increase users’ exposure to germs.
Ignore products that claim they contain ingredients ‘as active as alcohol.’ If not alcohol, nothing else measures up.
With hand sanitizers, content is important. The FDA considers hand sanitizers to be over the counter drugs and have specific requirements for their manufacture and sale, like having a 60% or greater alcohol composition for public use.
Yet, Non-alcohol hand sanitizers are selling out
Despite health experts’ campaign for alcohol-based hand sanitizers, alcohol-free and many low-quality alternatives are flying off vendors’ shelves, disturbingly, at exorbitant rates.
Unfortunately, it’s almost impossible to spot fakes from the genuine, by mere scrolling drown the listings. These non-compliant fly-by-night companies are cashing out big on users’ ignorance.
For instance, Purell Hand Sanitizers, from $11.88 in January, hit an all-high $199 in March. Now, they’re all sold out!
The household hand sanitizer, Germ-X, with a $10 price tag in January, sold for $49.95 by the end of February.
Thankfully, in the wake of the Coronavirus, E-commerce giants like Amazon have been delisting sellers engaged in price gouging.
Many of such products do not place the ‘alcohol-free’ print in an obvious-enough spot on the label; they’d instead concealed it and in almost-invisible texts. Well, don’t expect to find an “alcohol-free solution” on their listings, either.
How Do Hand Sanitizers Work?
Applying hand rubs can be a breeze. Here’s a quick four-step application guide:
- Remove all organic matter from your hands. Your sanitizer may be inefficient on visibly dirty or greasy hands.
- Apply a squirt of your sanitizer with one hand on your other palm.
- Rub content over both hands until it covers the entire palm and fingers.
- Continue until the sanitizer is visibly absorbed.
Although water may give a safer wash, here some gains of hand sanitizers over water and soap:
- Mobile and readily available. You may not always have running water around for hand washing
- Kills microorganism fast
- Lesser time-demand
- Cuts down bacterial counts
- Some contain skin-friendly properties for skin hydration and nourishment
Frequent water-soap scrub-down may cause skin irritations and dryness, which often lead to cracks, and, in worse cases, bleeding.
Any safety concerns?
So far, nothing says hand sanitizers can be harmful with the recommended application guide. However, the high alcohol content could cause minor skin dryness and may exacerbate eczema and related skin conditions.
That said, appropriate checks should be in place to guide against alcohol poisoning.
Hence, ensure hand sanitizers are boldly labeled and out of children’s reach. Children may have but restricted access to sanitizers except under close supervision. For an added precaution, a child-resistant cap may come handy.
Children’s exposure to hand sanitizers accounts for about 85,000 calls to poison control centers in the United States between 2011 and 2015. Typically, kids tend to consume practically any well-flavored finely labeled liquid.
Besides unintended dosage, adults may, due to the alcohol content, purposefully consume the hand sanitizers to get drunk. Ingesting a couple of mouthfuls could cause health complications. All hand sanitizer must be denatured, meaning the alcohol has added chemicals to prevent consumption of hand sanitizer. Simply, don’t eat your hand sanitizer.
What if my hands are not dirty?
You may have germs on your ‘clean’ palms. Germs are not visible with the bare eyes but via a microscope. So, whether you ‘feel’ dirty or not, after exposure to high-prone areas —doorknobs, keyboards, office phone, stair rails — sanitize.
However, hand sanitizer should only be applied to clean hands, meaning if your hands are visibly soiled you should wash your hands with soap and water. Hand sanitizers does not remove dirt or filth off your hand.
Why alcohol-based sanitizers?
Over 20 research reports alcohol-based sanitizers as far more effective than everyday foaming agents or antimicrobial formulas for germs.
These solutions handle germs in visibly clean hands. Being a portable standalone product, hand sanitizers are ideal for on-the-go users. They can conveniently go with you in your bag, purse, car, backpack, or anywhere in your house and office.
Will alcohol-based sanitizer affect my skin?
It depends – on your skins’ sensitivity, and, most importantly, the product’s ingredient. With most skin-friendly products like MOXE, frequency regardless, a hand sanitizer won’t hurt you.
Studies reveal that health personnel who routinely sanitize their hands with alcohol-based sanitizers had far less irritations than those who used soap and water.
On your next buy, go for products that contain moisturizers. They not only prevent dryness but replenish lost nutrients.
How many times should I use my sanitizer before I wash my hand?
There are no rules here. Although some persons advise hand wash after applying sanitizers up to 5 times, it has no scientific base whatsoever. If your hands are not visibly dirty, grumpy, or greasy, then you may go all day without water and soap.
Where to buy hand sanitizers?
Several pharmacies and retail stores sell hand sanitizers. But with increasing demand imposed by the COVID-19 scare, many stores are running out of stock.
Although DIY could’ve been a thoughtful alternative, FDA discourages home-made sanitizers. Being that, wrong formulations may ignorantly expose users to germs and cause skin irritations.
That said, some credible alcohol-based hand sanitizer manufacturers have leveled-up their production rates to match the skyrocketing demand.
Amidst the fakes and non-compliant products, MOXE Premium Hand Sanitizer, with 70% of alcohol, has maintained its quality.
MOXĒ’s Key Ingredients
- 70% Ethyl alcohol
- Aloe Vera juice
- Tocopheryl acetate (Vitamin E)
- FDA-approved ingredients and facilities
- Meet’s U.S quality standard (made in Florida, USA)
- Leaping Bunny Certified – animal cruelty-free
- Free from pesticides and harmful chemicals
- Mild solution for all skin types
- Great for on-the-go users
Regulated by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, MOXĒ Hand Sanitizer boasts high-standard quality and efficiency.
Shop MOXE's 8 oz Citrus Hand Sanitizer Gel in 1 Bottle Packs for $7.99 or a 2 Bottle Packs for $13.99.
Looking for an unscented hand sanitizer? MOXE now has Unscented Hand Sanitizer Gel in 8 oz bottles—shop a 1 Bottle Pack for $7.99 or a 2 Bottle Pack for $13.99.
Get your alcohol-based sanitizer now, and stay safe on-the-go.