You Might Be Buying A Hand Sanitizer That Won't Work For Coronavirus

You Might Be Buying A Hand Sanitizer That Won't Work For Coronavirus

Coronavirus may never go away – says the World Health Organization. Although the figures are decreasing by good numbers, according to WHO’s Health Emergencies Programme, Dr. Mike Ryan, “the virus may become just another endemic virus in our communities.” 

In response, schools, trading centers, and religious activities spring back, gradually; and the strict lock-down order loosens up slowly. 

Understandably, since its end doesn’t seem soon enough, there’s a thoughtful shift from trying to eliminate the virus to living safely with the virus. 

Among other stay-safe campaigns, the global health community emphasizes hand hygiene using frequent washing and sanitizing. Here's everything you need to know about what will work against the Coronavirus. 

woman washing her hands with soap and water to kill the coronavirus and avoid contracting Covid-19

Hand Sanitizers For Covid-19

Handwashing is inarguably the safest way to keep those pathogens at bay. But where handwashing is not possible, CDC recommends using alcohol-based sanitizers with between 60 and 95 percent alcohol concentration

Disturbingly, most of the hand rubs flying off shelves of pharmacies do not meet this recommendation. 

With the persistent shortage of hand sanitizer supply, it can be tempting to click "order now" on anything labeled a hand sanitizer.

But, before you do, remember all hand sanitizers are not created equal. Some hand sanitizers won’t work for coronavirus – regardless of what the label promises.

Most prominent among these are products whose manufacturers use benzalkonium chloride over alcohol as key ingredients.

According to the CDC, these products may not kill certain germs and bacteria and, as such, endanger unsuspecting users’ health. Sadly, more and more people are buying just any product, not minding the unique ingredients.

Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizers May Not Work For Coronavirus

Even with the ridiculous price gouging, these alcohol-free hand rubs are selling out fast. By merely looking at the listings, you can hardly tell an alcohol-based from an alcohol-free product.  

Too often, you may not find any “alcohol-free” proclamations boldly stated on the front of the label. Instead, a hardly-noticeable small font “alcohol-free formula” print might be present on the back or bottom,  citing benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient. While technically present on the label, often this information isn’t readily available on product listings online. 

You can find a lot of these alcohol-free hand sanitizers on the search results pages of eCommerce sites like Amazon, but they're not a good bet if your're looking to protect against the novel coronavirus. 

woman applying hand sanitizer with over 60% alcohol to kill coronavirus

Homemade Hand Sanitizers May Fail Too

FDA has expressed concern about the rising popularity of homemade hand sanitizer formulas. Since these homemade solutions are not regulated, their effectiveness is highly questionable. 

Besides, these DIY alternatives often leave users with skin irritations and cracked skin. 

The fact is, while these homemade options may seem easy to make on paper, the end product is either too harsh or not effective. Either way, this could expose you to some avoidable health risks. 

What Works For Coronavirus?

Handwashing remains your best security. The World Health Organization rates hand sanitizers as the next best when water and soap are not readily available.

For maximum effect, wash hands by distributing soap and water across hands for at least 40 seconds.

“Antimicrobial” and “Antibacterial” tags are not synonyms for effective.

The antimicrobial and antibacterial claims on the hand sanitizer bottles do not automatically mean they are recommended. 

Generally, excessive exposure to antibiotics often causes superbug incidences and, in turn, bacterial resistance. This is one among many reasons why hospitals and other clinical environments recommend alcohol-based products. 

In the absence of soap and/or water, hand rubs with at least 60% alcohol concentration is your best weapon against germs. 

Germs may survive on solutions with less than 60 percent alcohol concentration. 

A University of Toronto research shows hand sanitizers with 70 percent concentration are considered more potent than even 90 percent concentrates. 

Too-high alcohol concentration makes it difficult for the solution to penetrate the germs, an action promoted by water. Purer alcohols are volatile, often evaporating too quickly before one can achieve the proper contact time for bacterial elimination. 

It is, however, noteworthy that alcohol-based sanitizers can be poisonous when ingested so for kids’ safety, supervise children when using sanitizers and keep out of their reach when not in use. 

Even the best quality hand sanitizers won’t work on greasy or visibly dirty hands. Hence, inspect your hands before you apply your sanitizers. If they look apparently dirty or oily, at that point, soap and water will offer you better protection against bacteria and germs.

Most hand rub users misapply the content. While it’s one thing to get a hand sanitizer that works for coronavirus, ensure you apply as directed. 

Applying too little or accidental wiping off before it dries up is typical incorrect practice among users. Follow the product’s label for the best application procedures. 

Rub content all over your palms and over and between fingers, covering every part, from the fingertips all through to your wrists.  Rub in until the sanitizer air dries. 

Why Use A Hand Sanitizer? 

Understandably, hand sanitizers have gained widespread recognition in the health world. Here are the primary reasons:

Convenience.

For one, hand sanitizers are portable, and ideal for on-the-go users. 

This feature is particularly more helpful during a major health scare like the novel COVID-19 pandemic, as individuals can clean their hands more frequently to avoid contracting the virus in public places. 

Finding a faucet and soap every time you sneeze or after every contact may be a challenging venture. 

Contrarily, hand sanitizers come with you everywhere you go. Its compact size makes it encouraging to move around with, thus promoting the stay-safe campaign.

Where To Buy Hand Sanitizers That Work For Coronavirus 

There is a truckload of hand sanitizers on the market currently –particularly on the internet. Yet, a bunch of these products are in the class of hand sanitizers that won’t work for coronavirus, making selection tricky. 

Before you order, ensure you check the label for its claims. Ignore the “antibacterial” and “antimicrobial” jingles. To stay safe, key health sector stakeholders – including FDA, WHO, and CDC – collectively recommend over-60-percent alcohol-based hand sanitizers. 

So, regardless of germ-killing claims, confirm that your sanitizer contains over 60% alcohol as the active ingredient. 

Still not sure what ticks the right boxes? FDA-registered MOXĒ Unscented Hand Sanitizer Gel is premium quality and affordable. It not only exceeds the CDC’s 60% benchmark, unlike many, the solution’s vitamin E and other skin-friendly ingredients feed your skin.

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