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Hand Sanitizers

Alcohol-based hand sanitizing products were originally used by the medical profession to reduce the spread of bacterial infections from patient to patient. Today there are a variety of gel hand sanitizers available to protect you and your family from germs and to keep everyone healthy. Sanitizing gel should be used in coordination with hand washing with soap and water to kill viruses and bacteria.

When should you use hand sanitizing products?

When washing with soap and water is an option, there is no need to use these products to kill bacteria. But in their absence, it is best to use a product that is at least 60% alcohol, or the product will not be effective in removing germs from your skin.

What ingredients are in most hand sanitizers?

Hand sanitizers are usually made from ethyl alcohol for its antiseptic properties. They can also contain water, fragrance, and glycerin. Alcohol-free hand sanitizing products contain the ingredient triclocarban or possibly triclosan. In addition to these ingredients, you may find additional dyes, scents, and other elements in the specific hand sanitizer you are using.

What will hand sanitizers kill?

These gel products are effective for killing most bacteria and fungi on the hands. They will kill 99.9% of bacteria on the hands 30 seconds after you apply the product and 99.999% in the first minute. Though highly antibacterial, these products will also kill some viruses.

How are hand sanitizers used?

There is a right way to use a hand sanitizer gel. Wiping the product off to dry your hands after use will reduce its effectiveness. The evaporation of the alcohol is what kills the bacteria and ensures your hands are clean. Consider these tips for proper use:

  • Apply the product to the palm of one hand.
  • Rub your hands together until your hands are dry.
Will hand sanitizers kill cold viruses?

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can kill most causes of the common cold. The rhinovirus, which is most frequently the cause of colds, spreads from droplets in the air and from contact with objects that people with colds have touched. The ethanol in the hand sanitizer is one of the active ingredients that kill the rhinovirus.

Are foaming hand sanitizers as effective as gels?

There is no measurable difference in effectiveness between these two products. That decision of whether to use a foam or a gel is based on personal preferences. It is the alcohol that makes the product effective. Whichever product you choose, germs will be eliminated.

Are there other uses for hand sanitizer?

You can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer for more than cleaning the skin on your hands. There are several other uses for around your home. Hand sanitizers can:

  • Remove stains from markers.
  • Remove scuff marks from shoes.
  • Remove sticky labels and price tags.
  • Be used as a deodorant substitute.
  • Clean eyeglass lenses and removes hairspray residue from surfaces.
  • Sanitize makeup brushes and remove makeup stains from fabric.
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