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How do hand sanitizers work

How Do Hand Sanitizers Work - Things You Need to Know

The demand for hand sanitizers continues to grow each year, most especially in the USA market. From the beginning of 2020 alone, the annual revenue for hand sanitizers increased by 16.7 percent compared to the previous year. This is because hand sanitizers are very handy to people who don't have the option to wash their hands. These include workers who are on a long shift, kids at school as well as regular commuters.

With proper use, these alcohol-based products can help reduce the volume of germs that latch onto the hands after touching contaminated surfaces. But how do they work? What makes them effective in getting rid of dangerous microorganisms? Are these products 100 percent efficient?


How are sanitizers made?


The first hand sanitizing solution was invented back in 1966. During these times, sanitizers were only limited to hospital settings. A few decades later, manufacturers began making products residential and personal use. They packaged them in smaller and easy to carry bottles so people can bring the product anywhere they go.


What are the main ingredients of sanitizers?


Generally, sanitizers contain antiseptics such as n-propanol, benzalkonium chloride, isopropyl alcohol, and ethyl alcohol. You can also find sanitizers that contain chamomile essences, eucalyptus oil and other types of ingredients that have antimicrobial properties. Manufacturers make use of FDA-approved concentrations of the active ingredients to create safe and effective products.


Which type of sanitizer is the best?


Because sanitizing products aren't made equally, you need to find ones that provide the most protection from germs. Between the two types, namely alcohol-based and non-alcohol-based sanitizers, you should choose the former. These work better in disarming and killing a long list of microbes.

Clinical experts recommend using gels, foams, and sprays that contain anywhere between 60 to 95 percent of alcohol. Those with lower alcohol ingredients provide very little protection.


How do you properly use hand sanitizers?


Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are the best choice if you want to minimize the risk of contracting a disease or spreading illness to your family and friends.

With these products, you can potentially break apart the protein components of various bacteria and viruses. Damaged protein strands would prevent the microbe from reproducing and spreading to other parts of the body.


Proper use of hand sanitizer


To ensure that your hand sanitizer can work its magic, you need to apply it the right way. Here are some important things you need to remember when sanitizing your hands:

  • As much as possible, you should not substitute it for handwashing.

  • If your hands are visibly dirty, wipe them first before you apply your sanitizing solution.

  • Check the product label to determine how much product you need to use.

  • Apply the prescribed amount on your skin.

  • Spread it evenly and make sure you don't leave any area unsanitized.

  • Experts recommend rubbing your hands for at least 30 seconds.


Hand sanitizer expiration date - things you need to know


Like every other product sold in the market, sanitizing gels, foams, and sprays will expire after some time. To ensure the efficacy of the product, you should use it within the prescribed period. In the case of sanitizers, you can use the product within two to three years after its manufacture date. Alternatively, you can check the date written on the top, side or bottom part of the hand sanitizer bottle.

It's also good practice to use up a bottle of alcohol-based gels or sprays as soon as possible. Alcohol evaporates faster than water. As such, your sanitizer won't be as useful if you leave it unused inside your bag for a long time.


Are sanitizing products bad for your health?


There are a lot of discussions about whether sanitizers can cause harm to the body. Some claim that it can create superbugs or antibiotic-resistant bacteria. In truth, this isn't the case. Medical professionals have long disproved this claim. As long as you use the product properly, you don't need to worry.

You might only have problems with a product if you are sensitive to alcohol or plant essences. Check your skin for any signs of irritation. If you spot rashes, then you might need to stop using the product. You can switch to a different brand or perhaps stop using sanitizers all together.

You can also check the alcohol content. Most of the time, products that contain ethanol, a strong type of alcohol, cause mild to severe skin irritation. Choose a sanitizer that contains either isopropyl or ethyl alcohol.


Sanitizing products - not a substitute to handwashing


It's important to remember that using sanitizers aren't as effective as washing your hands with soap and running water. The lipid molecules found in soap bars, gels, and solutions dissolve the protective barrier of many minute organisms. Running water, on one hand, ensures that the microbes latched on your skin dislodges completely.

Also, cleaning your hands with sanitizing solutions won't suffice in case you came into contact with harmful chemicals, dirt or grease. In such cases, you need to locate the nearest sink. Scrub your hands for around 60 seconds so you can remove the contaminant. Then, wash them thoroughly and let them dry for at least 30 seconds.

Knowing which cleaning method to use is very much crucial to ensuring your safety from unseen and malevolent forces. While using sanitizer is okay, you should always remember when you should and should not use it.


A valuable product you can share with your family and friends


Sanitizers are definitely here to stay. Their market demand is expected to rise in the next few months due to the recent health problem faced by many people in and out of the USA.

This product is a total must-have! You can store them in your first aid kids, backpacks or purses. You can buy them for personal use or perhaps order them in bulk so you can share them with your families, and colleagues.

These simple items make a meaningful and useful gift no matter what time of the year. They can help you encourage everyone you love to be more cautious. A simple bottle of hand sanitizer can also provide ample protection from various germ-caused illnesses.