Hand sanitizer seems like the perfect solution for a busy mom on the go, an employee in a fast-paced environment or a hands-on coach of little athletes.
Does this quick and convenient sanitizer really keep you out of harm’s way by killing 99.9% of germs as advertised?
We’ve tracked down the nitty gritty details of just how effective hand sanitizer is, as well as the true and false facts of this hand-held wonder.
Scientists and researchers have proven that hand sanitizers do in fact kill 99.9% of germs, but these studies have been performed on inanimate surfaces. Although it is true that alcohol-based hand sanitizer is effective in killing a large amount of germs on your hands, it has yet to be proven that it truly kills 99.9%.
In the same sense, antibacterial does not kill viruses, such as the norovirus, which is a common stomach bug, so it is important to take other precautions during seasons where illnesses are prevalent.
True or False: You should apply hand sanitizer to the palm of your hand and rub your hands together until dry. TRUE! The method for properly applying hand sanitizer were developed by the CDC and has proven to be the most effective method for removing bacteria. To properly soak past the outer oil layer of your hands, you must wait until the solution is dry.
True or False: Your hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol.TRUE! Over time, studies have shown that the most effective hand sanitizers contain between 60-95% alcohol.
True or False: Hand sanitizer can be used even when your hands are visibly dirty. FALSE! Hand sanitizer is not as effective when the surface of your hands are covered in dirt or grease. In these instances, hands must be washed with soap and water.
True or False: Ingestion of hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning. TRUE! If more than a couple of mouthfuls of ethanol-based hand sanitizer are swallowed, it can be toxic. Keep this in mind around children who may be attracted to the colorful packaging and fruity smells of some sanitizers!
Now that you’ve got the facts, be sure to always keep a hand sanitizer in a convenient place, but out of children’s reach, and make sure to wash your hands with soap and water first if available!