As 2020 has proven, keeping hands clean is extremely important to our everyday health. If you didn’t carry hand sanitizer with you before, chances are you do now. Even though using hand sanitizer seems pretty straightforward on the surface, there are a few important guidelines to know about hand sanitizer: the most effective types, proper usage, and how/where to store it.
Do Use Alcohol-Based Sanitizers
It seems there are thousands of different hand sanitizer brands, so which one should you choose? First, look for sanitizers made of at least 60 percent alcohol. Anything less than that can be ineffective in killing germs.
You might also see hand sanitizers that are alcohol-free and contain benzalkonium chloride. Studies by the CDC confirm that sanitizers with benzalkonium chloride are not as effective as alcohol-based sanitizers, so buy these only if there are no alcohol-based options. Additionally, it is not a good idea to add your own alcohol to your sanitizers, since the improper usage could lead to skin irritation or burns.
Don’t Favor Sanitizer Over Soap and Water
Hand sanitizer is just as effective as soap, right? Well, in certain situations it can be, but if available, using soap and water is typically preferred. That said, it is always a good idea to use hand sanitizers if soap and water aren’t readily available, or if you’re visiting someone with a weakened immune system. For more information on proper hand sanitizing or hand washing techniques, refer to the Hand Hygiene guide from the World Health Organization.
Don’t Leave Sanitizer in Hot Cars or Near Kids
Since the preferred hand sanitizers contain alcohol, we must remember that alcohol is extremely flammable. A bottle left in a hot car may combust, potentially causing extreme fire damage in your vehicle. It is also highly recommended that you keep hand sanitizer out of the reach of small children, since it’s extremely dangerous when ingested. If your child does ingest hand sanitizer, contact poison control immediately.
Do Keep Sanitizer at the Ready
Overall, hand sanitizers are extremely effective in combating germs and viruses. It is always a good idea to keep some handy when you’re on the go, whether it’s for yourself, your family, or your business.
Need to stock up? Order FDA-approved hand sanitizer from ASAP Site Services. By following these hand sanitizer guidelines, you can help yourself stay healthy throughout flu season, the pandemic, and beyond.