Hand Hygiene is one of the most important hygiene practices. And hand sanitizer plays an important role in hand hygiene. The article is all about hand sanitizer facts. It involves not only washing your hands with hand wash but also sanitize your hands with an appropriate proportion of alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Sanitizing your hands involves hand washing your hands with soap and water; after drying, hands apply it over your palm and rub your hands thoroughly. But what if there is no soap and water available like in traveling, camping, at some public transportation services? You need to carry it in your bag while traveling, camping. In addition, it is necessary at hospitals to avoid the spread of many hazardous diseases. It can also be used in kitchens to avoid food poisoning, at workplaces, and at schools and colleges.
Many healthcare centers recommend cleaning hands in a specific way to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. The guidance for effective handwashing and use of sanitizer was developed based on data from a number of studies we have done. Still, there are some questions that arise in our mind which are as follows-
1) Washing your hands with soap and water is always best. What if soap and water are not available?
Only washing your hands will not kill invisible germs, bacteria, and viruses. Sanitize them with alcohol-based sanitizer after washing hands. They are so much useful when water is not available.
Many healthcare studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Non-alcohol-based sanitizers may not work equally well for all classes of germs, bacteria, and viruses. The alcohol-free sanitizers merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright whereas alcohol-based hand sanitizer kills germs and bacteria completely. Alcohol-free hand sanitizer causes more skin irritation as compared to alcohol-based sanitizer.
2) Do you know the correct steps for use of hand sanitizer?
While using it, take a coin-sized drop of it to the palm of one hand and then rub it all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands become dry.
People should cover all the surfaces of both hands with it, and have been found to provide similar disinfection effectiveness provided here the detailed steps for rubbing it.
3) Are hand sanitizers really that much effective?
Many studies have shown that hand sanitizers work well at places like hospitals where hands come into contact with germs but generally are not heavily dirty or greasy. Some studies also have shown that hand sanitizers may work well against certain types of germs on slightly soiled hands.
However, hands may become visibly soiled or dirty at some places such as while playing sports, working in the garden, or go for camping or fishing. It may not work well at such places.
Hence, the better way to use hand sanitizers when hands become visibly dirty first to wash your hands with soap and water, let them dry for few seconds, and then apply sanitizer.
4) Does washing your hands kill more germs than using a hand sanitizer?
No. Only washing your hands with normal soap won’t kill many invisible germs. Soap just cleans up soiled and greasy hands.
Most people using hand sanitizer or anti-bacterial soap. However, using hand sanitizer over dirty hands cannot be so much effective. Hence, cleaning your hands in a proper way (i.e. washing, let them drying and then applying hand sanitizer over hands) kill more germs.
5) Some essential precautions you have to take while using hand sanitizer. Which are those?
It should be used as directed. Swallowing alcohol-based sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning. Swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning. Some people think that gargling of alcohol-based sanitizer can clear your throat. However, alcohol-based one contains ethyl alcohol, and swallowing ethyl alcohol could be very harmful and poisonous.
It should be kept away from the reach of children. Children may be likely to swallow it that is scented and brightly colored.
6) When, where, and how often should you use hand sanitizer?
They are used after washing your hands or can be used without washing your hands. That means sometimes when you are at outdoor activities and water is not available; that time you will need hand sanitizer.
It should be used in kitchens before cooking, before and after eating. It should be used after going to bathrooms; also should be used in hospitals by doctors and nurses; in public transportation services such as railways, buses, etc; in schools and colleges; at outdoor activities such as camping and traveling.
But, if hands have touched harmful chemicals, wash carefully with soap and water and then apply it over them after letting them dry.
7) Does alcohol-based hand sanitizer kill the flu virus?
It kills most types of germs, bacteria, viruses. The transmission of some flu-like diseases can be prevented by using hand sanitizers. Alcohol-based sanitizer definitely fights against germs and kills 99.9% of germs.
Scientists have shown that alcohol-based sanitizer does not stop diseases. However, it helps in preventing the transmission of contagious diseases like cold, flu, H1N1, and other viral and bacterial-based diseases.
An alcohol-based sanitizer can work up to 6 hours.
8) How does it work?
It works on the phenomenon of friction. An alcohol-based hand sanitizer contains 65% of alcohol which has a very low boiling point. So, as you rub it on your palm, in between your fingers, heat is generated due to friction. The heat evaporates alcohol and other particles, which takes germ particles with them.
It must be used in a directed way- Firstly take a coin-sized drop of hand sanitizer on your palm; spread it all over your inside and outside of your palm; Rub your hands together until they become dry. Hands are becoming dry means alcohol is killing germs.
9) 8 surprising uses of hand sanitizer
There are some other surprising uses of it-