Hand sanitizers classified as alcohol-based sanitizers include alcohol as their primary constituent. They are frequently used to clean hands and eliminate bacteria, viruses, and germs. Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) and isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) are the most prevalent alcohols found in these sanitizers.
Alcohol content: According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), alcohol-based sanitizers should normally contain at least 60% alcohol. This concentration is thought to be efficient at eliminating a variety of viruses and bacteria.
Alcohol is well known for having antibacterial effects. It denatures proteins and damages the lipid membranes of bacteria when applied to the skin, rendering them inactive. Bacteria, enveloped viruses, and certain fungi are just a few of the main pathogens that alcohol-based sanitizers are effective against.
Applying an adequate amount of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to one hand's palm and rubbing your hands together to cover all surfaces palms, hands' backs, fingers, and nails until the sanitizer is dry is the proper way to use it. Normally, this process takes 20 seconds. For optimum efficiency, it's crucial to make sure that all parts of the hands are adequately coated.
Limitations: Alcohol-based cleaners may not be as efficient against some bacteria (such as Clostridium difficile) and non-enveloped viruses (such as norovirus). Furthermore, they are ineffective on hands that are obviously unclean or oily since the dirt or grease might protect the bacteria from the sanitizer. It is advised to wash your hands with soap and water in these circumstances.
Dry skin: Regular usage of alcohol-based hand sanitizers may result in skin dryness or irritation. Hand lotions and moisturisers can help with this problem.
Safety advice: Alcohol-based sanitizers should only be applied externally; they should not be consumed. They should be kept away from heat sources and open flames because they are flammable. To avoid accidental intake, it's crucial to keep them out of young children's reach.
Choosing a dependable product: Look for alcohol-based cleaners that have at least 60% alcohol by volume. The active components, usage guidelines, and any risks or warnings are listed on the product label.
While alcohol-based hand sanitizers are practical and useful in some circumstances, regular hand washing with soap and water for at least 20 seconds continues to be the most efficient approach to get rid of dirt, grease, and the majority of germs. When handwashing is not feasible or as an extra measure of cleanliness, alcohol-based sanitizers should be used.