Is using a hand sanitizer worth it? Does it really work to protect you against all kinds of viruses?

We often see people use hand sanitizers over hand wash, deep inside us arise certain questions. Do these hand sanitizers really work? What do they contain?

The answer to these questions is quite simple and confusing too and worth knowing therefore, keep reading to know what’s worth knowing.

The actual truth behind hand sanitizers

The companies that produce and market hand sanitizers claim that they contain anti-bacterial and anti-viral properties. But some experts disagree with this.

An urge to use the hand sanitizer was seen sharply after the outbreak of the COVID-19. The demand for hand sanitizers had grown all over the world. But still, a question that occupies the mind, that does it really work?

And the truth is yes, they do work, but not all.

A lot of new hand sanitizer companies are seen arising, which do not focus on the quality of their product but only the sale.

Therefore make sure that you choose the best hand sanitizer brand.

Which type of hand sanitizer should I purchase?

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol content are very effective. Hand sanitizer having less than 60% alcohol are not that effective as they fail to kill wide variety of germs or bacteria.

Experts recommend using sanitizers containing 60-95% alcohol content. Strong alcohol solutions are a great way to kill the bacteria present on your hands.

Non-acholic or hand washes without alcohol; the content does not really work therefore, buying them is just a waste of money and risky too.

Thus do not buy non-alcoholic hand sanitizers.

Hand washes VS Using a sanitizer- Which is better and more effective?

According to the CDC washing hand with regular soap is much more effective than using hand sanitizers. Handwashing with clean water and soap is a powerful means of killing almost 99% of germs from hand, that is why you must use soap and water as much as possible to clean your hands.

Whenever you are not able to use soap and water for washing hands, then you must use a hand sanitizer. Using hand sanitizer containing more than 70% of alcohol content is highly recommended.

Do I really need to purchase a Hand sanitizer?

Yes, hand sanitizers are very important and are completely worth purchasing. Even though hand washes with soap kills more bacteria, but there are a lot of instances when soap and water are not available. For example when you are traveling or even when you are away from home.

Thus, you need to have sanitizers always with you, because keeping your hands clean is of utmost importance. You never know, when you are going to fall sick due to unclean hands.

Are some sanitizers better than soap?

Absolutely no, there is no sanitizer available in the market that can compete with soap and water. Therefore, it is recommended that you more often use soap and water than hand sanitizer.

Do hand sanitizers kill viruses?

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are powerful and are capable of killing a wide range of bacteria and even viruses too. The best thing about hand sanitizers is that it also kills the Corona virus.

Thus, the portable hand sanitizers of well-known brands are worth purchasing. Good sanitizers not only eradicate viruses such as the Corona but also many other viruses that causes certain respiratory illnesses.

This is the main reason for the increase in sale of hand sanitizer due to the outbreak of the COVID-19.

Can I use a hand sanitizer all the time?

No, at all, you cannot depend entirely on a hand sanitizer all the time. Even though it kills most of the bacteria and viruses but not all. You should wash your hands with soap and water whenever you notice your hands are quite brownish in color due to the accumulation of a lot of dirt. You cannot use a hand sanitizer in such a case.

Sometimes when your hands come in contact with certain chemicals and other dirty things, they need to be washed with hand wash and clean water.

You are supposed to use a hand sanitizer only when there is no soap and water available.

Do hand sanitizers expire?

Now this is an important question. Do I need to check the expiry date of an hand sanitizer before using it? Not really, this is actually not a matter of concern. The good thing is that hand sanitizers don’t really expire, therefore you need not bother about the expiration date on the hand sanitizer bottle.

The expiration date that you see on the sanitizer is just printed because of the guidelines of the FDA(Food and Drug Administration).

The main ingredient that is the alcohol of the hand sanitizer itself does not expire for a very long period of time at room temperature. But you always need to seal the bottle of your hand sanitizer properly. The main ingredient of alcohol is very volatile and thus quickly evaporates at room temperature.

Therefore, if you keep the sanitizer unsealed it might cause the alcohol to evaporate and detoriate the quality of your sanitizer.

Pragat vyawahare

This is Pragat Vyawahare a microbiologist, nutritionist and the founder of Healthysab

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