In the current times of a pandemic, it is recommended to wash hands with soap and water whenever possible. Washing hands reduces the amount and types of chemicals and germs on our hands. But when you are on the go and have to leave your house absolutely, a hand sanitizer is your best friend. Hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol at the least can aid in reducing the spread of germs and further prevent you from getting sick.
What Is a Hand Sanitizer?
A hand sanitizer, also known as a hand antiseptic or hand rub, is used to remove common disease-causing germs. They are most commonly in gel form but also come in foam and liquid forms. They should only be used when water and soap aren’t available or when repeated hand washing has resulted in causing skin problems such as the development of scales.
Hand sanitizers are used as a stand in to control the spread of infection in a day-to-day setting. Your workplace has a million unseen germs, and it is best to keep a hand sanitizer with you to keep your surfaces and hands germ-free.
Types of Hand Sanitizers
There are two types of hand sanitizers reliant on the active ingredient: alcohol-free and alcohol-based
These are based on disinfectants. They include antimicrobial agents like Triclosan or Benzalkonium chloride (BAC).
They contain 60-95% alcohol, usually in the forms of iso-propanol or ethanol. This particular percentage of alcohol is effective against denaturing proteins and neutralizing certain microorganisms.
Both of these types can also have “emollients” such as glycerin, fragrance or thickening proxies.
When Not to Use a Hand Sanitizer
- Hand sanitizers do not remove visible dirt. They are better at battling the unseen, the germs. If your hands are dirty or greasy, say after consuming food or working with soil, it is wise to wash hands with soap and water.
- Hand sanitizers do not remove harmful chemicals such as pesticides or other heavy metals from hands. When in contact with hazardous chemicals, it is always recommended to wash hands carefully for 20 seconds with soap and water.
Corona Virus and Hand Sanitizers
With the worldwide spread of the SARS-CoV-2virus still rampant, most stores have experienced a shortage of hand sanitizers. But how effective are hand sanitizers against the virus? According to a study, a low percentage of alcohol (60-66%) is effective in killing the corona virus. It is a massive relief for people who work in community settings.
Despite this, please still practice the Standard Operating Procedures put in place: do not touch your face, wash hands whenever you can, wear a mask, and practice social distancing!
DIY Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer
Below is a set of ingredients depending on the percentage of alcohol to make the hand sanitizer at home. Follow the exact instructions to produce your own hand sanitizer.
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Rubbing Alcohol 99%
Aloe Vera Gel
Tea Tree Oil
How To Make 🥣
Measure carefully and add all your ingredients into a small container and mix well.
Pour the mixture into the squeeze bottles using a funnel.
Do not fill to the top. Please leave a little space so you can shake it before using the hand sanitizer.
How To Use ❓
First and foremost, make sure to free your hands from grease and dust. Then pour a little amount of hand sanitizer on your palm. Follow by rubbing both of your hands together for at least 30 seconds. This will make sure that your sanitizer is covering all the surfaces of both hands including the spaces between your fingers. Let the sanitizer dry completely before touching any surface or doing any work.
Keep sanitizer away from reach of children. In case of ingestion, seek medical aid immediately! Do not store hand sanitizer in temperatures above 40 degree Celsius. In summers a parked car can reach a temperature of 53 degree Celsius, avoid leaving it in the car.
Always opt for 99% rubbing alcohol, a lower percentage will make the hand sanitizer ineffective. Even though aloe vera gel can help reduce dry hands, it is best to monitor your skin- as cracked skin on your hands is likely to make you more vulnerable to infections.
If you react to the hand sanitizer, please stop using it and contact a doctor. Lastly, Hand Sanitizers last at least 2-3 years. Please discard, if past expiration date because its effectiveness is questionable at best.
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