Hand sanitiser. You quite literally cannot love with it these days! Back in the day, and I am talking 2019, hand sanitiser was often just something that was kept in the pocket a germophobic person. Most people would simply use soap and water when they needed to clean their hands a few times a day.
But what is hand sanitiser exactly, and what ingredients does it have that are able to fight viruses such as the Coronavirus? How do you make sure to get the best from your sanitiser and how do you know what the best sanitisers are to use for maximum protection?
In this article we will discuss what ingredients are needed to make an efficient sanitiser as well as some guidelines in order to use it correctly.
So What Exactly Is Sanitiser?
Sanitiser is a liquid, gel or foam that is used to kill the majority of viruses, bacteria and microorganisms on the hands, especially when there is no access to soap and water.
Although hand sanitiser is less effective than soap and water to clean your hands, it does work as an effective agent to kill harmful viruses and bacteria.
What Makes a Good Sanitiser
Although hand sanitizer is less effective at killing certain types of germs, it is efficient enough if used correctly. Try to keep the hand sanitiser on for as long as possible and let it dry before you wipe it off. A hand sanitiser that contains less than 60% alcohol is not effective enough to use during the pandemic.
Tips on Using Hand Sanitiser
- It is important to have a hand sanitiser that contains a mixture of at least 60% alcohol.
- Hand sanitiser must be approved by the FDA.
- In order to properly apply any alcohol-based sanitiser, start by rubbing the gel on the surfaces of your hands and fingers and also make sure that your hands are dry on their own.
- Always keep alcohol-based hand sanitizers away from small children or animals who could unknowingly ingest them. Sanitiser if ingested can be very poisonous (source).
How Correctly Apply Hand Sanitiser
The CDC recommends that you use the following steps when using a sanitiser that is alcohol based:
- Apply the sanitiser to the palm of one hand.
- Rub your hands together for at least 10 seconds.
- Make sure that the sanitiser is rubbed over the entire surface of your hands and fingers until they are dry.
The Contents of Hand Sanitiser
The best Sanitiser to use is one that has a combination of isopropyl alcohol, ethanol or n-propanol. Sanitisers with at least 60% to 95% alcohol are the most effective. Glycerol is often added so as to prevent the skin from drying out and some Sanitisers even contain certain fragrances.
There are non-alcohol based Sanitisers for those who suffer from allergic reactions. These contain benzalkonium chloride but are unfortunately much less effective than alcohol-based sanitizing agents.
World Health Organization (WHO) Recommendations on Hand Sanitisers
The WHO has issued worldwide guidelines for hand Sanitiser providers:
- All Sanitisers need to be labelled in accordance to the guidelines of the WHO.
- The label should state the name of the company that is selling it.
- The WHO hand rub recommendations need to be stated on the bottle.
- The label should always advise that the Sanitiser is for external use only.
- All products need to be dated and batched.
- A description of how to use the Sanitiser should be on the bottle.
- The composition of the Sanitiser must be clearly shown.
- The bottle must show a warning that the mixture is extremely flammable.
The WHO on Production and storage facilities of hand Sanitiser:
- Storage as well as production facilities should be cool and air conditioned.
- No flames should be permitted near the product.
- As per the WHO it has been recommended that hand rub should not be produced in quantities that exceed 50 litres.
- When production facilities are making the hand Sanitiser they need to stick the following formulation: Ethanol 80% (v/v) and of isopropyl alcohol 75% (v/v) are 17.5°C and 19°C, respectively.
- National guidelines on safety and legal requirements must be adhered to when it comes to the storage of ingredients and the final product (source).
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Let Protective Hygiene protect you and your family in a time where sanitization and personal protective equipment can mean the difference between sickness and health.