Facts About Hand Sanitizers

Usage of Hand Sanitizers has taken centre stage with the rise of COVID-19. 

Practising hand hygiene via regular hand-washing and using sanitizer whenever possible is very important to keep ourselves safe from the coronavirus.

While handwashing is the best form of protection, there are times where it is not practical to wash your hands such as when you are outside, entering a store or public place, being in close contact with others, interacting with surfaces that are not cleaned regularly, etc. 

This is where alcohol based hand sanitizers are relied upon.  Especially during times like these when we are combatting the COVID-19 pandemic, frequent use of sanitizer is recommended by the health authorities. 

In simple terms, alcohol based hand sanitizers are effective in helping deter the spread of germs and illness causing bacteria, especially in busy environments such as schools, offices, stores and other public places:

  • Stop the Spread of Germs: According to studies, 1 in 5 people don’t regularly wash their hands. Of those who do, 70% don’t use soap. Providing hand sanitizer in key areas (including bathrooms and kitchens) makes it more likely that people will use it to kill harmful bacteria.
  • Reduce Waste: As an extra precaution, many people will use paper towels to open doors when leaving bathrooms or kitchens. Placing hand sanitizers near exits makes it easy for people to defend themselves from germs without needing to create additional mess.

 

What are types of hand sanitizers available?

There are 3 types of hand sanitizers  

  • Gel
  • Spray
  • Foam  

Each type works effectively if used properly and in the right amount.  

Hand sanitizers come in either alcohol based or alcohol free formulations. 

When using Health Canada approved sanitizers, both forms are effective disinfectants and work well at preventing the transmission of germs and bacteria. 

From our experience, the type of hand sanitizer a person or organization uses is strictly one of preference.  Here are some general guidelines on each type:

 

What Type Of Hand Sanitizers Should We Use?

Gel

Gel sanitizers typically allow for skin to be not as dry after use and is very effective at being applied.  The downside of gel is that it takes longer to dry and sometimes a sticky residue may persist after drying.

Spray (Liquid)

Having become very popular during the Covid-19 pandemic due to shortages of sanitizers around the world, spray (liquid) sanitizers are very effective in both cost and protection.  They provide a crisp spray which can be applied effectively.  The downside of spray is that it may be stronger and may dry out a person’s hands if used continually.

Foam

Using a very different formulation than either gel or liquid, foam is very popular in commercial applications because the quantity of sanitizer used is smaller than either spray or gel.  The downside of foam is that it is generally more expensive, is less available in the marketplace and sometimes may leave a sticky residue like a gel.

 

 

How Is Hand Sanitizer Most Effectively Used?

Effective use of hand sanitizers to help get rid of germs before they spread is easy by following these simple rules:

  • Don’t Use Hand Sanitizer if Your Hands are Dirty: Hand sanitizers are not meant to clean your hands. They’re meant to disinfect them.  If your hands have oil or dirt or other residue, sanitizers will be ineffective as they are prevented from reaching the skin to provide the sanitizing effect your skin needs.
  • Use the Right Amount: When it comes to hand sanitizer, less doesn’t mean more. Apply enough sanitizer so your entire hands are thoroughly covered and coated.  Remember the back of your hands and fingers and under your fingernails too!
  • Let Your Hands Air Dry: Using water after application of sanitizer will only dilute the application of the sanitizer making it ineffective in preventing germs and bacteria.  So, don’t wet your hands after applying the sanitizer.  Don’t wipe your hands with a towel.  Let them dry naturally.

Hand Sanitizer Dispensers with the best suited hand sanitizer solution for your organization can help in controlling the spread of Coronavirus.