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When soap and water is not readily available, as a secondary method of hand washing use hand sanitizer.

A hand sanitizer is a disinfectant applied to the hands. While various ingredients can be used, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are known to act as an effective disinfectant, while those with low or no alcohol offer no benefits. Therefore the most important active ingredient in hand sanitizer is alcohol and its content must have a concentration between 60 and 90 percent to effectively kill germs. However, not all forms of alcohol are effective, so look for either ethyl, isopropanol, or ethanol alcohol content. Avoid anything with alcohol content below 60 percent, as it won’t be an effective sanitizer.

There are various formats available for hand sanitizers, including gel, liquid, and foam. While the choice is mainly down to personal preference, it is worth noting that foam products are generally more expensive so may be worth avoiding. Hand sanitizer gels can be better than liquids as they don’t spill or leak as easily.

It is so easy to unintentionally spreading disease-causing germs so it goes the same for everyone else and therefore keeping your hands clean is one of the most effective ways to prevent the spread of germs and disease.

While many hand sanitizers come with a pleasant fragrance, it is usually best to avoid these. The reason is it may cause irritations to certain skin types.  Most good hand sanitizers are odourless, so be mindful that those with fragrances are often lower quality than other types.

Hand sanitizer kills a variety of pathogens that regular soap may leave behind. These pathogens include fungi, the Influenza virus, Hepatitis-B virus and drug-resistant bacteria, such as MRSA and VRE and now we know more than ever the Covid 19 virus.  They will not get rid of all germs, and they are not effective if your hands are visibly soiled. So the rule of thumb is if you can actually see dirt or oil on the surface of your hands, you must wash your hands with soap and water.

For hand sanitizer to be effective, you must use it correctly. It is recommended that you should apply the hand sanitizer directly into a dry palm, making sure you use enough to cover the entire surface of your hand. Once you’ve applied the hand sanitizer, rub your hands together until the sanitizer has been absorbed and the entire surface of your hand is dry. Don't rinse the hand sanitizer off; instead, allow it to dry, at which time the alcohol will evaporate on its own. 

Although its good to have hand santizer when your out and about and always carry one in your bag or pocket, washing your hands with warm, soapy water for at least 20 seconds is and always will be the best way to protect yourself.

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