We are more concerned than we ever have been about our safety against diseases and viruses. Many of us who wouldn’t have considered ourselves “germaphobes” prior to this year now find ourselves disinfecting surfaces and carrying around disinfectant wipes to clean shopping carts, door handles, and anything else we think might be unsanitary.
One of the easiest and most no-nonsense ways to keep ourselves as safe from germs as possible is by proper hand washing. If we’ve learned nothing else this year, it is that an ounce of prevention is truly worth a pound of cure, and hand washing is truly that ounce of prevention.
Proper hand washing involves the use of soap and warm water, and rubbing hands together for at least twenty seconds, or as long as it takes you to sing the Happy Birthday song. We recommend you sing this in your head.
However, there will always be times when you simply cannot get access to a sink or are just unable to wash your hands with soap and water. For these times, we rely on hand sanitizer.
Hand sanitizer is a great option for keeping our hands healthy when we can’t wash. Hand sanitizer is:
- Easy. Probably easier than washing your hands. To use hand sanitizer, you simply spray it (or squirt it, depending on whether it is a spray or gel) onto your hands and rub them together. It is, however, important to use a generous amount of hand sanitizer for it to be completely effective. This is the number one mistake people make when using hand sanitizer.
Additionally, it’s important to remember to let it dry. Don’t touch any surfaces (including your face) until your hand sanitizer has had time to completely dry. This allows the product time to work.
- Convenient. Whether you are on the go, outdoors, at school, work, or home, sometimes, you just can’t wash your hands. A pocket-sized hand sanitizer is a great way to get your hands in good, healthy condition in between washes. We get it, sometimes we’d rather just spray and go, too.
- Effective. A good hand sanitizer that is formulated in accordance with the World Health Organization guidelines for hand sanitizer production is effective in reducing the bacteria population on your hands and bringing your hands, and along with other good hygiene practices can help keep you safe, especially during peak cold and flu seasons.
- Safe. Hand sanitizer is safe for use on your hands and is generally well tolerated by most people. A great sanitizer will also have a conditioning agent so that no matter how many times you sanitize your hands, they don’t become overly dry and/or chapped.
We know that since the popularity of hand sanitizer grew in the late 1990’s, there has been a plethora of different kinds available for use. From plain and unscented, to brightly colored and scented as if it were edible, the market for hand sanitizer prior to the pandemic was mostly dependent on preference about scent and texture.
In fact, many of us gave little thought to whether or not our sanitizer was actually effective.
What Kind of Hand Sanitizer Is Most Effective?
For a hand sanitizer to be effective, it only requires that it contain ingredients which safely reduce the level of bacteria, germs, and spores on your hands to within allowable limits as determined by health officials. While there are numerous disinfecting type agents that are capable of doing this (for instance, bleach), only some are safe for use on the skin and approved by the Food and Drug Administration.
There are two sanitizers approved by the FDA for use in hand sanitizers which are effective in killing 99.9% of viruses, germs, and spores on your hands; they are ethanol and isopropyl alcohol. In order for hand sanitizer to be effective, it must contain:
- 60% alcohol (either ethanol or isopropyl) for sanitizing hands; or
- 70% alcohol (ethanol or isopropyl) for sanitizing certain non-porous surfaces, like your smartphone or tablet.
Effectiveness of your hand sanitizer is important, but also important is the safety of your hand sanitizer. As a general rule, hand sanitizer can pose a risk of ingestion to children if it is heavily scented, vividly colored, or packaged in a bright, colorful package. While we definitely want to encourage children to use hand sanitizer, it’s important that we supervise children under the age of six closely and always provide them with sanitizer that isn’t attractive for overusing or ingestion.
It’s also important to note that some alcohols are not safe for use in hand sanitizers. For instance, wood alcohol (ethanol) is not safe for use in hand sanitizers and can actually be toxic when absorbed through the skin.
What Kind of Hand Sanitizer Do They Use in Hospitals?
If you’re still not sold that the hand sanitizer you are using is the best available, you may be looking for some type of “medical grade” option. You should be happy to know that hospital grade hand sanitizer is the same as hand sanitizer available to the public. The same rules for effectiveness apply to hospital hand sanitizer, and hand sanitizer available to the public.
The same 60%-70% standards for sanitizing are applicable for both the general public and for hospitals. Obviously, hospitals have completely different sanitizing standards that they must follow, including standards to sterilize certain surfaces. However, for general hospital usage, hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol is used to keep hands sanitary between regular hand washings.
Further proof that you can trust your hand sanitizer to have the same effectiveness as hospital hand sanitizer is the fact that manufacturers of hand sanitizer had to make the decision to supply sanitizer to hospitals and medical facilities first, prior to releasing product to the public, when hand sanitizer was in short supply earlier this year.
Many companies stepped up their production to ensure that at the very least, medical facilities had the hand sanitizer they needed, prior to dispensing it to the public. This created an even higher demand for hand sanitizer in the public market, which led to some pretty undesirable practices.
What Happened When We Couldn’t Get Enough Hand Sanitizer?
Earlier this year there was a run on many personal care items including everything from toilet paper and bleach products, to hand sanitizers. When we were told we were in the midst of a deadly pandemic, we went in search of as many cleaning and sanitizing products as we could find. When it became clear these products were likely going to be in short supply, we did what consumers do: we hoarded. This practice results in some consumers having stockpiles of products they neither need nor use, and some consumers having zero access to any products.
Another bad practice was the onset of price gouging. Prices began to skyrocket as shelves emptied out, making it virtually impossible for anyone to get access to this necessary health item. While some online retail warehouses made efforts to eliminate price gouging, you’re still likely to find that most hand sanitizer is priced much higher than it normally would be.
Once supply caught up with demand and manufacturers could finally offer hand sanitizer to the public, many stores enforced buying limitations which meant that if you could find hand sanitizer, you were likely paying more for it and only able to buy a small amount of it.
There had to be a better way to get good, high-quality hand sanitizer to the public for affordable prices, and without causing them to panic and hoard product.
Thankfully, the solution is in the form of a monthly sanitizer subscription service offered by Sanitizer.com. We make it easy for you to get the hand sanitizer you need in an easy, convenient way that ensures you’ll always have all the sanitizer you need.
Our hand sanitizer is affordable and always available, so you don’t have to worry about searching a million stores to find hand sanitizer and leaving with only one bottle. When you begin to run out of your hand sanitizer, you’ll likely notice another box ready for you on your doorstep.
Can You Buy Hospital Grade Hand Sanitizer?
Because hospitals use the same kind of formula for their hand sanitizer as general consumers, you can buy it for at-home use. In fact, some hand sanitizers available to the public with isopropyl alcohol concentrations of 80%, which make them incredibly effective not only for hand sanitization, but also for use on certain surfaces, like smartphones, keyboards, tablets, and other commonly touched or used surfaces.
The hand sanitizer offered from Sanitizer.com contains only four ingredients:
- 80% isopropyl alcohol
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Purified water
Our hand sanitizer is effective, yet gentle on hands. Our products are made and manufactured in the USA, so when you buy from us, you’re supporting American jobs. Hand sanitizer isn’t something we won’t need for a long time.
It’s effective and important even when we aren’t dealing with a pandemic, which is why it’s important to have a good supply of hand sanitizer on hand to keep our hands healthy and clean when we can’t get a good soap and water wash.