Before this year, hand sanitizer played a very low-key role in our personal hygiene routines. While many of us had them lying around in our cars, backpacks, purses, and office drawers, we likely never bothered to look at the ingredients list and wouldn’t have given much thought to what makes for the “best” hand sanitizer.
Mostly, we looked for the visual appeal and just the right scent when selecting a hand sanitizer. It’s sold in stores so it’s obviously safe and effective right?
With a global pandemic calling for a lot more due diligence with our hand hygiene, we’ve started paying more attention to hand sanitizer, and asking questions like:
- What’s in hand sanitizer?
- What is it supposed to do?
- Is all sanitizer created equal?
- Is it safe?
- Which sanitizer is the best?
What is Hand Sanitizer?
Hand sanitizer is a liquid or gel that a user rubs on their hands to reduce the amount of germs on them. It’s the ideal way of germ removal when soap and water are not available. Hand Sanitizer spray is also incredibly effective on non-porous and high-touch surfaces like countertops and cell phones. Hand sanitizer is often available in small, convenient bottles of two ounces or less. This makes them ideal for purses, backpacks, cars, desk drawers, and even just around the house.
It’s is effective in killing 99.9% of germs, bacteria, and spores on your hands if it contains at least 60% isopropyl alcohol by volume, which is why it’s important to check the alcohol content of any hand sanitizer you’re considering.
Don’t forget to check that the alcohol used in your hand sanitizer is approved by the FDA for human use. Since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, the FDA has reported cases of manufacturers using methanol in their hand sanitizers, which is a known toxin to humans.
While hand washing is still the best way to keep your hands clean, hand sanitizer is helpful when you are unable to get to a sink, have items like phones and tablets that can’t get wet, or for other high-touch surfaces like door handles and workout equipment that frankly we wouldn’t recommend you attempt to rinse off in the sink (but we would definitely watch you try).
Some examples of times hand sanitizer comes in handy include:
- When using public transportation
- While outdoors
- While at the gym or while playing sports
- At Athletic events
- When out grocery shopping or running errands
- Getting back into your car after being in public places
Pretty soon, we bet you’ll be stashing hand sanitizer in all the right places- just promise us you won’t hoard. Not cool.
Can Hand Sanitizer Prevent Me From Getting Sick?
The short answer is, no.
But, hand sanitizer will reduce the bacteria population on your hands, reducing the risk of spreading or catching germs and bacteria.
The same goes for the use of hand sanitizer sprays on non-porous surfaces; it doesn’t kill all germs, viruses, and other things that can make you ill, but it will reduce the number of bacteria and germs on the surface, making it safer overall.
Are These New COVID Hand Sanitizers Safe?
At the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic, hand sanitizer and other everyday essentials like canned foods and toilet paper were in short supply.
As such, the FDA issued a temporary policy for the production of hand sanitizer. This policy allowed manufacturers that normally do not produce hand sanitizer to produce it in an effort to meet the increased demand. Unfortunately, some manufacturers began producing ineffective and unsafe hand sanitizers.
Problems with these hand sanitizers included:
- Ingredients that were not safe, including the previously mentioned use of methanol (wood alcohol).
- Not containing the appropriate amount of alcohol to be effective in sanitizing hands.
- Falsely claiming to be FDA-Approved.
- Product packaging that looked like food packaging, which posed a threat of ingestion especially among children.
Although the CDC temporarily enacted this policy to help increase the supply of hand sanitizer to meet the massive demand, there have been negative results which consumers should consider when purchasing hand sanitizer for their use.
To avoid purchasing ineffective hand sanitizer, follow these simple precautions:
- Cross reference the brand of hand sanitizer you are using with the FDA’s list of dangerous hand sanitizers.
- Check the ingredients list. Make sure that your hand sanitizer contains at least 60% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol for hands, or 70% for surfaces.
- Consider other ingredients. Sometimes less is more. A hand sanitizer that is gentle on hands but a powerful killer of germs, bacteria, and spores, may only contain isopropyl or ethyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, and purified water (hint, hint).
- Opt for hand sanitizers that are unscented and clear especially if the intended users are children. Heavily scented hand sanitizers with bright, glittery, vivid colors can be tempting for children to play with, overuse, and potentially ingest. And remember, children under the age of six should always have adult supervision when using hand sanitizer.
Where Can I find Hand Sanitizer Now?
If you live in an area where hand sanitizer is hard to come by or prefer the safety of at-home delivery, Sanitizer.com is your safest bet. We provide our customers with high-quality hand sanitizing products at fair prices.
Our hand sanitizer is:
- Effective on hands and surfaces at an 80% concentration of isopropyl alcohol. Our hand sanitizer kills 99.9% of germs, bacteria, and spores, making it a great option when soap and water aren’t an option.
- Affordable. Some third-party sanitizer sellers and companies took advantage of the pandemic and profiteered from a crippling supply chain, offering hand sanitizing products at triple and quadruple the normal cost. We were horrified by these unethical business practices. Our promise to our customers has always been affordable and quality hand sanitizer products through our marketplace.
- Available. We offer a variety of sanitizer products including a monthly sanitizer spray subscription.
- Safe. Our hand sanitizer does not contain any ingredients that are unsafe for your skin. We only include isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerin (to keep your hands soft), and purified water. Our hand sanitizer is effective yet gentle, so no matter how many times you sanitize your hands, your hands will never feel dry or chapped.
So… tons of information. The takeaways? Stick with hand sanitizers like ours that have all the ingredients you need and none you don’t-, stay away from sketchy sanitizers that may not be effective, and don’t fall for quadruple-priced sanitizers when our marketplace has everything you need for a fair price.