What makes an effective hand sanitizer? – sanitizer.com

What makes an effective hand sanitizer?

While it’s unlikely you’re carrying a bar of soap around in your bag, hand sanitizer is ideal for clean hands on the go. But get a sanitizer formula wrong and it doesn’t properly kill the germs.

Here’s the key detail: According to anyone who knows what they’re talking about (the World Health Organization, the Center for Disease Control et al) hand sanitizer needs to contain between 60% and 95% alcohol to be effective germicides (aka germ killers). 100% alcohol and it suffers serious evaporation. Too little and it doesn’t kill the bad guys, simply slowing their growth instead. 

How do you know if yours hits that sweet spot? Hand sanitizer is treated like a drug so every bottle will have a “drug facts” label on the back. Flip it over to find the “active ingredient” and you'll usually find alcohol (ethanol, isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol) and the percent of the formula it constitutes. 

But be mindful of how old your sanitizers are and where you store them too. Over time some will suffer from evaporation which changes the ratio of ingredients. We think that’s one of the many reasons a subscription is brilliant. No old bottles of sanitizer of dubious origin laying in wait for you. You get travel-friendly sanitizers formulated to WHO standards (ours has 80% denatured alcohol and 0.125% hydrogen peroxide) replenished regularly so you can have clean hands, worry free when we all emerge from our homes this summer. 



Further reading:

https://www.lifehacker.com.au/2020/04/yes-hand-sanitizer-expires/

https://www.insider.com/does-hand-sanitizer-expire

https://www.propublica.org/article/coronavirus-hand-sanitizers-cdc-recommended-alcohol

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3291447/ 

https://www.science.org.au/curious/people-medicine/hand-sanitiser-or-soap-making-informed-choice-covid-19

https://www.abc.net.au/news/2020-04-02/coronavirus-hand-sanitiser-may-not-be-effective/12110170

https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html