Health Caremedicine and their usage

Hand Sanitizer: How It Works In Our Life?

Story Highlights
  • What is Hand Sanitizer?
  • How Useful Are Hand Sanitizers?
  • How Much Should You Use?
  • Limitations Of Hand Sanitizer

Is hand sanitizer the best way to protect yourself from bacteria and viruses such as the coronavirus and influenza?

With the coronavirus (COVID-19) outbreak, many individuals are taking extra precautions to keep safe, such as stocking up on hand sanitizers, gels, and soaps.

Yes, according to the companies that sell these products (which are frequently referred to as “antibacterial” or “antimicrobial”). However, some consumer advocates argue that they are ineffective and may lead to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacterium strains.

As it turns out, the greatest solution is to use common sense.

Your hands, as useful as they are, also bring germs into contact with your mouth, eyes, nose, and other regions of your body. Although washing your hands with soap and warm water is the best way to clean them, hand sanitizer is another choice.

If you haven’t already made this germ-fighter a fixture on your shopping list, you may soon realize you need to after learning about its multiple advantages.

What is Hand Sanitizer?

It can increasingly be found at nursing homes, emergency clinics, and a variety of public restrooms.

We’re all aware of the need of proper handwashing in reducing the spread of harmful germs. In any event, there are occasions when you don’t have access to a cleanser or water, or you don’t have enough time to wash thoroughly.

Could a hand sanitizer serve as a viable substitute for hand washing? Is it true that using a hand sanitizer reduces your chances of getting sick? Let’s see what we can find out!


How Useful Are Hand Sanitizers?

They’re absolutely useful at the hospital to assist prevent hospital employees from passing infections and bacteria from one patient to the next.

Most people contract respiratory viruses outside of the hospital through direct contact with persons that already have them, and hand sanitizers won’t help in those situations.

They also haven’t been found to be more effective in disinfecting than simply washing your hands with soap and water.

How They Work?

These were created to be used after washing hands or when soap and water are not readily available. They are alcohol-based gels that are applied to the skin to kill bacteria.

Bacteria and most viruses are killed quickly and effectively by the alcohol. Because alcohol can be drying to the skin, most sanitizers also include a moisturizer to prevent skin dryness and irritation.

How Much Should You Use?

To successfully use this, place a small amount on the palm of your hand, around the size of your thumbnail, and rub it over your entire hand, including your nailbeds. You haven’t used enough product if the gel fully evaporates in less than 15 seconds.

Types of Hand Sanitizers

Alcohol-based or alcohol-free hand sanitizers are available. Between 60 and 95 percent alcohol is present in alcohol-based sanitizers in the form of ethanol, isopropanol, or n-propanol. At this concentration, alcohol has a tendency to spread proteins and inhibit the growth of certain microorganisms.

Alcohol-free products provide the same immediate and purposeful disinfection properties as benzalkonium chloride (BAC) or antimicrobial compounds like triclosan. Several sanitizers contain emollients (such as glycerin) to soothe the skin, as well as thickening agents and scent.

Are All Hand Sanitizers Created Equal?

When using hand sanitizer, be sure it contains at least 60% alcohol.

Sanitizers with lower percentages or non-alcohol-based are not as effective as those with 60 to 95 percent alcohol, according to studies.

Non-alcohol-based sanitizers, in example, may not perform equally effectively on different types of bacteria, resulting in sanitizer resistance in some pathogens.

When To Use Hand Sanitizer?

  • When soap and water are not readily available.
  • When your hands aren’t greasy or filthy.
  • Hands should be sanitized while in direct touch with patients.
  • Hands should be sanitized before putting on sterile gloves.
  • Hands should be sanitized before placing a central intravascular catheter.
  • Hands should be sanitized before treatments that do not need surgery, such as putting indwelling urine catheters, peripheral vascular catheters, or other invasive devices.
  • Hands should be sanitized before taking a patient’s pulse or blood pressure or lifting them.
  • Sanitize hands when they come into contact with bodily fluids or excretions, mucous membranes, non-intact skin, or wound dressings, even if they are not outwardly filthy.
  • Hands should be sanitized after interaction with inanimate objects (including medical equipment) in the immediate area of the patient.
  • Hands should be sanitized after removing gloves.

How It Works?

Two elements:

  1. Waterless hand sanitizer
  2. Friction
  • Hands should be free of filth, soil, blood, and lubricant before applying the waterless sanitizer.
  • A very small amount of waterless hand sanitizer should be applied to the palm of one hand, or waterless hand sanitizer wipes can be used.
  • While rubbing hands with the sanitizer, it should cover all surfaces of the hands and fingers.
  • The process should be repeated until all of the waterless sanitizer has been absorbed.


When these are used in the proper amount, they are more effective. The way the hand sanitizer is used, the length of time it is exposed to germs, and the frequency with which it is used all play a part in how effective it is.

The presence of the infectious agent here on host ought to be susceptible to the active ingredient included in the product for sanitizers to work. Alcohol-based waterless sanitizers should be applied thoroughly for 30 seconds before air-drying completely to reduce microorganisms.

When used appropriately, even alcohol-free formulations, such as the SAB (surfactant, allantoin, and BAC) hand sanitizer, have an effect. Many are also ineffective against bacterial spores, enveloped viruses (e.g., norovirus), and encysted parasites, according to certain studies (e.g., Giardia). When hands are visibly dirty, hand sanitizers are ineffective.

Read Also: Omicron Is Not Common Cold, Should Not Be Taken Lightly: WHO

Potential of Hand Sanitizer—Not as Good as Soap and Water

Because fingers are still wet with mucus, rubbing an ethanol-based hand sanitizer quickly does not disseminate cold and flu germs. Sanitizers with a lower alcohol percentage or non-ABHS have been shown to inhibit the growth of microorganisms but not to kill them.

Washing hands with soap and water is considerably superior to using a hand sanitizer in the past since soap and water remove dirt, bacteria, and oil to provide a thorough and thorough cleansing.

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends the following for proper hand washing:

  • Hands should be washed with soap and lathered with clean flowing water.
  • Scrubbing should be done on the palms, backs, fingers, between fingers, and under the nails, and should cover the entire surface.
  • Scrubbing time should be 20 seconds, or the time it takes to sing “Happy Birthday” twice.
  • Finally, rinse your hands under running water and dry them with a clean towel or let them air dry.

Benefits Of Hand Sanitizer

  • These are practical, portable, simple to use, and take very little time.
  • Several studies have found that families who use hand sanitizers had a lower chance of spreading gastrointestinal (stomach) and respiratory infections.
  • Ingredients in commercially manufactured hand sanitizers aid to reduce skin dryness.
  • When compared to hand-washing, these products can cause less skin dryness and irritation.
  • According to studies, providing hand sanitizers in schools can cut student absence by 20%.
  • Furthermore, many children believe that using instant hand sanitizers is enjoyable.

Limitations Of Hand Sanitizer

  • Hand sanitizers aren’t all made equal. Look for active substances on the label of the product.
  • Ethyl alcohol, ethanol, or isopropanol can all be used to make alcohol. All of these types of alcohol are legal.
  • Ensure that the alcohol concentration is between 60 and 95 percent, regardless of the type of alcohol listed. A level of less than 60% alcohol is insufficient to be effective.
  • Alcohol does not dissolve dirt. If the alcohol in the sanitizer is to be effective, all dirt, blood, and soil must be wiped or washed away first.
  • Handwashing with soap and water is recommended in such situations.
  • Hand sanitizers are not cleaning agents and should not be used in place of soap and water, but they can be helpful.


Hand sanitizer use is a habit that can help us all be exposed to fewer germs and, as a result, reduce our risk of illness. Take the time to massage some on your hands whether you’re on the playground, using someone else’s computer, or visiting a friend in the hospital. It’s a simple step toward a healthy winter.

People May Ask 1

Q- Is it better to use hand sanitizer or to wash your hands?

A- Hand washing with soap and water is the most effective approach to remove all bacteria and toxins. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if soap and water aren’t accessible.

Q- How can I tell whether my hand sanitizer is effective?

A- In a bowl, combine the flour and the hand sanitizer. Make an effort to knead the dough. If you can easily knead the dough like you would with water, the hand sanitizer is false. If the dough stays flaky, it means the hand sanitizer is authentic.

Q- How do you determine the proportion of alcohol in sanitizer?

A- Gas chromatography is the approved method for detecting the amount of alcohol in sanitizer. All makers of hand sanitizer are required to test each batch of their product for alcohol content using this technique.

Q- Is it possible to use alcohol as a sanitizer?

A- The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends sanitizers with an alcohol content of 80 percent (percent volume/volume) ethanol or 75 percent isopropyl alcohol; however, sanitizers with an alcohol content of 60 to 95 percent are generally suitable.

Q- What are the three sanitizing methods?

A- Heat can be used to sanities surfaces in three ways: steam, hot water, and hot air.

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