In some cases, sanitizer can substitute soap and water depends on the products and situation. But still, the best way to wash your hand is using running water and plain soap for at least 20 seconds particularly if the hands are visibly dirty. Washing the hands with running water and soap allows you to rinse the microbes away. But in the case, you do not have access for enough or clear water he best choice is to use a sanitizer with 60% alcohol. This kind of product is powerful to kill almost all viruses, bacteria, and fungi on contact. Greasy or soiled hand will make the product work less effective since the grime cause barrier for the product.
There are basically three types of sanitizer which are foam, hand wipe, and gel. Whatever the type, it is considered as effective if the product contains alcohol for at least 60%. The proper way to use the product also matters to the effectiveness. A study conducted by American Journal of Infection Control revealed that three forms of sanitizer which are alcohol based can reduce the H1N1 flu virus. Other products which claim to contain natural ingredients such as thyme and tea tree oil are also great as well.
In general, sanitizer contains clarifying agents, fragrance, thickening agents, dyes, preservatives and inactive ingredients. Some products may also contain vitamin E, aloe vera, and glycerin to gives smooth effects and counter the alcohol dryness effect. There are also products which do not contain alcohol and use quaternary ammonium compounds to reduce microbes. Compared to alcohol, this ingredient is less powerful and also lack evidence of benefits. Other natural products which claim to be alcohol-free usually contains thyme and tea tree oil may also kill germs but not as powerful as alcohol. There is still no actual replacement for the alcohol based product.
Most people make a common mistake when it comes to using sanitizer. Apply the product for about a dime size on the palm of the hand. Then rub both hands with the product on it and cover all the surfaces of the hands. This includes between fingers and around nails and fingertips. Rub both of your hands together for about 30 minutes and let the hands completely dry. Make sure not to touch any things including foods before both hands are completely dry.
There are numbers of sanitizers available in the market, but not all of the products are made the same. Make sure to check the bottle for the ingredients and see if you are not allergic to it. Even though the product is good for the emergency state, but should not replace the actual cleaning agents which are soap and running water. For alcohol-based product, it can be flammable; so, make sure to store it properly. Also, be very sure to wait until the hands are completely dry before touch foods or anything because sanitizer can be poisonous especially for young kids.
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