7 Necessary Facts for Choosing the Right Antiviral Hand Sanitizer
Although COVID-19 cases are beginning to decline in the United States, this decline has happened before. Instead of staying on track to beat the virus, many people began feeling a false sense of security and let their guards down, which caused a resurgence.
To ensure that COVID-19 disappears for good (or at the very least becomes manageable), people need to continue doing their part to stop it. This means wearing masks, practicing social distancing, and understanding how to limit the spread of the virus. One way to do this is through using antiviral hand sanitizer.
Keep reading to learn about 7 hand sanitizer facts that may help you stay safe.
- Understand That It’s Not a Substitute for Hand Washing
First, you need to understand that using hand sanitizer is not a replacement for washing your hands with soap and water.
Many alcohol-based hand sanitizers don’t kill every type of germ. Some germs that may survive after sanitizing include certain parasites, a stomach bug known as norovirus, and a bacteria that can cause severe diarrhea.
Aside from certain germs, hand sanitizers also aren’t meant to be used for removing heavy metals, such as lead. The same can be said for pesticides. People who use these substances should take precautions.
Although using hand sanitizer can be an effective germ-killer, wash your hands if you have the option to.
- Know When to Use Hand Sanitizer
So if hand sanitizer isn’t a replacement for washing your hands, when should you use it?
The best time to use hand sanitizer is when you don’t have immediate access to soap and water. In the COVID-19 era, this may mean once you finish grocery shopping and get back in your car. It can also mean after you touch any public surface outside of your house, such as a door handle or a table.
In regular times, hand sanitizer is great to use when you visit a hospital or nursing home. Before and after you visit a friend or family member, you should make sure you’ve sanitized your hands.
- Yes, Hand Sanitizer Expires
Many people have struggled with finding bottles of hand sanitizer this year due to it being in high demand. In response, some have dug through their closets to find the bottle they’ve had for years. Be careful with that.
Generally, hand sanitizer expires around three years after the manufacture date. If you do use expired hand sanitizer, don’t worry. Nothing horrible will happen to your body.
What will happen is that the product won’t do as good of a job at killing germs as a non-expired bottle. Over time, the alcohol content dissolves, causing hand sanitizer to slowly lose its efficacy.
Many people don’t realize that hand sanitizer expires, which can give them a false sense of security. Make sure any hand sanitizer you’re using or considering buying has not expired.
- Make Sure Your Hand Sanitizer Contains 60% Alcohol
When looking at different hand sanitizer options to buy, make sure you look for the bottles that contain 60% or higher alcohol. Avoid alcohol free hand sanitizer.
When COVID-19 began to ravage the US, hand sanitizer sales increased exponentially. Yet many people bought alcohol-free versions. The CDC has explained that while these products might reduce the number of germs, they aren’t effective at killing them all.
Many companies do not write on the packaging whether or not their products are alcohol-based. This can lead people to believe that they are purchasing an effective product when in reality it’s not doing what they believe it to be.
When looking to buy hand sanitizer, you should be 100% certain that there’s at least 60% alcohol inside.
- Don’t Try to DIY Antiviral Hand Sanitizer
Due to the hand sanitizer shortage earlier in the year, many people have tried to make their own products. However, oftentimes consumers do not make it correctly.
Many people try to use vodka, whiskey, or other alcohol-based products in their concoctions. Yet while these products are strong to drink, they aren’t strong enough to kill germs. A hand sanitizer recipe needs to have 96% ethyl alcohol. In vodka, for example, there is only 40%.
Aside from not being effective germ killers, many of the DIY hand sanitizers are also harmful to your skin. Store-bought products contain ingredients that protect your skin from the alcohol.
Check out Wonder Spray for a quality, ultra virus killer.
- Don’t Forget to Sanitize Surfaces
Scientists and other experts are still unsure as to how long the coronavirus can hang around on surfaces. To stop it in its tracks, don’t forget to sanitize surfaces.
Take a look around your house, and figure out which surfaces you and other people are touching the most. For many people, this includes doorknobs and counters, as well as personal items such as keys and phones.
Even outside of the coronavirus era, it can be a good idea to sanitize surfaces around your house. Doing so can cut down on germs, and can help prevent you and your family members from catching colds or the flu.
- You Can Use Hand Sanitizer to Help With Other Things
Although hand sanitizer’s primary use right now is to help stop COVID-19 from spreading, you should be aware of some of the other ways you can use it.
As it is alcohol-based (or should be), you can also use it as an effective cleaner. Use it to make your phone, glasses, and mirrors shine clean and bright. If you’re suffering from a mosquito bite, putting a bit on top will help relieve the itch. You can also use it to remove fingerprints, as well as stains on whiteboards.
Keep Yourself and Those You Care About Safe
COVID-19 has proved to be a hard enemy to defeat. It has caused global lockdowns, quarantines, and hundreds of thousands of deaths. Yet if everyone wears masks, practices social distancing, and washes their hands or uses antiviral hand sanitizer, we may be able to beat this virus for good.
Do you have any other tips for using hand sanitizer? Let us know in a comment below!
If you enjoyed reading this article, don’t forget to check out some of our other blog posts for more health-related articles.