Right now, combating the spread of the coronavirus remains a top concern among U.S. citizens. If we want things to get back to normal, we need to continue to wear face masks, avoid going out in large groups, and sanitize our hands on a regular basis. The last things anyone wants to deal with is another lockdown.
When it comes to washing your hands and sanitizing them, you might have a number of different questions running around in your head. Which hand sanitizers are the most effective to use? Can you make your own hand sanitizer at home? Does wearing hand sanitizer contribute to the spread of antibiotic resistance? You are not the only person who has these questions. That’s why we’re going over some of the most frequently asked questions people have had about using hand sanitizer to protect themselves against the novel coronavirus. Check them out now!
We Answer Your Most Frequently Asked Questions About Hand Sanitizer
There are still numerous misconceptions surrounding hand sanitizer, so we’re here to clear them up for you
Educating yourself on proper sanitation practices is critical for protecting yourself as well as those around you. Make sure you check out these questions to ensure you are following the best practices for staying clean and sanitized.
What percentage of alcohol should my hand sanitizer contain?
Numerous studies have found that hand sanitizers containing 60-95% alcohol are the most effective for protecting yourself against the coronavirus. Hand sanitizers that contain less than 60% alcohol will either not be able to kill as many germs as sanitizers with higher concentrations of alcohol or simply reduce their growth rather than killing them.
Can I add alcohol to hand sanitizer if it doesn’t contain enough concentration of alcohol?
No. Adding alcohol to non-alcoholic or low-alcoholic hand sanitizer will not make it more effective. Instead, you should just aim for hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol to ensure their effectiveness.
Does hand sanitizer replace regular hand washing with soap and water?
Hand sanitizer does not replace regular hand washing. In fact, the CDC recommends using hand sanitizer when soap and water are not nearby. Washing your hands with soap and water is more effective than cleaning them with hand sanitizer because they can work together to remove all types of germs from your skin. Hand sanitizer only kills certain germs.
When it comes to cleaning off dirt or grime from your hands, you will need to wash them with soap and water. Hand sanitizer will not effectively remove grime from your hands.
What is the best way I can apply hand sanitizer?
When applying hand sanitizer, you should apply a dime-sized drop of it to the palm of one hand before rubbing both hands together to cover them completely with hand sanitizer. You will want to continue to rub your hands together until the hand sanitizer dries.
Will using hand sanitizer contribute to the rise of superbugs or antibiotic resistance?
No. Using hand sanitizer will not lead to the rise of a new superbug or contribute to antibiotic resistance. Because the main ingredient in hand sanitizer is ethyl alcohol, it isn’t possible for germs to adapt to the ingredient and become resistant to its effects. The alcohol works too quickly to kill off the germs.
What is the best place to store hand sanitizer?
You can store hand sanitizer at room temperature. If you have kids or pets, make sure you keep the hand sanitizer out of their reach. Children under the age of six need adult supervision when applying hand sanitizer. Ingesting even a small amount of hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning. If you find that your child has accidentally ingested hand sanitizer, you will need to contact poison control immediately.
Can you ingest hand sanitizer?
You should not ingest hand sanitizer. It will not remove the coronavirus from your system if you drink it. Instead, it can cause a number of serious health issues depending on how much you have ingested. You can develop alcohol poisoning, go into a coma, die or begin to experience a seizure, at worst. According to federal officials, four people have recently died from attempting to drink hand sanitizer. Don’t add yourself to the list.
Can I make my own hand sanitizer at home?
The FDA does not recommend that consumers make their own hand sanitizer. If you make it incorrectly, it won’t be effective. At worst, it could cause skin burns.
At the start of the pandemic, stores around the nation quickly found themselves bereft of a proper supply of hand sanitizer. However, they have re-stocked since. Therefore, it isn’t necessary to try to make your own hand sanitizer at home.
Do hand sanitizers really inactivate the coronavirus?
Yes. In fact, the World Health Organization recently confirmed that two specific hand sanitizer formulas are effective against COVID-19.
The first sanitizer formula contains:
- 80% ethanol
- 1.45% vol/vol glycerine
- 0.125% vol/vol hydrogen peroxide
The second sanitizer formula contains:
- 75% isopropanol
- 1.45% vol/vol glycerine
- 0.125% vol/vol hydrogen peroxide
Researchers came to this conclusion when the virus became inactivated after being exposed to the sanitizers for at least 30 seconds.
Can I use hand sanitizer that contains methanol?
Methanol can be toxic to humans. Therefore, you need to stay away from hand sanitizers — or any type of skin care product for that matter — which contain methanol. Exposure to methanol can cause serious side effects such as vomiting, blurred vision, seizures, or even death.
How can I prevent my skin from drying as a result of hand sanitizer use?
Keeping your skin soft and moisturized is crucial for preventing any pain or discomfort from using hand sanitizer. Because of the alcohol contained in the hand sanitizer, your hands are susceptible to drying out and even forming cuts from a lack of hydration.
To fix this, you can look for hand sanitizers containing ingredients like vitamin E or squalane. Both ingredients are known to help your skin retain its moisture. Applying hand cream or body lotion on a regular basis can also be helpful.
Other Methods You Can Follow to Help Slow the Spread of the Coronavirus
Sanitizing your hands is just one way you can help flatten the curve
Regularly washing and sanitizing your hands can help lower your chances of catching the virus. However, you will also need to follow other guidelines to slow the spread of the virus, such as:
- Staying away from large gatherings
- Maintaining a six foot distance from others
- Wearing a mask while out in public
- Staying at home if you start to experience symptoms of the coronavirus
Avoid Going Out in Large Crowds
We know that you miss going out to bars and concerts. We do too. But doing that right now is foolish and dangerous. Large crowds are the perfect place for the coronavirus to spread. Because some COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic, they can unknowingly spread the virus to others. If these people end up going to a bar or attending a concert, this will endanger anyone they encounter.
Remember to Stay 6 Feet Apart From Each Other
Staying six feet apart from other people outside of your household will reduce your risk of contracting the virus. Remember that some COVID-19 patients are asymptomatic. So staying a safe distance away from others is your best bet for lowering your chances of falling victim to the virus yourself.
Wear Your Mask
Along with maintaining a six foot distance from others, you need to wear a face mask while out in public. Face masks can capture small particles emitted from your mouth, thereby protecting anyone nearby.
Stay Home if You Start to Experience COVID-19 Symptoms
If you begin to experience any of these symptoms, you should stay home and avoid going out in public:
- Loss of taste or smell
Like everyone else in the country, you probably can’t wait for things to go back to normal. But until we can flatten the curve, see a decrease in the number of new cases, and obtain a vaccine, things are going to look a little different. To help combat the spread of the coronavirus, you can wash your hands on a regular basis, remember to sanitize them, practice social distancing, and wear a mask.
How have you been staying safe during the pandemic? Let us know in the comments!