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What You Should Know about Hand Sanitizers



The following points often cross your mind when you use a hand sanitizer-

  1. What percentage of germs does a hand sanitizer kill
  2. Does it kill the germs that cause sickness
  3. Are the hand sanitizers gentle on your skin
Ingredients of a hand sanitizer

Ingredients of a hand sanitizer

What Is a Hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizers are also called hand antiseptics. When there is no soap and water available for washing your hands, a hand sanitizer can be used as an alternative.

A hand sanitizer's base ingredient is alcohol. The alcohol is mixed with glycerin or with polyacrylic acid for thickening and has moisturizing agents to prevent dryness of the skin. The alcohol kills most bacteria and some viruses.

Using a hand sanitizer with at least 60 % alcohol can help kill germs that cause sickness and prevents them from spreading to others.

The alcohol in the sanitizer breaks up the outer coatings of bacteria and virus and effectively kills them. Hand sanitizer gels slow down the evaporation of alcohol and ensure that the alcohol in the sanitizer has time to kill the germs that are on your hands.

Hand sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs and they may not be effective when the hands are dirty or greasy.

The United States for Disease Control and Prevention and other public health authorities recommend alcohol-based hand sanitizers as an acceptable alternative to soap and water for hand hygiene.

How to Use a Hand Sanitizer

Apply a small coin-sized hand sanitizer to your hands.

Rub hands together, covering all the surfaces till they are dry.

Things to Know About Sanitizers

Hand sanitizers are inflammable and can catch fire.

Do not store hand sanitizers in the car.

Do not eat before the hand sanitizer fully evaporates from your skin.

Be sure that your hands are dry before going near a stove or any heated appliance.

Swallowing alcohol-based sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning.

If your hands are extremely dirty, the best way is to use soap and water.

Store hand sanitizers out of reach of pets and children.

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Children should use hand sanitizers only under adult supervision.

Wash your hands when your hands are dirty or greasy.

Alcohol will evaporate slowly over time and the ability of the sanitizer to effectively kill viruses and bacteria will reduce.

Check the expiry date of the hand sanitizer before buying one.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2012 Nithya Venkat


Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on September 03, 2014:

Jackie Lynnley you are so right I really do not know how we did without them, thank you for stopping by, the vote up and share.

tirelesstraveller thank you and yes sanitizer is my best friend too!

Judy Specht from California on September 03, 2014:

What an interesting variety of hand sanitizers you have assembled here. As I travel this summer hand sanitizer has been my best friend.

Jackie Lynnley from the beautiful south on September 03, 2014:

I always carry hand sanitizer in my purse and car for you just never know! I go to the park for lunch many times with no chance to stop and wash my hands and I carry a wet cloth too in a baggy when I think of it to make my hands feel a little cleaner even with the sanitizer but I don't see no how we did without them so long! ^+ Sharing.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on April 12, 2013:

Dana Teresa thank you for reading. You are so right many people do not know and do not even think about what they are using.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on November 29, 2012:

DanaTeresa you are right many people do not know what they are using, this can be dangerous.

Sunshine625 thank you. Hand sanitizers can cause many problems. One should learn how to use before trying out any product.

Linda Bilyeu from Orlando, FL on November 29, 2012:

I'm glad you added the info about kids and hand sanitizers. I've heard of kids having alcohol poisoning due to ingesting the sweet smelling sanitizers. Excellent hub!!

Dana Strang from Ohio on November 29, 2012:

This is good info. So many people use these products but have no idea what they are using. Nice recommendations too.

Nithya Venkat (author) from Dubai on January 25, 2012:

Deborah Brooks, thank you for reading and the vote. Hand Sanitizers are very useful, especially when we are with children.

teaches 12345 thankyou for reading, the vote and for the information. Am glad this you found this hub useful. All-natural hand sanitizers are the best.

Dianna Mendez on January 25, 2012:

I use an all-natural hand sanitizer, Clean Well (not an advertisement), which is alcohol free, safe for kids, moisturizing and has a citrus herb scent. It comes in a small spray bottle which I keep in my briefcase for those moments I need it. I didn't realize they were flammable but it makes sense if they contain alcohol. Your hub is a good referral on the usage and safety of using sanitizers around children. Useful and voted up!

Deborah Brooks Langford from Brownsville,TX on January 25, 2012:

Great interesting and useful hub. I use hand sanitizer all the time. I am around children all the time.

voted up


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