Considering Hand Sanitizers in General
In hygiene, hand sanitizers are often considered less effective if you pit them against washing hands done for more than twenty seconds.
Unlike a good round of washing, hand rubs miss some microbes, which are sure to be eliminated when doing the former. However, hand sanitizers are still a must if you want to maintain a hygienic lifestyle!
The reason is very simple. Hand sanitizers are compact and portable. A bottle can last long as you usually need only a tiny amount to disinfect your hands, and you can bring it everywhere with you. In contrast, water and soap are not always readily available, which means they may not be there when you are in immediate need of cleansing. This proves especially true for people who often travel. Traveling from place to place would inevitably make you touch a few things contaminated by disease-causing germs. Having a bottle of sanitizer with you while on the go will shield you against any possible risk caused by these microbes when they enter your body.
In general, sanitizers are helpful as your first line of defense. Not to mention, we are experiencing a worldwide pandemic right now. This calls for a quick and effective disinfectant anytime and anywhere. Furthermore, they are readily available in many shops, and are usually not expensive.
Hand Sanitizers in a Medical Setting
Inside a medical setting, hand washing would consume more time than using hand rubs in a place where every minute counts; spending a few minutes to travel to and from the sink would affect efficiency drastically. Furthermore, hand washing would consume more materials used in drying hands like paper towels. However, hand washing with soap and water is still needed if your hands are visibly soiled!
Hand sanitizers, on the other hand, fit perfectly in this setting. It kills the microbes that are needed to be eliminated, and you can do this in just a few seconds. You do not need to go to a designated washing area to sanitize, as using hand rubs would prove to be enough in these cases. Remember, however, that not all hand sanitizers are effective.
There are two types: the one with alcohol and the other with no alcohol. In healthcare settings, the one with alcohol is preferred by professionals as it is proven to be antiseptic, aka, anti-disease-causing microorganisms. But there’s a catch in that! To be considered medical-grade, hospital hand sanitizers need to have more than 60 percent alcohol in their solution. And if you want a stricter scale, 70 percent alcohol solution should be the bare minimum as this is where the common hazardous germs die. The products need to go through stringnent testing to be proven to achieve the efficacy.
Hand sanitizers in hospitals are usually made up of water, alcohol, and add-ons that usually give scent and other features like moisturizing effects to the skin. This made them effective while not utterly harsh on the body.
The usefulness of medical-grade sanitizer is not limited to hospitals only. Its effectiveness expands to everyday use as you can avoid getting sick because it kills all common germs and bacteria that are usually the source of diseases like common cold and the flu.
How to Use Hand Sanitizers Effectively
Just like how there’s a proper way of washing hands, there is also an optimal way to use sanitizers. Some of these are as follow:
Use the right amount approximately 3ml.
You need to rub the sanitizer in your hands until they dry completely. Recommended 30 sec. for hygienic hand disinfection.
Make sure that it covers every single spot in your hands.
If hands are visibly soiled/dirtied, washing hands with soap is essential.