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What You Should Know about Hand Sanitizers

Updated on August 1, 2016
Handsanitizers | Source

Hand Sanitizers - Are they safe to use?

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 the sickness?
  3. Are the hand sanitizers gentle on your skin?

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. The alcohol kills most bacteria, fungi, and some viruses.

The disadvantage is that the alcohol in the hand sanitizer makes the skin dry. Nowadays, some brands of hand sanitizers have started adding essential oils and other natural ingredients to keep the skin from becoming dry after using the hand sanitizer.

The level of alcohol in hand sanitizers is between 60% - 85%. The alcohol is mixed with thickening agents such as polyacrylic acid for alcohol gels and other humectants such as glycerin for moisturizing properties.

Showcasing a few hand sanitizers -

Burt’s Bees Hand Sanitizer

Burt’s Bees hand sanitizer claims to eliminate 99.99% of germs without soap and water. The product ingredients include witch of hazel and aloe vera which helps to soften and soothe the skin.

Frais Hand Sanitizer

Frais hand sanitizer has 66% of sugarcane alcohol. Sugarcane alcohol is environment-friendly. The unique feature is that this product contains an Australian blend of essential oils called Les Huit including ginger, cardamom, basil, lemon, myrtle, orange, niaouli, tangerine and grapefruit.

Dettol Hand Sanitizers

Dettol Hand Sanitizer Chamomile is available with chamomile extract which leaves your hands soft and refreshing.

Dettol Instant Sanitizer is dermatologically tested and leaves the hand refreshed but without chamomile extract.

"Safe Hands" Hand Sanitizer

"Safe Hands" Hand Sanitizer claims that this product is safe for continuous use even for people who have skin conditions and allergies. It is non-inflammable and safe on surfaces including plastic gloves. It is non-toxic and can be used safely by kids. It kills germs effectively.

Surya Hand Sanitizer

Surya moisturizing hand sanitizer is made with plant ingredients from Brazil. The formula includes Aloe for its soothing and healing properties, Jua a cleansing, refreshing fruit, Acai a powerful moisturizing antioxidant rich in protein and vitamin E with a blend of essential oils including Lavender, Peppermint, and Ylang Ylang. This product does not contain alcohol, synthetic fragrances or artificial coloring. It is dermatologically tested and hypoallergenic.

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.

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

Precautions to take while using a hand sanitizer:

Hand sanitizers are inflammable and can catch fire. Be sure that your hands are totally dry before going near a stove or any heated appliance. Some of the hand sanitizers available are non-inflammable. Do not eat before the hand sanitizer fully evaporates from your skin.





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    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 3 years ago from Dubai

      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!

    • tirelesstraveler profile image

      Judy Specht 3 years ago from California

      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 profile image

      Jackie Lynnley 3 years ago from The Beautiful South

      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.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 4 years ago from Dubai

      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.

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 5 years ago from Dubai

      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.

    • Sunshine625 profile image

      Linda Bilyeu 5 years ago from Orlando, FL

      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!!

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 5 years ago from Ohio

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

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 6 years ago from Dubai

      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.

    • teaches12345 profile image

      Dianna Mendez 6 years ago

      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 profile image

      Deborah Brooks Langford 6 years ago from Brownsville,TX

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

      voted up