This time last year, nobody could have predicted that hand sanitiser would become such a hot commodity (along with toilet paper). The world can change at a glance, and we are living in unprecedented times.
Fast forward to the present day, where using hand sanitiser regularly is the new normal. Sanitiser is one of the most effective ways to slow down the spread of the coronavirus. While handwashing is the best way to kill germs, sanitiser is a more practical option for when you’re on the go.
That being said, not all hand sanitisers are the same. Some are much more potent than others. They can generally be divided into two groups – alcohol free and alcohol based.
Alcohol free sanitisers
Alcohol free hand sanitisers substitute alcohol with compounds called quaternary ammonium, which usually come in the form of benzalkonium chloride. These can help to reduce microbes, but not as effectively as alcohol. Additionally, according to CDC, these products do not kill all germs and viruses.
Despite their decreased efficiency, alcohol free sanitisers are still getting snapped up from the supermarket shelves due to panic. If they’re all you can get your hands on, they are better than nothing. It’s simply important to be aware of their shortcomings.
Alcohol based sanitisers
Alcohol can kill most germs and bacteria. It’s also lethal to many types of viruses such as such as influenza A virus, rhinovirus, hepatitis A virus, Mers-Cov, and of course COVID-19. Alcohol destroys the envelope protein encasing the viruses. When this protein is destroyed, viruses can no longer survive and multiply.
The type of alcohol used in these hand sanitisers is usually isopropyl alcohol, ethanol, or n-propanol. For it to be really effective, the alcohol content should be at least be 60%. Make sure to read the label carefully before purchase.
Hand sanitisers with just 60% alcohol or less
A hand sanitiser with just 60% alcohol content cannot kill all germs, bacteria, and viruses. If you’re using such a product, be aware that there’s no guarantee it will be 100% effective.
Can I make my own hand sanitiser?
Because the supply of hand sanitisers cannot meet today’s demand, some people have taken the liberty of making their own DIY version.
Mixing six parts or more alcohol with something else is not that simple, however. If made incorrectly, hand sanitisers can be ineffective and might even cause you more harm than good.
When using hand sanitiser, it is always best to follow the directions for use. Currently, the TGA is unable to endorse the use of homemade products as they cannot be regulated.
How should you use hand sanitisers properly?
Although alcohol based sanitiser is certainly your best option, they won’t work properly if misused.
Just like hand washing, hand sanitiser only works if you have the right technique. The most important things to remember are to use a generous amount and to distribute it evenly. Here is a simple step-by-step guide:
- Apply the product to the palm of your hand.
- Rub your hands together and spread the product all over the hands and fingers.
- Do this for 20 seconds until your skin is dry.
It’s also important to note that wiping the product from your hands before it has dried decreases its ability to deactivate the microbes.
When is hand sanitiser not as effective?
Hand sanitisers may not be as effective when used on greasy or dirty hands. The layer of dirt can create a barrier which can be difficult for the sanitiser to penetrate. Under these circumstances, hand washing with soap and warm water will do the trick.
Where can you buy safe, approved and effective hand sanitisers?
Available online at www.eucaonline.com.au/shop, these handy sanitisers are a healthy and eco-friendly solution to fighting germs, bacteria and viruses. Here’s what makes them different:
- premium concentrate
- made from unique blend of ethanol (ethanol appears to be the most effective against viruses)
- added moisturises to prevent skin drying
- fresh melon fragrance
- do not contain peroxide, bleach, and palm oil
- not tested on animals
- 70 V/V, which means it is made with more than 70% alcohol
- Australian made – produced in Melbourne factory.
Let’s stay on the right track by keeping up a strict hygiene regime. Whether you’re at home, at work, or on the road, always protect yourself.
Get yourself some premium hand sanitiser from EUCA and stay safe wherever you go. And when you can, wash your hands with EUCA Castile Foam Soap for ultimate protection.
Buy local and support Australian made products in these challenging times.