Finding an Effective Sanitizer

Finding an effective sanitizer 

Frequently washing your hands is an effective way of reducing chances of infection. However, this option may not be available every time we step out. Sanitizers come in handy for on the go hand hygiene.

Selecting an effective hand sanitizer is the key to clean and safe hands. When applied properly in the right amount, sanitizers are effective against viruses and bacteria.  Following points can be considered while selecting a sanitizer. 

Active Ingredient:

Based on the active ingredient used, hand sanitizers can be classified into two types, alcohol-based or alcohol-free.  Alcohol-based products usually contain from 60 to 95 % alcohol with water. These sanitizers mostly contain isopropanol, n-propanol, ethanol or a mix of these. With such high amounts of alcohol, microorganisms become ineffective. Alcohol-free products are generally based on disinfectants. These are suitable for children and can be cost effective. However, these are less effective compared to alcohol based versions. 

Form

Sanitizers are available in three formulations usually. They are liquid, gel or foam based.  Studies indicate no difference between the efficiency against bacteria. Gel based sanitizers take longer to dry than liquid or alcohol based options. 

Fragrance:

Sanitizers can be divided into two groups, scent ed and unscented. Those who enjoy different fragrances can go for the scented ones. However, these scents are made using different chemicals. So if your skin is sensitive or you just prefer fewer chemicals, then unscented ones are the way to go.  

Hydrating agent:

Sanitizers also often contain glycerin or moisturizers to prevent skin dryness due to constant use. 

Hand sanitizer provides some advantages over hand washing with soap and water. However, one needs to ensure that organic matter (dirt, food, or other material) is cleared from the hands first.