FluShields Looks Into The Topic Of Sanitizers: How Much Alcohol Does a Hand Sanitizer Need To Be Effective?
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When using hand sanitizer, apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount) and rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry. The steps for hand sanitizer use are based on a simplified procedure recommended by the CDC. Instructing people to cover all surfaces of both hands with hand sanitizer has been found to provide similar disinfection effectiveness as providing detailed steps for rubbing-in hand sanitizer.
Many studies show that hand sanitizers work well in clinical settings like hospitals, where hands come into contact with germs but generally are not heavily soiled or greasy. Some data also show that hand sanitizers may work well against certain types of germs on slightly soiled hands. However, hands may become very greasy or soiled in community settings, such as after people handle food, play sports, work in the garden, or go camping or fishing.
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When hands are heavily soiled or greasy, hand sanitizers may not work well. Handwashing with soap and water is recommended in such circumstances.Although few studies have been conducted, hand sanitizers probably cannot remove or inactivate many types of harmful chemicals. In one study, people who reported using hand sanitizer to clean hands had increased levels of pesticides in their bodies. If hands have touched harmful chemicals, wash carefully with soap and water (or as directed by a poison control center). If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Many studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers without 60-95% alcohol 1) may not work equally well for many types of germs, and 2) merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright. Please note that we can only pass on general information and cannot make any guarantees or be liable for any consequences of your decision making or behavior. Use good common sense and ask your health care provider or physician for advice.
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90% of alcohol rubs are supposed to be more effective against viruses than most other forms of hand washing. Isopropyl alcohol will kill 99.99 % or more of all non-spore-forming bacteria in less than 30 seconds, both in the laboratory and on human skin. Alcohol rub sanitizers kill most bacteria, and fungi, and stop some viruses.
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But CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because hand washing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. But if soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. The guidance for effective hand-washing and the use of hand sanitizer in community settings was developed based on data from a number of studies.
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Disclaimer: Please note that we can only pass on general information and cannot guarantee for consequences of your decision making or behaviour. Use good common sense and ask your health care provider or physician for advice.