How to select and use hand sanitizer?

 How to select and use hand sanitizer?

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers come in all shapes and sizes, made with different ingredients. Therefore, while choosing a hand sanitizer it is important to check the product label and follow the dos and don’ts.

Choose an alcohol-based hand sanitizer

When choosing an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, it is important to choose a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. The alcohol is often listed on the label as either ethyl alcohol, ethanol, isopropanol or 2-propanol. What’s more, while using a sanitizer, follow directions for use on the label. Do not choose a hand sanitizer that contains less than 60% alcohol. Other types of alcohol, such as, methanol and 1-propanol are not acceptable and can be toxic to humans. Several studies have indicated that an alcohol concentration between 60 to 95% is more effect in killing germs, compared to a lower concentration of alcohol or non-alcohol-based sanitizers. The sanitizers with lower quantities of alcohol may not work as well for many types of germs and they merely reduce the growth of germs than outright kill them.

Before buying hand sanitizer, the FDA recommends checking their do-not-use list at The list is updated with every new test result released. If your hand sanitizer is on the do-not-use list, stop using it immediately. Throw the sanitizer away in a hazardous waste container. Do not flush or pour down the product into the drain or mix it with other liquids.

Do not choose a hand sanitizer labelled as “alcohol-free” or a sanitizer packaged in a container resembling a food or beverage container. The sanitizers packaged as food containers may appear as food or drinks, with come containing food flavors. Eating or drinking these can cause serious injuries and even death.

How to use

  • As instructed by CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention), rub the hand sanitizer over all surfaces of your hands and fingers till the hands are completely dry. When using the sanitizer, apply the product to the palm of one hand and rub it all over other surfaces of the hand till they are dry. Read the label and use the correct amount of sanitizer.
  • Keep the sanitizer out of your eyes.
  • The sanitizer should always be stored out of sight and reach of young children.
  • Supervise children when they are using alcohol-based sanitizer.
  • Make sure you’re not rinsing or wiping off the alcohol-based hand sanitizer before it’s dry. If you do, it may not work well enough against germs.
  • Do not use the alcohol-based hand sanitizer to clean surfaces, they are not designed to clear or disinfect surfaces.
  • Do not store the sanitizer above 105°F. For example, don’t leave it in the car during summer months.
  • Don’t swallow the sanitizer because it can cause alcohol poisoning.

Summing it all up!

When choosing an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, read the label to make sure that it contains at least 60% alcohol. Follow the steps recommended by CDC and cover surfaces of both hands with sanitizer for effective disinfection.