As we get into the colder seasons of 2019, naturally most of us are going to get sick. My sister who works in hospitals is a germ freak, and one of the guys who’s warehouse I have space in has 3 Costco size containers of hand sanitizer by his desk at all times. But are hand sanitizer beneficial?
From what I have read, washing your hands with antibacterial soap and water is the best prevention from getting sick and spreading cross contamination. But for most of us, we can’t wash our hands are often as we would like to, or is recommended. So this is were sanitizer is a good alternative, if used correctly and the correct ones are being used.
The CDC recommends using a hand sanitizer that is 60% to 95% alcohol based. Using the correct amount (read the label), and rubbing it in, until your hands are dry, which takes about 20 seconds. I had heard that you need to rub the sanitizer in for four minutes in order for it to be effective, however I have not found any studies to support that claim.
Also when using hand sanitizer your hands need to be free of grease and cannot be visible soiled. If they are, all you are doing is adding sanitizer to the grease and soil, and it will not penetrate the skin. It is also note worthy to mention that hand sanitizer will not kill all common germs, washing your hands will kill a lot more. Hand sanitizer will not kill, salmonella, e.Coli, MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus) [no idea what that is] and norovirus.
A final recommendation is to stay away from ones that claim to be anti-bacteria sanitizer, while there is no data suggesting resistance to hand sanitizer for the germs its suppose to kill, but over using anti-bacteria sanitizer will allow the bacteria to develop a microbial resistance.
For me, I’ve started to carry a small thing of hand sanitizer on the outside of my bag, to help me to get into a better habit of using it more often. No only do I think it will help prevent spreading certain germs, it is the polite thing to do for others. Think about it. You don’t want to get others sick from your bad habits, espically when it only takes 20 seconds to help fight the spreading of germs. But I would also make sure to wash your hands with soap as often as you can.