Know how hand sanitizers can protect you during the Covid-19 outbreak
Hand hygiene has always been an important hygiene practice. Don’t you remember your parents asking you to wash your hands before eating? But, the importance of hand hygiene has skyrocketed with the latest coronavirus pandemic outbreak.
More than ever, you have to make it a habit to keep your hands clean and it does not just involve washing your hands. Your hands need to be properly sanitized so that viruses and bacteria cannot enter your body through your hands. Alcohol, especially isopropanol and ethyl alcohol is considered to be the best protection against germs, bacteria and viruses.
This is why hand sanitizers play a key role in maintaining hand hygiene. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are made available in bottles of various sizes – from 100 ml to 5 litres. Small bottles of hand sanitizers can be easily carried in your bag or pocket, and you can use it while traveling when soap and water might not be easily available. Today, you will find hand sanitizers being used in most hospitals and one bottle is kept at the bedside of each patient. This helps in the prevention of the spread of deadly diseases.
For the fight against COVID-19, CDC and healthcare professionals recommend the use of a good alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing more than 60% alcohol.
Now, hand sanitizerswere never considered to a household essential until today. This raises a lot of questions on the minds of people. Keep reading to find answers to the most common questions.
Hand Sanitizers Are Not a Substitute to Washing Hands with Soap and Water, but It Is Used When Water Is Unavailable
Washing your hands using soap and water is definitely the best. But, what do you do when water and soap are not available? This is where hand sanitizers come to the rescue. They are perfect for use when you are traveling in public buses/metros, visiting someone at the hospital or eating roadside food (which you should also avoid).
Alcohol-based sanitizers with 60-95% alcohol are the most effective at killing germs. They are capable of making your hands 99.9% germ-free.
The Correct Way of Using Hand Sanitizer
Follow the steps to use hand sanitizer correctly:
- Take a coin-size drop of sanitizer to the palm of one hand
- Rub it all over the surface of both your hands
- Keep rubbing until your hands are dry
No need to use water after you’ve used hand sanitizer. You can straight away eat your food or continue doing what you were doing.
Coronavirus tip: Avoid touching your face even if you have used hand sanitizer or washed your hands with soap and water.
Hand Sanitizers Are Effective When Your Hands Are Not Visibly Dirty or Greasy
Hand sanitizers are effective in killing germs and used mostly in hospitals, when out on camping, out on the road or when water is not available. However, you do need soap and water in case your hands are very greasy and visibly dirty. Hand sanitizers work best on slightly soiled hands and studies have revealed that it works well against various types of germs.
So, when your hands are very dirty, you need to wash it first using soap/hand wash and water. Then apply hand sanitizer to sanitize your hands.
Hand Sanitizer V/S Washing Your Hands – Which Kills More Germs?
When you are washing hands using normal soap, you are only cleaning your greased or soiled hands. This isn’t killing any visible germs. If you use anti-bacterial hand wash or soap, you might be able to kill a few germs. But, alcohol-based instant hand sanitizeris considered to be most effective in keeping hands germ-free due to the presence of alcohol. So, if you want total protection, wash your hands with water, dry them and use hand sanitizer.
Precautions for Using Hand Sanitizers
- Follow the directions for use given in the bottle
- Do not swallow as it can lead to alcohol poisoning
- Keep it away from the reach of children as they might be tempted to swallow it. Make sure that children use hand sanitizer under parental supervision.
Alcohol-Based Sanitizer Can Prevent the Spread of Flu
Hand sanitizer kills most types of viruses, bacteria and germs. By using hand sanitizers, the transmission of certain flu-like diseases can be prevented.
However, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is not capable of stopping diseases, but it is useful in preventing the transmission of highly contagious diseases like flu, cold, H1N1 and other such bacterial-based and viral diseases. It can also prevent the spread of coronavirus as per CDC.
Once hand sanitizer is applied, it can work up to 6 hours.
How Often Should You Use Hand Sanitizer?
There isn’t any limit as to how many times you should use hand sanitizer. You can use it without washing your hands using water or after you’ve washed your hand using soap and water. However, below given are situations where you can use it?
- Use it when you are engaged in outdoor activities and water isn’t available
- Use it in the kitchen before you start cooking
- Use it before and also after eating
- After going to the bathroom
- Nurses and doctors use it all the time when in the hospital. You should also use it before seeing a patient and after.
- Use it when traveling in public transportation systems like, buses, metros and railways
- Use it in schools, colleges, offices and when going camping and so on
Uses of Hand Sanitizer Other Than Cleaning Hands
You can use hand sanitizernot just for cleaning your hands, but also for the following:
- To sanitize your phone’s screen and making it shine
- To make your sunglasses and glasses shinier
- Apply it on a pimple or zit so that it becomes dry and makes it easier for you to remove it
- Apply it on mosquito bites to stop it from itching
- Makeup brushes can be sanitized with just a few drops of it
- Door knobs, handles, cutlery and other surfaces can be sanitized and clean using hand sanitizer
Staying informed regarding the use and effectiveness of hand sanitizers will help you stay healthier. So, get analcohol-based hand sanitizer to up your defense against COVID-19.
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