With COVID-19 on the rise, it is important for everyone to take steps to stay healthy and safe. One of the most important steps a person can take to prevent the spread of this virus is to maintain clean hands. Simple, everyday actions, such as handshakes or touching various surfaces, can cause the virus to get on a person’s hands.
When they touch their face, rub their eyes, or even scratch their nose, it can cause the virus to enter the body and infect that person. The best method for preventing this is to avoid touching the face and keep hands clean. For many people, hand sanitizer is their go-to product for keeping their hands free of germs. Unfortunately, not all hand sanitizers are the same, nor do they all work to kill the COVID-19 virus.
Best Method for Keeping Hands Free of Covid-19
The most effective way to keep hands clean and lessen the spread of COVID-19 is for a person to wash their hands with soap and water. Soap breaks down the lipid coating of the COVID-19 virus. This kills the virus and prevents it from causing illness. There is a large variety of hand soaps and cleansers available to help stop the spread of this virus. Those looking for soap options for their business can find details at bigclean.com.au.
After every contact with a potentially infected surface or person, the hands should be thoroughly washed. It is recommended that proper handwashing include wetting the hands and then applying enough soap to cover the hands. The soap should be rubbed into every part of the hands and fingers for at least 20 seconds to ensure all germs are destroyed. Then, the hands should be thoroughly rinsed and dried with a clean towel.
Unfortunately, it is not always possible to wash hands when exposure may have occurred. In these situations, hand sanitizer can play a very beneficial role. However, hand sanitizer should only be used when handwashing is impossible. It is also important to find a hand sanitizer that will effectively kill the COVID-19 virus.
Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer
Many hand sanitizer products on the market are alcohol-based sanitizers. These hand sanitizers tend to use isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and aloe gel or other gel-like material. The isopropyl alcohol has been effective in destroying the lipid coating of the virus that renders it unable to cause infections. The aloe gel or other gel-like materials in the hand sanitizer is often used to moisturize the hands since alcohol can be drying for the skin.
Unfortunately, some hand sanitizers do not have enough alcohol in them to sufficiently kill germs and viruses effectively. This makes it important for customers to opt for hand sanitizers that are at least 60% isopropyl alcohol. Anything less than 60% may not kill all the virus and allow for further spread.
There have also been some types of hand sanitizers that had to be recalled by the FDA due to toxic chemicals. Instead of using isopropyl alcohol, some companies have been using methanol (wood alcohol) for their hand sanitizers. These products can be toxic and pose serious health risks for users. It is important that consumers check the recalled list to ensure they are not using one of these hand sanitizer products.
Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizers
There are some hand sanitizers available that do not contain alcohol. Most alcohol-free hand sanitizers use benzalkonium chloride as their active ingredient. This ingredient has been shown to provide germ-killing abilities to help protect the user.
Alcohol-free hand sanitizers are often used for a variety of reasons. This can be due to irritation caused by alcohol-based products. Alcohol-based products are flammable. This can pose issues for some people in their work or other situations. Alcohol-free products are also less damaging to the hands with repeated use because they do not strip away the natural oils in the hands.
Although alcohol-free hand sanitizers can kill germs on the hands, they are less effective than alcohol-based products. In addition, most health organizations do not recommend alcohol-free hand sanitizers for the prevention of COVID-19. They have not been proven effective against killing this virus as well as alcohol-based products do.
Proper Use of Hand Sanitizers
Another issue that may make hand sanitizers less effective is the improper usage of the product. Consumers should always read the instructions on their hand sanitizer to ensure they are using the proper amount to provide thorough elimination of any germs on their hands. Not using enough or not properly coating the hands could potentially leave behind viruses and other germs that can promote the spread of infection.
In general, when using hand sanitizer, the hands should be free of dirt and debris. Hand sanitizer is not an effective replacement for hand washing. Dirt and debris on the hands will not be properly removed by the application of hand sanitizer. This dirt and debris could hold germs that may not be completely killed by the sanitizer. If dirt and debris is present, proper hand-washing procedures should be used.
It is also important that the right amount of hand sanitizer is used to ensure proper coverage. The packaging should give the recommended amounts for use. The product should then be applied to the palms of the hands. Then it should be rubbed over every surface of the hands until the hands are dry. It is important that all surfaces of both hands be covered to ensure the effective killing of the COVID-19 virus.
Proper handwashing with soap and warm water is always the best method for killing any bacteria or virus, including the COVID-19 virus. However, hand sanitizer is a great alternative when handwashing is not possible. Keeping hands clean and free of germs is a major step in preventing the spread of the virus. However, it is only part of the fight.
When practicing social distancing and the use of masks in public settings in combination with proper hand washing techniques, the spread of COVID-19 can be greatly limited. Working together as a global community and taking responsible actions to prevent the spread of this virus can help the entire world get through this pandemic.