Facts about hand sanitizers. As colder weather approaches, so do the runny noses and sneezes. This year, the Simpleaf team wanted to take the time to inform everyone on best practices to stay healthy! One of the first topics that came up was hand sanitizer, and we realized there was a LOT to learn! After going through it firsthand, we wanted to share all the factoids that process brought to us. From products to knowledge, Simpleaf has always prided itself on its ability to keep you and your loved ones clean, so with this series we hope to teach you how to keep you and yours safe on the go!
- Can I use hand sanitizer instead of washing my hands?
ABSOLUTELY NOT. Washing your hands and disinfecting the, go hand in hand. Because hand sanitizer is most effective in clinical environments, like hospitals, it’s key that your hands be clean before using the product. Before using hand sanitizer, make sure there is no visible dirt or grease on your hands and fingers —this blocks the sanitizers ability to disinfect your skin.
- So then, do hand sanitizers even work?
Yes, the convenience of hand sanitizers drive down respiratory illness in peak cold and flu season because they are readily available, as opposed to finding a station to wash your hands
- Are all hand sanitizers created equally?
Unfortunately, they most certainly are not. Hand sanitizers with a 60-95% alcohol content are proven to be the most effective. Simpleaf encourages use of hand sanitizer at higher levels, like 71% alcohol content. It might be time to leave that colorful, heavy scented or nicely packaged Bed Bath and Beyond hand sanitizer.
- Does hand sanitizer expire?
Hand sanitizers have a long shelf life, due to the current need for hand sanitizer however, FDA is not enforcing that expiration dates be attached, as they are needed immediately.
- What is the proper amount of hand sanitizer to use?
A common mistake that people make when using hand sanitizer is not applying enough to coat the entire area before the sanitizer dries out. If it is not wet when it touches the surface, then it is not disinfecting.
- Is hand sanitizer safe for children?
Yes, however for children under 6 years they must always use the product with adult supervision as ingesting mouthfuls of hand sanitizer can result in alcohol poisoning. If your child ingested hand sanitizer, call poison control or a medical professional immediately.
- Where should I store my hand sanitizer?
Hand sanitizer loses its efficiency if improperly stored. Make sure you are not keeping yours in temperatures above 105 degrees, like Texas cars in the summer. Try storing your hand sanitizer in room temperature conditions, away from children and pets.
Along with washing your hands and maintaining a clean living environment, your hand sanitizer is the final component of maintaining a safe and healthy lifestyle for yourself and your loved ones. Make sure you’re making an educated decision in what you purchase and how you use it. If you learned something new, share the knowledge with someone who you think would benefit as well.