Hand Sanitizer

5 Tips for Using Hand Sanitizers

woman, using, hand, sanitizer

Using hand sanitizers seems simple enough. After all, you've been washing your hands all your life. Except, and here's the first tip, hand sanitizers are not soap. And using hand sanitizers is not the same as washing your hands.

With that in mind, here are a few more tips for using hand sanitizers.

1. Washing Your Hands with Soap & Water is the Best Way 

According to the World Health Organization, using soap and water to wash your hands is the best way to clean them, get rid of bacteria and reduce the spread of viruses.

At times when soap and water aren't available or impractical to use, hand sanitizer is your best alternative.

2. Make Sure it has at Least 60% Alcohol

Alcohol effectively kills germs. But, if you use sanitizer with less than 60% alcohol, it may not be enough to get rid of all the germs on your hand. That can contribute to antibiotic resistance in the germs and make them even more more difficult to eliminate. 

3. Check for Dirt & Grease

If your hands are dirty or greasy, it can limit the effectiveness of the hand sanitizer. That means you may not have the protection you think you have. When your hands are dirty, try to wash them with soap and water first before using sanitizer.

4. Use Sanitizer All Over Your Hands

In addition to rubbing your palms together with sanitizer, make sure you get between your fingers, and across the backs of your hands, from your wrists to the tips of your fingers. 

5. Hand Sanitizer Does Not Remove Harsh Chemicals

If you've handled harmful chemicals, like pesticides or solvents, hand sanitizer will not get rid of them. You should wash your hands for an extended period with soap and water. If you're unsure about the chemicals you've been exposed to, and how to properly get rid of them, call your local poison control center for directions.

To learn more about using hand sanitizers, check out our recent article When Should You Use Hand Sanitizer?.

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