Cleanliness is taking on a whole new meaning during the current COVID-19 pandemic. An obsession with hygiene is leading to supply shortages in everything from soap to toilet paper. While not every hoarding practice makes sense with the current issue, the whole uproar does make you think about hygiene and proper washing techniques. A few months ago, most people probably thought they knew how to wash their hands. Now there are songs on video-sharing sites and instructions on government websites letting everyone know how wrong they were. Did you know there is a technique for using hand sanitizer effectively? Do you know why or when to use it? If there is one thing this health crisis has done, it has shown people how little they know about seemingly everyday things. To help keep you informed and safe, review the proper technique for hand sanitizer usage.
Proper Technique Makes All the Difference
Over the past several months, the world has become familiar with the correct way to wash your hands, even using songs to ensure that a full 20 seconds pass before rinsing. The technique for applying hand sanitizer is similar to hand-washing, but instead of counting to a certain number, you depend on friction to dry the sanitizer into your skin. There are four steps to the correct application of hand sanitizer:
1. Remove organic matter from your hands
2. Apply the correct amount of sanitizer to your palm
3. Rub the sanitizer evenly over all surfaces of your hands
4. Allow your hands to air dry; no rinsing with water
Why is it important to follow these four steps? Hand sanitizer does not work well when used over greasy or oily palms. The organic matter seems to prevent the alcohol-based sanitizer from penetrating to the surface of the skin. Therefore, it is best to wipe your hands free of organic matter, like grease or dirt, before applying the sanitizer.
Every manufacturer will specify the amount of sanitizer to use for an application. Most formulas require the use of a dime-sized amount. While the amount may seem too small, the substance is potent and spreads easily.
Once you have the correct amount of sanitizer on your palm, begin rubbing it between your hands. Be sure to spread the sanitizer evenly across your palms, backs of your hands and in-between your fingers. You want complete coverage. Continue rubbing until the friction dries the substance and do not rinse your hands.
Alcohol is Key
While soap is the ultimate cleanser, hand sanitizer may be more beneficial in some circumstances because of the convenience and the alcohols in the formula. Hand sanitizer is an excellent and portable solution for keeping your hands germ-free all day. It is easy to keep a bottle in your car, purse or backpack, allowing you to disinfect your hands and surfaces whenever the need arises. Soap is simply not as portable.
However, sanitizer's real superiority to other disinfecting methods is due to its alcohol content. Most sanitizers use ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, which can effectively and quickly kill microbes. It is the rapid action of hand sanitizer that makes it preferable when soap is not available; although washing your hands with soap and water is still the best option. The CDC recommends that any sanitizer you use has at least 60% alcohol.
Hand Sanitizer Availability
Knowing how to use hand sanitizer is only half the battle; you also need to find it. Disinfectants and sanitizers were among the first products to disappear from store shelves when COVID-19 hit, leading to a scramble of businesses trying to produce alcohol-based sanitizers. Thankfully, DS Laboratories has an Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer available for consumers. The formula is FDA-approved and adheres to CDC recommendations of 60% alcohol. However, beyond the alcohol, DS Laboratories adds other beneficial ingredients, such as moisturizers to ensure your hands won't dry out and crack.
The current health crisis means that everyone needs to take extra precautions with health and hygiene. While soap and water are always superior to alcohol-based sanitizers, it is not always convenient to find a sink. Hand sanitizer is an excellent standby option when standard hand-washing is not possible. If you are interested in keeping your hands germ-free, order your supply of Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer from DS Laboratories.