I have no shame in admitting that I’m somewhat (…for the most part) a germaphobe. On that note, I pretty much always carry hand sanitizer with me just in case I can’t wash my hands at a sink. Sometimes I wonder if sanitizer really does anything. How can this little bit of gel wipe my hands clean of germs and bacteria? Well, here’s what you need to know if you’re constantly applying hand sanitizer.
Most importantly, in order for hand sanitizer to be effective, it needs to be alcohol-based and contain at least 60% alcohol. According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC), hand sanitizers that have an alcohol concentration of 60%-95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration.
You should try to stay away from non-alcohol-based sanitizers altogether. This type of sanitizer does not work well for all classes of germs and can cause germs to develop resistance. Plus, they are more likely to irritate your skin than alcohol-based sanitizers.
It’s important to note that hand sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. Make sure you use a decent amount of sanitizer and let it dry completely before wiping it off. When used properly, hand sanitizers can kill many types of microbes very effectively.