With the outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic, there has been a drastic increase in the consumption of personal hygiene products such as hand sanitizers, surface disinfectants, multi-surface wipes, toilet seat sanitizers, and more, for a good reason. Our hands can be a critical path in the transmission of infectious bacteria OR viruses. Infectious viruses can stay on surface materials for several days depending on the material and are easily transferred between surfaces and hands upon contact, which is why maintaining hand hygiene is of utmost importance.

Medical experts and organizations across the globe recommend thorough handwashing with soap and water for a minimum of 20-30 seconds as the first defence against disease transmission. BUT if a person does not have access to soap and water the experts recommends the use of hand sanitizer. According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), an ideal hand sanitizer is one which contains a minimum of 60% alcohol to eliminate the SARS-CoV-2 virus. As per reports, the coronavirus is an enveloped virus, where an outer layer is protecting the virus. A hand sanitizer works by disrupting the outer layer, which in turn, inactivates the virus, thus making it non – infectious. According to FDA, a product can only be marketed as a hand sanitizer if it contains ethanol, benzalkonium chloride or isopropanol as the active agent. All three chemicals are different types of alcohol that destroy pathogens in a similar manner to soap: the alcohol molecules bond with the pathogen’s lipid membrane to tear the virus apart.

Benefits of hand sanitizer as follows-

  • Requires less time than hand wash
  • Acts quickly to kill germs
  • Very accessible
  • Reduces bacterial count
  • Anti-Bacterial & Instantly kills 99.9% of the germs

Although washing hands with soap and water is the most effective way of keep infections at bay, hand sanitizers are the best alternatives. Make sure that you always keep one with you, especially when you are on-the-go and uphold hand hygiene practises thoroughly.