August 01, 2020

What makes a successful sanitiser

The ‘new normal’ is here and people have started easing into their updated routines brought on by the pandemic. Wearing masks and maintaining social distancing are now common practices among people who step outside. Additionally, the need for good hygiene is constantly being stressed upon by different health organisations across the globe. Which is where, in addition to soap and water, hand sanitisers have now come into focus like never before.

Several local and international brands have introduced different kinds of hand sanitisers into the market. However, as a consumer, it is important that you keep in mind certain factors when trying to find one that best serves its purpose without causing any kind of side effects. 

Ideal for a quick (not lazy) wash

The convenience that sanitisers offer doesn’t mean that a dab of the solvent applied hastily will work magic on your hands. You must ensure that the gel is thoroughly applied across your hands and fingers and rubbed together for at least 20 seconds. Yes, the 20-second rule applies for hand sanitisers too! 

Soap and Water v/s Sanitiser

There is no clear winner to this duel. The high alcohol content in hand sanitisers is known to effectively kill disease-causing germs. But if a bar of soap and tap water is within your reach, it is recommended that you choose that rather than a sanitiser. The alcohol in hand santisers needs to be in direct contact with your skin for it to be completely effective. So, if your hands are already greasy or dirty, you will need to use soap and water to remove the dirt as well as any other harmful germs. Additionally, hand sanitisers cannot remove toxic chemicals like pesticides from your hands.

How Safe are Hand Sanitisers?

The high alcohol content in most sanitisers is something to consider. Experts recommend that young children should limit the use of alcohol-based sanitisers and kids under 2 should completely avoid them. This is because, if accidentally consumed, sanitisers with alcohol can lead to poisoning and intoxication. Constant use of alcohol-based sanitisers can also cause your hands to dry out.
Despite these concerns, alcohol-based sanitisers are one of the best options currently available in the market to sanitise your hands. They are easily accessible and more user friendly than soap, especially when you are outside. Further, if you choose the right kind of sanitiser and use them with care, you can avoid a lot of the side effects.

So, what kind of hand sanitiser should you choose?

Studies have shown that germs can be resistant to non-alcohol based sanitisers. So it is best to opt for an alcohol-based sanitiser always. But it is important that you take some care when making your choice. Always make sure you read the ingredients that constitute the hand sanitiser carefully before you make your purchase. Ensure that your sanitiser doesn’t contain hazardous substances like 1-propanol that can be life-threatening if accidentally ingested.  

At the end of the day, always make sure that you carry a bottle of good sanitiser with you every time you step outside. Avoid touching any surfaces unnecessarily. But if you accidentally do touch somewhere, use your sanitiser immediately. Stay safe and stay healthy.
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