While you may already be social distancing and wearing a mask to prevent the spread of COVID-19, don't forget to add hand sanitizer to the mix. The CDC says that alcohol-based hand rubbing (ABHR)--like with sanitizer gel—is an easy and effective way to reduce the spread of infection. Here are some tips to make sure your sanitizing efforts are effective.
Stay on Top of Expiration Dates
You may want to use some old sanitizer that you have in storage, but take a look at the expiration dates. Hand sanitizer usually expires three years after its manufacturing date. Why? The alcohol content dissolves over time, so if the sanitizer dips below a 60% alcohol concentration, then the sanitizer won't be nearly effective at killing pathogens. While diluted sanitizer is still better than nothing, why risk it? If you need sanitizer for yourself and your whole family, you may want to buy a pack of small sanitizers in bulk to save some money instead of buying individual products for each person.
Use the Hand Sanitizer Throughout the Day
Some people put hand sanitizer on just once before they leave the house. However, sanitizer doesn't continually remove debris or pathogens; it only sanitizes what's on your hands at the moment. So, that means if you are interacting with people or are doing a messy activity, your hands will continually become contaminated throughout the day. Ideally, you should use the hand sanitizer at frequent intervals during your day. If that's not possible, then use your sanitizer once you are done running errands, seeing people, etc., instead of using it at the start of your day.
Remember Hand Sanitizer and Hand Washing Together
Hand sanitizer can be a godsend if you need to clean your hands but aren't near a sink; however, it's not a replacement for hand washing. Some viruses are encased in a mucous-like barrier which is hard for the ethanol in sanitizer to break through to. In short, you should use both preventative methods together. Hand washing physically removes germs from your hands and sanitizer can kill any germs you miss until you are able to wash your hands again.
Apply the Sanitizer Correctly and in the Right Amount
Some people just put a little sanitizer on their hands and let it air dry. However, you need to really rub the sanitizer into your hands to increase its effectiveness as friction loosens microbes. Besides taking the time to work the sanitizer into your hands, be sure to apply a generous amount. You should get at least a dime-size amount.
Keep these tips in mind next time you go shopping for hand sanitizer. Contact a company that offers products like 72-pack 8 fl oz hand sanitizer for more information.