How To Properly Use Hand Sanitizer

properly use hand sanitizer

The health department or Centre for Disease Control suggest that washing your hands with liquid soap or soap and rinsing it off with water is the safest and best way to kill germs on your hands. Washing hands with soaps removes all the toxic chemicals and bacteria from our palms and makes them safe for eating food or touching our body, especially mouth.

But in some cases, if the water and soap are not available for cleaning your hand, then one can use a sanitizer to kill the germs on their hand. One should use a hand sanitizer that contains 60% alcohol at least so that you can avoid getting sick due to the spread of germs.

There are so many studies based on how to wash hands effectively and use hand sanitizer when you are outside. These steps are regularly moderate as scientists find new effective ways to wash our hands. In this article, we will learn about how to use hand sanitizer properly. 

What Is Hand Sanitizer?

Hand sanitizer is a cleaning agent that is used to kill germs, bacteria, and remove the toxic chemicals from the palms. It is a gel, foam, or liquid-based compound that helps in decreasing the infectious agents from the hands.

However, washing hands with soap and water are more preferable and effective than hand sanitizer. It is also a fact that hand sanitizers are less effective in killing certain types of germs like Clostridium Difficile and Norovirus. 

How does Hand Sanitizer work?

what is hand sanitizer

As we have read all these facts, there may be a doubt in our, does hand sanitizer work? Initially, when the hand sanitizer came on the market, there was only limited research on hand sanitizer effects, how it works, and hand sanitizer uses.

But these days, so much research has been done on the uses and effectiveness of hand sanitizers. Scientists are regularly occupied in searching for the actual benefits of hand sanitizer and bringing more new ways to use hand sanitizer properly.

However, more research is required by the medical department to release hand sanitizer facts so that everyone comes to know the real effects. 

One of the main and active ingredients that are found in every hand sanitizer is the Isopropyl Alcohol ( also called rubbing alcohol), a similar type of alcohol(n-propanol or ethanol), or a mix of both.

Alcohol is known for killing the microbes by dissolving the protective of proteins and destroying their metabolism. 

The research study from the Centre for Disease Control shows that hand sanitizer is effective and kills germs like washing your hands from soap and water.

In case your hands are really dirty like mud or grease on your hand cannot be cleaned by the hand sanitizer. However, sanitizers are also not effective to remove or clean the harmful chemicals from your palms.            

Hand Sanitizer vs. Soap

Does hand sanitizer kill viruses? This is a very big question to ask as one should be aware of how hand sanitizers can protect them.

FDA or Food and Drug Administration of the United States has recently taken legal action in the opposition of some hand sanitizer corporations who claim that their product can kill Ebola, MRSA, salmonella, rotavirus, and influenza. 

Since then, so much research has been conducted and started releasing that hand sanitizer can kill some of these types of viruses.

However, if we compare hand sanitizer vs. hand washing, then always washing hands is the topmost priority of everyone.

But when there is no option for hand wash or use soap and water to clean hands, then hand sanitizer will help you and effectively kill germs from your hands. 

But some studies say that the dependency of people or the preference of people to use hand sanitizer instead of using soap and water has increased the risk of a norovirus outbreak.

To avoid this, there are norovirus hand sanitizers that can help in killing this germ, but it is always recommendable to you to wash your hands whenever possible and useless hand sanitizer.  


Is hand sanitizer bad: No, hand sanitizer is not bad, but it is hygiene and safety for you when there is no water and soap to clean your hands. It would help if you only used hand sanitizer when there is no option, and you have to kill germs from your hands before eating food or touching your face. 

Is hand sanitizer effective: As per the CDC research study claims, hand sanitizers are effective to kill germs and viruses from our hands. Only they cannot clean your hands if they are too dirty or greasy. However, hand sanitizers are also not very effective in removing harmful chemicals from your palm. 

Does alcohol kill germs: Actually not, as the alcohol used in hand sanitizer is of different concentration than that of alcohol available for commercial purposes. Thus alcohol cannot kill such viruses and germs. 

Does Rubbing Alcohol Kill Staph: It is an infection that is caused when the patient suffers from a bad immune system. Some say that there are proven tests that show sanitizer can kill the staph, but the FDA does not agree. Thus, rubbing mere alcohol does not help in killing this germ.  

Does Hand Sanitizer Expire: Yes, by the time, hand sanitizer expires as the alcohol present in it evaporates, and the bottle becomes ineffective on the germs. Make sure to open the bottle, again and again, keep it closed, and do not use last year’s manufacturing hand sanitizer.                                                            

How To Use Hand Sanitizer

does hand sanitizer work

The effectiveness of hand sanitizer is based on how you use the hand sanitizer.

Even if you are using the best hand sanitizer but don’t know how to use it correctly, then there is no such use of it. There are various factors that determine the power of using hand sanitizer like:

  • How many sanitizers do you Use?
  • Technique Of Applying Hand Sanitizer
  • Consistency Of Using Hand Sanitizer

There are some appropriate situations in which you can use hand sanitizer and drive the maximum benefits from it like touching stray animals, moving in the public transportation, shaking hands, after buying grocery and touching the cart, and other similar situations where water and soap are not available to clean your hands.

Correct Way To Use Hand Sanitizer:

  • Take a dollop of hand sanitizer or amount directed by the manufacturer.
  • Then nicely rub your palm and backside of your hand, including the skin between your fingers. 
  • When your skin becomes dry, stop rubbing your palms.
  • Make sure to use the hand sanitizer periodically or in between the hour when you are outside and don’t have a facility for washing hands. 
  • Do not eat food or touch your face without sanitizing your hands.
  • If you feel unsafe to use your phone due to germs and viruses, you can also sanitize your phone using a paper napkin and again sanitize your hands. 

What Type Of Hand Sanitizer You Should Buy

According to the Center for Disease Control, the best hand sanitizer is with 95% percent alcohol content. However, one should buy a hand sanitizer that consists of at least 60% of the alcohol content.

In the market, you can find most of the hand sanitizer products come between 60% to 95% of alcohol in them.

It is also a fact that not always the higher alcohol content in the hand sanitizer is best for hygiene and effective to kill germs. In order that these products work at their best, they also need to have the water content in it.

There are also some products that claim to kill and sanitize your hands, but the amount of alcohol content in them is very low, or sometimes there is no alcohol in them.

Thus such products do not help you in killing the germs from your palms and provide you with enough protection.  

When Not To Use Hand Sanitizer

best hand sanitizer for baby

Hand Sanitizer is an amazing product that provides you enough hygiene and protection facilities when there is no water and soap to clean your hands.

However, some people use hand sanitizer as a substitute to wash hands, which is wrong and can expose them to chronic diseases in the future if they regularly use hand sanitizer instead of soap.

You should make sure that whenever there is an option to wash hands with soap and water, then there is nothing much better for your hygiene and protection.

Hand Sanitizer only kills the germs that are on your hands and even not sure that they are completely killed, whereas soap and water ensure that they correctly kill the germs and even remove their dead cells from your palms. 

If your hands are too dirty, greasy, or you have used a harmful chemical on your workplace, then make sure to first clean your hands with water and soap, not with hand sanitizer. 

Note: If you are outside with your little baby, then do not use the same sanitizer you use for yourself. You can easily find the best hand sanitizer for the baby online or at the medical store.