Flu season is officially upon us! Which means it’s a perfect time for a reminder on how to get the most out of your hand sanitizer. While washing your hands with soap and water is still the best defense against germs, hand sanitizer is a close second. Christmas shopping and holiday parties will be in full swing, making an on-the-go option more important than ever.
Use The Right Type of Hand Sanitizer
All hand sanitizers are not created equally. The CDC recommends using alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains a minimum of 60% alcohol. Studies have shown sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60% and 95% are more effective at destroying germs than ones with an alcohol concentration under 60% or those that are not alcohol-based.
Rub The Hand Sanitizer Into Your Skin
When you apply hand sanitizer, you should make sure that the product is absorbed into the hands; there shouldn’t be any lingering wetness. It’s important to continue to rub it into your skin until it dries to get the most out of it’s germ destroying properties.
Use Enough Hand Sanitizer
Despite instructions on some hand sanitizers to apply a dime-sized amount, research indicates that is insufficient. A 2016 study demonstrated that in order to sufficiently cover the front and back of both hands, people need to use more than half a teaspoon of hand sanitizer. The World Health Organization also recommends applying a palmful of sanitizer into a cupped hand.
Store The Hand Sanitizer Properly
To maintain the effectiveness of hand sanitizer, it should be stored at a temperature of 45 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit.
Don’t Use Sanitizer On Dirty Hands
Hand sanitizer can work in a pinch, but if you notice grease and grime on your fingers, you need to wash your hands. The CDC says hand sanitizer may not be as effective if hands are noticeably filthy. In these cases, it’s recommended to wash hands with soap and water.
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