Globally, as people rush to protect themselves from Covid-19, the demand for hand sanitisers has soared. While hand hygiene is nothing new, it’s high priority right now for obvious reasons: preventing bacteria and disease-carrying germs amid the current pandemic.
Hands are the one part of our body we are constantly using – they have the most contact with people objects, and our own selves. (P.S. Stop touching your face!) With the increasing demand for hand hygiene products, people have been asking, what’s the difference between hand sanitisers and hand washes?
Put simply, both hand wash and hand sanitiser are effective in stopping the spread of bacteria. However, there is one key difference between hand sanitiser and hand wash/soap: hand wash removes soil from your hands, whereas hand sanitiser does not. Lather and water are required to clean any dirt, visible or otherwise. Alcohol-based hand sanitisers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but sanitisers do not eliminate all types of germs.
Not all hand sanitisers are created equal. Hygiene experts and the NHS all agree that to kill most viruses, a hand sanitiser requires at least 60 per cent alcohol content. Our hand sanitiser Germ-X contains 63% alcohol, killing germs in just 15 seconds.
The Centres for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible, because handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. But if soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitiser with at least 60 percent alcohol is the next best thing.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO), there is a right and wrong way to wash your hands and use hand sanitiser. The most important rule is 20:20 – wash hands for 20 seconds, dry hands for 20 seconds.
The Ministry of Health recommends following these five steps for clean hands:
When it comes to sanitiser, the CDC recommends applying the hand sanitiser to the palm of one hand (a couple of drops is generally adequate) and rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry.
No doubt it’s more than drilled into you by now but there are some situations overlooked where hand hygiene is also essential. Help you and your loved ones stay healthy by frequently washing your hands, especially during these key times:
During the COVID-19 pandemic, you should also:
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