The whole world is now very interested in hand sanitisers and hygiene in general. It’s generally accepted now that maintaining social distancing is one of the best ways to reduce the spread and transmission of the corona virus. Maintaining good hygiene practices like regularly/frequently washing your hands will also reduce the risk of coming into contact with the virus.

How effective are hand sanitisers in protecting you from corona virus?

It’s recommended that people wash their hands using soap and clean water as often as possible and when this is not possible, then, the next best option is to use a hand sanitiser that contains a minimum of 60% alcohol.

Many people got frightened and rushed out to purchase hand sanitisers in bulk and have little understanding of how effective they are and how long the will last before their expiry date.

Having a high alcohol content is one thing when the bottle of sanitiser remains sealed and well protected. Unfortunately, alcohol evaporates quickly if the bottle is not properly resealed and so instead of having an alcohol content of 60 plus an opened bottle will soon have an alcohol content that is below the required amount. This is especially true if the bottle is left in a place where it can heat up like a bench in sunlight or a hot car.

How alcohol based hand sanitiser works

The coronavirus is an enveloped virus; this means they are sealed inside a membrane that protects them. This envelope is very easily destroyed by strong concentrations of alcohol as the alcohol disrupts the covering membrane, inactivating and destroying the virus.

Washing your hands with soap and clean water does not kill the virus directly, but removes it from your skin. This washing action does not work with hand sanitisers and they can be less effective when the hands are dirty or oily.

When to use hand sanitisers

Every time you have contact with anyone or any surface outside your home, you need to use your hand sanitiser to disinfect your hands. If you allow a person who is not a resident of your space, even a close friend, child, spouse or any other relative entering your area will mean that all surfaces will need to be disinfected.

If you are outside your personal space, then you need to wash your hands with soap and freshwater or use a hand sanitiser:

If anyone spits, coughs or sneezes anywhere near you, keep in mind to maintain the proper distancing.

It’s also vital to use your hand sanitiser if you touch any surfaces such as:

  • Door handles
  • Handrails
  • Food items in shops
  • After handling money
  • ATM machines
  • Shelves in shops, libraries or any public areas
  • Inside public transportation
  • Outside areas where anyone else has been
  • Before and after eating

As it is impossible to know if the people around you are infected with the corona virus or some other type of virus you should treat everyone as if they have it and are contagious.

Regularly using a 60 percent plus, alcohol based, hand sanitiser when you cannot wash your hands with soap and fresh water is one best way of protecting yourself and stopping the spread of the corona virus as this will effectively  kill the virus.