Good and bad hand sanitizer ingredients [what to look for]

It’s best to know what kind of hand sanitizer to use — especially during a Coronavirus pandemic. Here are the good and bad ingredients in hand sanitizer.

RELATED: How to sanitize against the Coronavirus

GOOD sanitizer ingredients

Pick one that contains mostly alcohol, and has few other ingredients.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hand sanitizers should be at least 60% ethyl alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol to work properly in killing germs.¹

These are acceptable hand sanitizer ingredients to use on hands and skin.

BAD sanitizer ingredients

Avoid anything with methanol or 1-propanol, both of which can be highly toxic.

Also, avoid hand sanitizers with benzalkonium chloride, which is less effective at killing certain bacteria and viruses.

Some knock-off hand sanitizers may contain sterile distilled water, hydrogen peroxide, and glycerin, which may not be effective.

hand sanitizer drug facts
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Does hand sanitizer kill the Coronavirus?

Yes, it does.

According to the National Center for Biotechnology Information (NCBI), they say

Most alcohol-based hand sanitizers are effective at inactivating enveloped viruses, including coronaviruses…When hand washing with soap and water is unavailable, a sufficient volume of sanitizer is necessary to ensure complete hand coverage, and compliance is critical for appropriate hand hygiene.” ²

It’s best, however, to wash hands with soap and water to eliminate germs. But if soap and water are not available, then hand sanitizer will be a suitable substitute.

Tips for using hand sanitizer properly

How to use hand sanitizer:

  • If hands are not visibly dirty, then…
  • Squirt about a pea-sized amount into the palm of one hand and rub hands together to spread it through the hands and fingers.
  • Ensure to rub fingers and palms thoroughly, interlocking fingers.
  • Let hands air-dry (do not wipe dry).

Precautions when using hand sanitizer:

  • Store in a temperate area (a warm area will cause the bottle to expand and squirt when opened).
  • Keep out of reach from young children and pets.

RELATED: 6 Steps from the EPA for Safe Disinfectant Use

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