Cleaning hands at key times with soap and water or hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol is one of the most important steps you can take. This has been made even more important given what the world has been through in the last 2 or so years. When it comes down to it, COVID-19 really has a lot to answer for. You will now see these sanitisers in no end of places. From bars and restaurants to even factories, there are no end of places you can and will see a hand gel sanitiser on display.
In our current COVID world, social distancing, face coverings, and regular hand hygiene are, for now, the new normal for all of us. It seems also as though this may also continue too. In some ways this may not actually prove to be a bad thing.
It needs to be able to work well
An effective alcohol hand sanitiser will kill 99.9% of germs and bacteria on your hands. To make sure yours does, look for EN1276 and EN1650. These codes mean that the product has been tested and approved. Alcohol levels can vary in different products. Typically, we find that 70% is the sweet spot for performance, consistency and fragrance.
Hand sanitisers without alcohol
Although some hand sanitisers are sold without alcohol, it is the main ingredient in most products currently being snatched from store shelves. That’s because alcohol is a very effective disinfectant that is also safe to put on your skin. Alcohol’s job is to break up the outer coatings of bacteria and viruses.
The type of sanitiser you will likely see in a clinic
In clinics, runny, liquid hand sanitisers like those you can make from the WHO recipes are easily transferred to the hands of patients, doctors, and visitors from wall-mounted dispensers. For consumers, hand sanitiser gels are a lot easier to carry and dispense. They can be used on the go. This is as it’s easier to squeeze a gel from the bottle without spilling it everywhere. Gels also slow the evaporation of alcohol. This ensures it has time to cover your hands. It also ensures it can work against the microbes that might be present.
An early origin of the use of hand sanitiser
While alcohol has been in use as an antiseptic since the late-1800s least, the exact origins of hand sanitiser are up for debate. One version of the story points to Lupe Hernandez, a nursing student in Bakersfield, California in 1966. Lupe is seen as the inventor of hand sanitiser after combining alcohol and gel. This was for use by doctors in situations where they don’t have time to access soap. The same too was where they couldn’t access warm water before treating patients. However, a recent investigation by the Smithsonian Institution historian Joyce Bedi was unable to turn up any trace of Hernandez, or any evidence of a U.S. patent for hand sanitiser under that name from the 1960s.
Throughout the 2000s, hospitals around the world started the widespread practice of placing hand sanitiser pumps throughout medical facilities. It is as though the pandemic as we see it has seen us look once again at how key and also useful a good hand sanitiser is. It can help kill germs in every sense and ensure you hygiene is to a much higher standard too. The best things also about a hand sanitiser too is you can also carry it around with you. This means you know more what you are putting on to your hands.