Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, proper hygiene has become more important than ever to reduce the spread of the virus. While thorough, frequent hand washing for at least 20 seconds is still considered the best line of defense, hand sanitizer comes in at a close second. Hand sanitizer is convenient. You can carry it in your car, in your purse, or in your pocket. Have a bottle on hand at work and throughout your home. You’ll be prepared with a sanitizer that will give you confidence that you are doing your part to stay healthy. Make sure you know how to properly use it so your sanitizer won’t let you down.
Make Sure Your Hand Sanitizer Has the Proper Alcohol Content
There are plenty of hand sanitizers out there. Some are no-nonsense. Others have fancy names and inviting scents. Remember that the main point is to have a sanitizer that will kill the majority of germs and bacteria on your hands. Your hand sanitizer’s alcohol content should be at least 60 percent to be effective. If you can find a brand that has 95 percent, even better.
Use an Adequate Amount of Sanitizer
When you apply your hand sanitizer, check the recommended amount on the container. As a rule of thumb, a squirt that is equivalent to a little over half a teaspoons should give you confidence. The next step is to make sure you are applying it properly.
Pay Attention to How You Apply Your Hand Sanitizer
When you apply your hand sanitizer, squirt it on the palm of one of your hands. Next, rub your hands together with enthusiasm. Make sure you get the back of your hands. Get your fingernails and fingertips. Rub the spaces in between your fingers. You should keep rubbing for at least half a minute. Once your hands are dry, you’ll know that your skin has absorbed your sanitizer of choice.
Friction is a Good Thing
When you wash your hands vigorously, you can loosen and eliminate unwanted microbes on your skin. Even if you don’t have soap, hot water and a great deal of friction are better than nothing. Use the same gusto when you use your hand sanitizer. You’ll send those microorganisms packing.
Use Your Hand Sanitizer at the Right Times
Have your hand sanitizer on hand to make sure you cover all the bases. If you sneeze or cough into your hands, you’ll want to use that sanitizer. Be sure to wipe the bottle down with it too! The same holds true if someone else sneezes or coughs on your hands. If you have young children, work with young children, or work in a field where you are exposed to germs, you may be applying hand sanitizer often. If you are about to eat and can’t wash your hands, use your hand sanitizer. When you use the bathroom, wash your hands. When you step out, consider using hand sanitizer too. If it’s a public bathroom, you may be forced to touch the doorknob or other surfaces after you washed your hands. If you deal with the public, handle money, or you have touched a trash can, use your hand sanitizer. It can’t hurt to be proactive when it comes to your own health.
Your Hands Should Not be Visibly Dirty
Take a look at your hands before you apply your hand sanitizer. If you can see dirt, grease, or any kind of debris, you need to wash with soap and water first. Otherwise, the hand sanitizer will not do its job if it has to penetrate a layer of dirt.
Always Be Safe
Hand sanitizer must be handled with care. The high alcohol content can lead to poisoning if it is ingested by humans or animals. Take care with where you store hand sanitizer in your home, office, or vehicle. If you have young children in your home, keep your hand sanitizer out of reach. You’ll also want to make sure pets do not have access to your hand sanitizer. If your children use sanitizer, always supervise how much they use and how they apply it.