1. Is using alcohol-based sanitizer more effective than washing your hands with soap?
Washing your hands is the best method. However hand sanitizer is still effective. Additionally, sanitizer can be a great alternative if soap and water is not easily accessible (1). Strategically placing disinfectant dispensers throughout your business can help promote wellness practices. With the new norm shifting to self-service and touch free during the Covid-19 pandemic, hands free dispensers can help decrease risk of cross infection. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommend when using hand sanitizer to use at least 60% alcohol to avoid getting sick and the spreading of germs.
2. Are hand sanitizers effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy?
Not exactly. Hand sanitizer works great in medical settings such as hospitals where hands become dirty, but not greasy. Compared to food industries or playing sports hand sanitizers may not work well (2). It may be more convenient to use alcohol-based sanitizers such as disinfect wipes when you are out hiking, but if you want to get rid of all those germs your best using soap and water. Antimicrobial soaps help retain antimicrobial activity after washing your hands whereas instant sanitizers have no residual effect (2).
3. Who recommends using alcohol-based hand sanitizer?
Both the CDC and the World Health Organization (WHO) advise the use of alcohol-based hand sanitizer when soap and water is not available. The American Journal of Infection Control conducted a study between hand washing and absenteeism in school settings (3). The study also included the consistency and effectiveness of students practicing the hygienic activity of cleaning their hands. Out of the 6000 students across 16 elementary school the classrooms that used the hand sanitizer gel reduced the absenteeism by 19.8% (3)!
4. Why is hand sanitizer hard to find at the store during the Covid-19 Pandemic?
According to market research firm Nielsen, hand sanitizer sales in the US grew 73% in February 2020. There has been a rush to stock up on “pandemic pantries” such as toilet paper, flour, and face masks (4).
5. What are some alternative uses for hand sanitizer?
Alcohol-based sanitizers have several functions other than disinfecting your hands such as, cleaning windows and mirrors; removing permanent marker stains from white boards, walls and clothes; useful for removing fingerprints from phones, sunglasses, and stainless steel; relieving the itch of mosquito bites (5). The usage of sanitizers extends beyond stopping the spread of germs.
Signs Plus offers a variety of hands-free sanitizer dispensers that look great and are made for long term hygienic practices. To learn more, click on the button below.