Awareness on Hand Sanitizers increased after COVID-19. Mothers till now used hand sanitizers to sanitize the hands of their children after playing in a common play area. Sanitary industry giants like Himalayas, Dettol have been doing a lots of advertisements campaigns in media. The awareness on the necessity have risen only during the recent times due to the pandemic. The government making usage of Hand Sanitizers mandatory in public places has added towards the awareness of the product.
Importance of using sanitizers
We have been handwashing with soap all these years to kill germs and avoid spreading of diseases. But the right way for handwashing is still a distant dream. On the other Hand Sanitizers can kill 97% of the disease causing germs on hands transmitted by touching a contaminated surface. So Hand Sanitizers are far more efficacious than just a hand wash. So Hand Sanitizers are always a better solution to maintain our immunity intact.
When did Hand Sanitizers come into existence?
We all think that the Hand Sanitizers have evolved only recently. But we are pretty wrong to think that way. In the ancient times, the rest of the world has been using alcohol as a Hand Sanitizer for medical purposes. But, 5000 years ago, the cow’s urine (gomutra) was used as a disinfectant in India. Entire house was disinfected with it. It was considered auspicious to cleanse one’s hand and forehead with it.
Hindu vedas and epics say some herbal plants were used as disinfecants. So Hand Sanitizers have been in existence all this while. We were just not aware of its usage. In Hindu temples people drop holy water used to wash idols on their heads before entering the temple. This water contains edible camphor which is also a disinfectant.
Sanitizing concept was hence, already a part of our life. We only have not realised the importance of Hand Sanitizers as a product.
Benefits of Hand Sanitizers
- Hand Sanitizers are handy making it easy to use indoors or outdoors
- It can effectively control the spread of 97% of germs
- Usage of hand sanitizers can contain gastrointestinal and respiratory infections
- Its widely said that the Hand Sanitizers can result in dryness of skin. Moisturisers are added now to prevent dryness
- Studies have proved that offices and classrooms using hand sanitizers can reduce leave and absenteeism
Limitations of Hand Sanitizers
- Alcohol is the main ingredient of Hand Sanitizers. So check the alcohol content before buying. Its better if its above 70%
- Hand Sanitizers are not cleaning agents. Hence it is not an alternate for washing hands when they are dirty.
- Use a small amount. Using excessively could decrease your immunity to new germs.
Difference between Alcoholic and Non Alcoholic Hand Sanitizers
- Alcohol is the main ingredient for alcohol-based Hand Sanitizers. WHO recommends 80% of ethanol usage and 75% of isopropyl alcohol in Hand Sanitizers. It’s better to buy ones with more than 70% alcohol.
- Non-alcoholic hand sanitizers uses Benzalkonium chloride. It is a Quaternary ammonium compound. This reduces micro-organisms and germs
- Non Alcoholic Hand Sanitizers are mostly in the foam-based form
- Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizers can trigger fire hazards while Non-Alcoholic Hand Sanitizers are very safe.
- Non-Alcoholic Hand Sanitizers are gentle and know to make zero damage on the skin exposed to the Sanitizers.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are all hand sanitizers effective?
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers need to have at least above 60% of alcohol to ensure that they are effective against killing germs and microbes.
Should I use soap after using hand sanitizer?
Hand sanitizers leave your hands both clean and germ-free. But if your hands are very soiled then the best option is to use soap and water.
How to store hand sanitizers?
Hand sanitizers must be stored in cool and dry places. You cannot leave it under hot sun or inside a parked car where the temperatures are high
Is hand sanitizer safe for children?
Very young children need to use hand sanitizers under adult supervision. It is perfectly safe for children when properly used