Important facts about hand sanitisers

Important facts about hand sanitisers

1.     Why most of the hand sanitisers contain alcohol?
It is proved that alcohol is effective in destroying many types of microbes, bacteria and germs because it inactivates their protein.
This process is called denaturation which will often kill the microbe.

2.     If 60% alcohol hand sanitizers are good, are 100% alcohol sanitisers the best?
Unfortunately, no. Protein denaturation is more effective when the hand sanitising solution contains water as well. Pure alcohol would evaporate in a matter of seconds. In order to ensure the actual effect, you need to clean your hands thoroughly (including between your knuckles, wrists, palms, back of your hand and your fingernails).
Moreover using 100% alcohol would dry out your skin quickly. That is why most of the hand sanitisers contain emollients, which are mixtures that help soften and moisturize your skin.

3.     Why alcohol hand gel doesn’t kill all the microbes?
There are thousands of different microbes, bacteria and germs, and every case is different, some of them are more resistant to alcohol. For example, bacteria which can cause foodborne illness are very effectively killed by hand sanitising solutions which contain 60% of alcohol. Alcohol is very effective against germs which have an outer wrapping called ‘envelope’.
Whether you are trying to kill bacteria or microbes, many research studies have proven that an alcohol concentration of 60% or greater is needed to be effective.

4.     Is home-made sanitizer a good idea?
There are plenty of DIY formulas of hand sanitisers. When trying to make hand-sanitiser at home you will not be able to ensure accurate concentration of the alcohol inside therefore you won’t be able to know for sure if the antibacterial gel that you have just made is actually effective?
There is also a risk of using non-tested materials in your DIY project. Some of the substances used in producing hand sanitisers are only available in commercial quantities therefore some of the formulas on the internet will have alternative substances listed as ingredients making it unsafe to use as the combination of those elements have not been tested.

5.     Are alcoholic beverages effective against germs?
There are a lot of rumours that in worst case scenarios you can use alcoholic beverages in order to sanitise your hands. Important thing that most of the strong alcohol drinks contain around 35-40 of alcohol inside making it ineffective in killing microbes.
Some of them might contain dyes, sweeteners and other substances which should not be used on skin.

6.     Does the hand sanitiser ever expire?
All of the antiseptics for hands sold contain an expiration day, but many might wonder if the product can actually expire as it is alcohol based.
Most of the commercial sanitising solutions are effective for couple of years.
It is important to remember that alcohol is volatile and evaporates over time, meaning that bacterial hand gel will gradually become less effective when using after the expiration date.