With almost 50 million people afflicted to-date and over 1.2 million deaths worldwide, the current global pandemic has wreaked havoc in the way we go about conducting our daily lives. From lockdowns to mandatory wearing of masks to control the spread of the highly contagious and deadly virus, Covid-19 guidelines also have recommended frequent hand-washing as an important hygiene practise to avoid infection by the virus. In the early days of the outbreak, this had left many scrambling to buy masks and hand sanitizers as they were quickly wiped out from the shelves. As the need to continue taking precautions is likely to continue into the months ahead, many brands of hand sanitizers have come into the market and even some recipes for home-made ones. To ensure proper hand sanitization, it’s important to know how to pick the best hand sanitizer for coronavirus protection and how to use it correctly.
Why Hand Hygiene Is Important
Coronavirus (COVID-19) is a novel virus that is easily transmitted in various ways. Based on research by the World Health Organization scientists, coronavirus can be spread via contact with droplets, airborne aerosols (tiny particles that float in the air) and contaminated surfaces.
1. Droplet and Airborne Transmission
Respiratory droplets from an infected person can be spread through coughing, sneezing, kissing, talking, laughing or singing. Touching the saliva or tears of an infected person or when their respiratory droplets enter your mouth, nose or eyes can cause infection.
After an infected person coughs, sneezes, talk or even sing, tiny infectious particles can stay suspended in the air for some time, especially in indoor spaces and areas with poor ventilation.
Infection can happen when coming into close face-to-face contact of an infected person. Maintaining social distancing of at least 1.5 metres apart in crowded places is recommended.
2. Contaminated Surfaces Transmission
Coronavirus (COVID-19) can remain alive on surfaces for long durations, ranging from hours to days, depending on what type of surface, temperature, humidity and how much of the virus is present. Surfaces can become contaminated when secretions or droplets from an infected person touch or fall onto the surfaces of objects in public areas such as elevator buttons, door handles, or tables.
If you touched a contaminated surface and then touch your face, nose, eyes or mouth, you could become infected. Contamination of your hands will also carry the virus from one surface to another and spread the infection to other people.
Practise Good Hygiene – The Do’s and Don’ts
When fighting against an unseen and wildly infectious enemy, it’s needless to say that practising good hygiene is critical for protecting oneself and slowing the spread of the virus to others. It may appear to be common sense but some daily practices may need to be changed and it takes time to drop old habits and develop new ones.
- Wash your hands regularly.
- Don’t cough or sneeze into your hands. If you are wearing a face mask, leave it on.
- Cover your nose or mouth with a tissue, then throw it away and wash your hands.
- If you don’t have a tissue, cough or sneeze into your elbow or upper sleeve.
- Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.
- Do not share drink bottles, glasses, crockery or cutlery other than with people you live with.
Remember To Wash Your Hands Often
The best way to protect yourself against coronavirus is to wash your hands regularly for at least 20 seconds (time yourself by hummung the Happy Birthday song twice), using soap and water, especially after you have been in a public place, or after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing, or using the toilet.
It’s especially important to wash:
- Before eating or preparing food
- Before touching your face
- When you get home
- When you arrive at other people’s homes, at venues or at work
- After using the restroom
- After leaving a public place
- After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing
- After handling your mask
- After changing a diaper
- After caring for someone sick
- After touching animals or pets
- After touching garbage
Washing your hands is best, but when you don’t have access to soap and water, you need to use a hand sanitizer as your next best option. It is good to carry a bottle of hand sanitizer for times when water and soap are not available. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Trusted Source, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol works best.
More information about How To Prevent Getting Sick and How To Protect Yourself & Others is available in CDC’s website.
Download a copy of Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Hand Sanitizer Fact Sheet
5 Best Hand Sanitizers
[As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.]
1. NxN Unscented Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel, 3 Pack of 12 oz (354mL) Each
- Made in USA
- USP Grade A+ 70% Alcohol
- Cleans and Hydrates
2. J.R. Watkins Plant-Based Natural Hand Sanitizer, 6 Pack of 4 oz (118mL) Each
- 62% Ethyl Alcohol
- Made with Aloe Extracts
- Convenient Spray Dispenser
3. Chemical Guys HYG10016 Alcohol Antiseptic, 16 oz
- 80% Agave-based Alcohol
- Fast Acting, Fast Drying Formula
- No Added Fragrance
4. First Botany Hand Sanitizer Gel, 16.9 fl oz (500 mL) with Dispensing Cap
- Made in USA
- 70% Alcohol Based
- Scent Free with Aloe Vera Gel and Vitamin E
- Gentle on Sensitive Skin and Moisturizing
- Safe For All Ages Including Children
5. Wish Hand Sanitizer Spray, 2 oz (60mL) Pack of 4
- 4 Scents Lavender, Natural Aloe, Vitamin E, Lemon Citrus
- 75% Alcohol Based
- Gentle on Hands
- Convenient to Carry
Proper Use Of Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizers work by killing germs on the skin and can quickly reduce the number of germs. After using a hand sanitizer, you should wash your hands with soap and water as soon as you can.
To use a hand sanitizer effectively:
- If your hands are greasy or dirty, you should wash them first with soap and water.
- Spray or apply the sanitizer to the palm of one hand.
- Thoroughly rub your hands together. Make sure you cover the entire surface of your hands and all your fingers.
- Continue rubbing into the skin for 30 to 60 seconds or until your hands feel dry. It can take at least 60 seconds, and sometimes longer, for hand sanitizer to kill most germs.
How About A Sanitizer For Your Phone?
You’ve probably heard that our cellphones have 10 times more bacteria than a toilet seat. While we remember to wash our hands multiple times a day, we should also be vigilant about sanitizing our phones in case of contamination. Besides cleaning our phone, phone sanitizers designed for multi-use functionality can also be used for jewelry, glasses, keys, credit cards, makeup brushes, keys, glasses and other essential items.
HoMedics UV Clean Phone Sanitizer, Purple
- Portable Fast Germ Sterilizer and UVC Light Disinfectant
- Kills up to 99.9% of Bacteria and Viruses
- Third Party Validated
- 1 Year Warranty
I hope that this article has been helpful to you in learning to select the best hand sanitizer for coronavirus. I’d like to hear about how this pandemic has changed some of your daily habits.
If you have any questions or comments, please do leave them below and I’d be more than happy to reply.