As the novel coronavirus continues to spread around the world, maintaining personal hygiene like washing your hands regularly, remains the most reliable way to prevent yourself from the virus. However, if you are in a place where you don’t have immediate access to soap and water, hand sanitizer is a good substitute. In this article, we will provide the answer to the question - “Does hand sanitizer protect you from coronavirus”?

Hand sanitizer is a convenient way of cleaning your hand, even though you don't have access to water and soap. Since the outbreak of Coronavirus, the sales of hand sanitizer has increased exponentially. It has become one of the most sought-after products in the United States and other parts of the world.

While hand sanitizers are effective protective measures against the deadly COVID-19, they aren’t as effective as washing your hands with soap and water. So, it’s advisable only to use hand sanitizer when it’s the last resort.

How Does Hand Sanitizer Work?

Hand sanitizers contain ethyl alcohol, isopropyl alcohol, or both to kill the virus, germs, and bacteria on your hands. Alcohol is the most active ingredient in hand sanitizers. It kills germ by denaturing the protective outer microbes’ proteins and dissolving their membranes.

Again, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of hand sanitizer that has at least 60% alcohol content. Any hand sanitizer with a lower concentration of alcohol can’t effectively kill germs.

So, it will be perfect to get hand sanitizers with at least 90% concentrate of alcohol. These sanitizers will completely kill the germs in your hand instead of reducing their growth in your hands.

Hand Sanitizer Vs. Washing Your Hand

Like I mentioned earlier, the CDC advised that hand sanitizer is not as effective as washing your hands with soap and water when it comes to killing germs. However, if you apply your hand sanitizer the right way, it could prevent you against the novel coronavirus. Ideally, you are supposed to allow the hand sanitizer to dry off entirely from your hands. And if you try wiping your hands before it dries completely, it won’t achieve the intended result.

Furthermore, if your hand is dirty and greasy, it’s not advisable to use hand sanitizer because it can’t penetrate through dirt and grease like water and soap. That’s why the World Health Organization and CDC recommend using hand sanitizer only when you don’t have access to water and soap.

Can Hand Sanitizer Protect You From Virus?

If you use your hand sanitizer correctly in the right scenario, it can protect you from viral and bacterial infections. Let me remind you again that not all hand sanitizers can kill germs. So, I recommend a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol concentrate, use the directed amount (the instruction is in the label), rub it over your hands thoroughly, and wait for it to dry completely before doing anything else with your hands.

If you wash your hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitizers, you are less likely to contract COVID-19. Stay safe and healthy.

Author's Bio: 

Branko.J
Born in Serbia 1973, big enthusiast and dog lover. Writing is my inspiration and takes me to another dimension away from reality.