Following the March 2020 breakout of COVID-19 in the U.S., hand sanitizer shelves around the country sat empty for weeks. To protect themselves and others from the spread of the coronavirus, people have been doing their best to keep sanitizer handy.
While sanitizer can be a useful substitute for hand washing when soap and water are unavailable, it’s important to make sure that you’re using the right products — especially if you work in a lab or around other people. Some types of sanitizer offer more protection than others. As a result, you need to know which hand sanitizer products work best against the virus before you buy them.
Do All Hand Sanitizers Work Against COVID-19?
The COVID-19 crisis has brought more attention to the importance of hand cleanliness at work. If you have been paying attention to Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) guidelines released over the last several months, you may already know that most experts consider washing your hands with soap and water for 20 seconds to be the most effective germ killer. In the absence of regular soap and water, some hand sanitizers can offer adequate protection against viruses and bacteria.
That said, all hand sanitizers are not created equal. Some sanitizers offer higher and lower concentrations of alcohol than others, which can have a major impact on the effectiveness of the product. Over the last few months, FDA has even labeled several types of sanitizer unsafe due to the presence of methanol and 1-propanol, which are toxic for humans.
The best hand sanitizers for COVID-19 are those that contain at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol-based sanitizers are recommended by the CDC for the best protection against the spread of COVID-19. Other acceptable products may also contain ingredients such as isopropyl alcohol and benzalkonium chloride, both of which are common in disinfectant products.
Top Hand Sanitizers for the Coronavirus
By knowing which hand sanitizers are most effective, you can search for the correct products and better protect yourself from the coronavirus. Some effective brands of COVID-19 hand sanitizer include:
- Purell: As one of the most popular brands on the market, this GOJO Industries hand sanitizer is known for its effectiveness in killing viruses and bacteria. It’s also a common choice for hospitals and doctor’s offices because of its consistent quality. It also exceeds CDC recommendations for alcohol content, containing 70% ethyl alcohol.
- Germ-X: Germ-X is another popular sanitizer brand that can help keep people’s hands germ-free. Also manufactured with 70% alcohol content, the Advanced Germ-X formula is ideal for homes, cars and healthcare settings.
- Shield: Shield hand sanitizer gel contains 70% ethyl alcohol and it’s designed to kill some of the most stubborn illness-causing germs. In addition to offering protection against COVID-19, Shield is an aloe-based, soothing product that helps prevent excessive dryness. If you’re looking for a product that will maintain the necessary moisture in your hands, Shield may be a reliable option.
- Bluegrass Distillers: Bluegrass Distillers liquid hand sanitizer is a germ-killing, FDA-compliant solution. Thanks to its 80% alcohol content, this sanitizer is better for healthcare facilities than products with lower ethanol concentrations. It also includes a mixture of glycerol and hydrogen peroxide, which prevents infection.
Why It’s Important to Use the Correct Hand Sanitizers
While there are many other types of hand sanitizers that can help protect you from COVID-19, there are some that offer little to no protection. Choosing the wrong sanitizer without realizing it could put you and others at risk, which is why it’s so important to use the correct products.
The higher concentration of alcohol in your sanitizer, the more effective it’s likely to be against the virus. Recent studies have confirmed that sanitizers containing 80% alcohol, 1.45% glycerine and 0.125% hydrogen peroxide can eliminate the coronavirus within 30 seconds of contact. Concentrations of alcohol that dip below 60% offer less potent disinfectant capabilities.
Before choosing a hand sanitizer, it’s important to read all the active ingredients on the label first to make sure it has an appropriate alcohol content level. Also, you can check FDA updates to make sure your brand of sanitizer is safe to use.
Where to Buy Hand Sanitizer
With the right hand sanitizer products, you can enjoy some peace of mind by protecting both yourself and your workers from the risks of COVID-19. In these uncertain times, it’s important to take extra precautions, especially in the medical and scientific industries.