As COVID-19 makes its way across the country, business leaders and individuals are implementing ways to reduce the spread of the illness. While many people are doing their best to wash their hands frequently and limit their contact with others, some are also turning to alcohol-based sanitizers thanks to their convenience and ease-of-use.
Although COVID-19 is still a new virus and we have much to learn about it, we do know how alcohol affects the coronavirus. Alcohol-based sanitizers can be highly effective virus and bacteria killers, which is why the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using them in the absence of regular water and soap.
What Effect Does Alcohol Have on the Coronavirus?
In some ways, the coronavirus is similar to many other types of diseases. By touching a surface that has the virus on it and then touching your face, you put yourself at a higher risk for contracting the virus. Alcohol kills coronavirus microbes on the skin, which reduces your chances of getting sick.
While every hand sanitizer is different, many alcohol-based sanitizers are effective virus-killers. Alcohol-based sprays and wipes can also be used to disinfect other surfaces, including some electronics. If you rub on alcohol gel or spray and let it dry, this will likely destroy the virus and lower the risk to you and others. It’s important to rub the sanitizer in for at least 30 seconds and let it dry completely before touching anything else. Wiping the formula off before it dries could reduce its effects.
What Do We Know About the Coronavirus and Alcohol?
We currently know that alcohol kills the coronavirus if it’s used in the right formula. For example, one study verified the effectiveness of two sanitizers recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). One of these formulas contains 80% alcohol, 1.45% glycerol and 0.125% hydrogen peroxide, while the other contains 75% isopropyl alcohol, 1.45% glycerol and 0.125% hydrogen peroxide.
The most reliable formulas are those that contain at least 60% alcohol. This is, in most cases, the minimum percentage of alcohol required to kill the virus. The lower the percentage, the less effective the disinfectant properties become.
The CDC reports that the ideal alcohol content level is between 60 and 95%. This is the range where alcohol is most useful for killing germs, rather than reducing the microbes or evaporating before it can remove them. Using a gel or liquid that takes about 30 seconds to dry is the best way to kill COVID-19 molecules that may be on your skin or surfaces.
Alcohol’s effect on the coronavirus helps prevent people from transmitting the disease to themselves or others. Having a quick way to reduce the spread of germs as needed can benefit laboratories and healthcare facilities where workers touch surfaces, equipment or patients every day.
If you’re looking for more information about the effects of alcohol on COVID-19, you can view the information currently available from the CDC. At Mercedes Scientific, we offer a variety of alcohol-based sanitizers and cleaning products, so contact Mercedes Scientific for better safety solutions.