Hand Sanitizers – Types & Facts

Hand sanitizers also known as hand rub or antiseptic hand gel is applied on hands to remove disease causing pathogens and organisms. They usually come in three forms: foam, gel or liquid. The most common use case of using hand sanitizers is when soap is usually not available and a hand wash is required before or after doing a particular task. The security offered by these sanitizers against harmful organisms varies a lot on the composition used while making them. However most sanitizers offer basic hygiene and are used at a variety of places; from schools, hospitals, cafeterias to trains and toilets. Nowadays these products are readily available in the market and buying hand sanitizers online is easy and accessible.

Types of Hand Sanitizers

There are mainly two types of hand sanitizers: Alcohol based and non alcohol based. Alcohol based products usually contain alcohol between the range of 60 to 90% either in the form of ethanol or isopropanol. Alcohol essentially kills germs and microorganisms by immediately denaturing proteins in them. Both alcohol based and non alcohol based sanitizers can be applied on hand gloves as well if the gloves are being used for different purposes throughout the day.

Non alcohol based sanitizers are basically disinfectants in the form of gel, foam or thick liquid. They are made up of antimicrobial agents and are generally less impactful compared to alcohol based sanitizers in killing unwanted microorganisms. However, some people develop allergies or skin reactions to alcohol based products and that’s where alcohol free sanitizers are a healthy substitute for them. Many sanitizers also contain glycerine to add a soothing effect on the skin and also provide fragrance. There are a variety of fragrances available in the market especially when you buy hand sanitizers online.

Effectiveness of Hand Sanitizers

The effectiveness of sanitizers generally depends on the type used, quantity used and the way the application was done on the hands of the person. Alcohol based and non alcohol based sanitizers if rubbed thoroughly on hands and is kept on for 30 seconds followed by air drying, provide effective defense against bacteria and germs.

Hand sanitizers help prevent the spread of infectious diseases and have proven to be linked in overall hand hygiene. It is recommended that you should use sanitizers that have at least 60% alcohol in them for reaching effective protection and hygiene levels.

Caution: Swallowing sanitizers or intaking them into your body directly is very harmful to your body and can result in alcohol poisoning. Sanitizers also do not remove certain harmful chemicals from your body like pesticides and hands so it is best to know when to use sanitizers and for what purpose. They also do not work if your hands are too dirty or greasy.


Do make sure there is at least 60% alcohol in your sanitizer even if you try to make your sanitizer at home or when you try to get hand sanitizers online.

Do dry your hands before applying the sanitizer.

Do not rely on using liquor or direct alcohol as most of them don’t meet the alcohol percentage threshold. 

Don’t use the sanitizer on dirty or greasy hands

Don’t assume that anti bacterial wipes or alcohol wipes can do the job of protecting you effectively. Gel, foam or liquid format and a complete application is required to maximize chances of killing microorganisms effectively. 

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