Hand Sanitizer: The How-To’s and Don’t Do’s

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Hand sanitizer seems like such a simple thing. Buy it at the store, squirt a little bit in your hands, rub, and you’re done. But these days with COVID-19, we need to be a little more careful, both in what sanitizer we purchase and how we use it. Here’s some helpful info to make sure you get the most out of the hand sanitizer you have. 

Unsafe Sanitizers 

For starters, not all hand sanitizers are good to use. The FDA has created a list of sanitizers produced in Mexico that it considers “toxic,” meaning they should not be absorbed through the skin or digested. There are 14 in total on their list, which can be found here.  

Proper Palm Washing 

So, you’ve got a reliable bottle of hand sanitizer now: all you’ve got to do is rub a little bit on your hands and you’re good to go, right? Not quite. When using hand sanitizer, it works best when you rub it all over your hands, making sure to get between your fingers and on the back of your hands. Don’t wipe or rinse off the hand sanitizer before it is dry, and don’t use sanitizer if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy. 

The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because hand washing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands, but if soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol is okay to do. 

Follow these steps and combine them with mask-wearing and social distancing, and you will have added another layer of protection against COVID-19.