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Keeping It Clean with Hand Sanitizer

Posted on 05/21/14 in Sanitize it!
Ink pens, doorknobs, shopping carts, restaurant menus, tables, sinks, and water fountains are all likely to be covered in germs. While some bacteria are useful and even welcome, many of them can cause a variety of ailments that no one appreciates. To prevent the spread of bacteria-based diseases and to keep individuals healthy, hand washing with soap and water on a regular basis is highly recommended.

In cases when soap and water may not be available, however, hand sanitizer may be used as an alternative. Alcoholic hand sanitizers do not work as well as soap and water, of course, but if they have an alcohol concentration between 60% and 95%, then they will do a sufficient job of killing the germs on your hands. Lower alcohol concentrations or non-alcohol based hand sanitizers are often less effective, and they can also irritate the skin.

Hand sanitizers are not effective when your hands have visible organic matter on them such as food, dirt, or grease. Washing with soap and water is best in kitchens, construction or landscape sites, and factories or warehouses. Also, relying completely on anti-bacterial hand sanitizer may cause the bacteria on your hands to build up resistance to the sanitizing agent, thus making it less effective over time. It is always a good idea to use soap and water when they are available.

Despite the controversy surrounding the use of hand sanitizers and microbial resistance, it is clear hand sanitizers can be convenient and can help prevent the spread of sickness. For instance, waterless sanitizers are perfect for office settings; your hands typically do not have any physical grime or grease on them and multiple sinks are impractical.

Some of the reasons hand sanitizers are a good option for office settings include:

  • Less time is needed for cleaning one's hands with hand sanitizer than with soap and water. The use of hand sanitizers also helps to conserve water in an office setting.
  • Sanitizer works almost immediately to kill or remove the majority of bacteria and microorganisms from your hands.
  • They can be less irritating to your skin than soap and water, and some waterless sanitizers have been found to be beneficial to various skin conditions.
  • Hand sanitizers are more accessible than sinks. Wall-mounted sanitizers can be placed at the doors of every office building, and sanitizer wipes or bottles can be placed at every desk.

Author: Robert Stillman CEO

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