What should I look for in a hand sanitiser?
Pick one that contains mostly alcohol, and has few other ingredients.
The Ministry of Health and Wellness supports the use of alcohol-containing hand sanitisers with either 60%-70% ethanol or 75% Isopropyl Alcohol.
Properly labelled hand sanitisers should detail:
- The brand of sanitiser being used
- The name and strength of the active ingredient. This may be shown as Alcohol (ethanol 60 -70% v/v or Isopropyl Alcohol 75%)
- The name and address of the manufacturer
- Other ingredients in the product
- Use(s), for example: Use as a sanitiser to help reduce pathogens than can cause disease
- Warnings, for example: Flammable; keep out of reach of children, not to be taken by mouth
- Directions for use
- Storage conditions, for example: Store in a cool place.
You may also check the list of compliant hand sanitisers.
What to avoid
The use of products like bleach, vinegar, hydrogen peroxide alone or when mixed are not encouraged as they can cause harm to human skin and should be avoided.
Making your own sanitisers isn’t encouraged either; the wrong mix of chemicals can be ineffective or cause skin burns.
While hand sanitisers are effective, remember nothing beats soap and water.
The Atlanta-based Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) prefers the use of soap and water for effectiveness against all germs.
– Sources: Ministry of Health and Wellness, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and AP