In these times of severe virus infections, whenever possible, washing your hands frequently is encouraged. The WHO (World Health Organization) suggest using hand sanitizers as an alternative only when one does not have immediate access to water and soap. Ready access to soap and water can be a problem though when you’re always on the go. Thus, having an effective hand sanitizer on hand is still your best bet in keeping your hands germ-free at best. For a list of potent hand sanitizers, do check our helpful guide.
- Are hand sanitizers effective against preventing COVID-19 infections?
Answer: One of the best methods in stopping the spread of COVID-19 and reduce your chances of getting infected is regular washing of hands with water and soap for at least 20 seconds, as recommended by the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention). Handwashing should be done before eating, after bathroom breaks, blowing your nose or sneezing. However, if soap and water are not accessible, the CDC suggest using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol (for ethyl alcohol) or 70% alcohol (for isopropyl). Keep in mind that hand sanitizers are not used to clean literally soiled, greasy and stained hands. Wash your hands clean with soap and water when your hands get dirty.
- Do hand sanitizers expire?
Answer: The hand sanitizer does not expire. However, you will notice that hand sanitizers do include an expiration date on the bottles itself. This is due to the fact that these items are FDA-regulated and the agency obligates that specific items like expiration dates should always be included on the packaging. Alcohol as a whole is a type of chemical which is shelf-stable—this means that if this substance is contained in sealed bottles and stored at room temperature levels, its concentration will stay the same for an extended period of time. Then again, alcohol indeed evaporates quickly due to its lower boiling point. This means that whenever its container is unlocked and closed, some of the substance might get away thus its concentration may begin to reduce.
- What makes an effective hand sanitizer?
Answer: The FDA recommends hand sanitizers containing 60 to 95 percent ethyl alcohol or hand sanitizers with at least 70 to 91 percent isopropyl alcohol. You should also evaluate the packaging of the product and check its active ingredients. The product should also come with instructions on how to dispense the sanitizer properly and what exact amount should be poured in order for the product to work on your hands.
Our Top Picks
PURA D’OR Lavender Hand Sanitizer Gel
- 70% Alcohol-Based Formula
- Waterless formulation
- Cleansing, disinfecting, & moisturizing
- Unique blend of oils
- Best market value
PURA D’OR Superior Hand Sanitizer is an effective way to keep your hands clean while keeping your skin fully soft, hydrated, and refreshed. Using a unique blend of essential oils, our hand sanitizer offers a cleansing benefit and a nourishing, therapeutic scent.
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel
- Kills 99.9% of germs within 15 seconds
- Non-toxic, dermatologist-tested formula
- Includes vitamin E
The Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel is a trusted product when it comes to effective hand sanitizers. It can kill a nice 99.9 percent of germs within 15 seconds. It also moisturizes due to the vitamin E in the formula. Safe for frequent use, is dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic as well. You can always count on Purell to produce efficient germ-fighting products that are easy on the hands but tough on bacteria and viruses.
Maple Holistics 75% Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Spray
- Has 75% isopropyl alcohol
- Travel-friendly size
- Non-toxic formula
The Maple Holistics 75% Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Spray comes with a potent antiseptic formula that will rid harmful germs out of your hands in a handy way. It comes in a travel-friendly size at 8 oz. The formula is non-toxic and unscented as well, perfect for those who are sensitive to fragrances. Unlike other hand sanitizers and antiseptic alcohol products, this one will not make your hands dry after use due to the glycerin included in the formula. The sanitizer will not leave a sticky residue as well.
Dr. Bronner’s Organic Peppermint Hand Sanitizer Spray
- Has USDA organic ingredients
- Versatile formula
- Does not contain harsh chemicals
- Made from pure organic and fair trade components
In case you are looking for something organic to keep your hands clean and germ-free while on the go, you can always trust Dr. Bronner’s Organic Peppermint Hand Sanitizer Spray. The formula consists only of 4 organic ingredients—fair trade ethyl alcohol, lavender oil, water and glycerin. The formula is multifunctional to boot—apart from using it on your mitts, you can also apply the spray on public structure surfaces and vehicles. You can also use it as a handy air freshener—just spray it in the air and deodorize the area with its calming lavender scent. Won’t dry out your mitts thanks to the lavender and glycerin.
Suave Hand Sanitizer Spray
- Kills 99.9% of germs
- 65% ethyl alcohol
- No added fragrances
- Travel-friendly size
When hand soap and water are not readily available, you can always count on the Suave Hand Sanitizer Spray to do the job of disinfecting your hands. The formula is designed to tackle 99.9 percent of germs with each spray. This one is effective due to the presence of 65% ethyl alcohol. This no-rinse sanitizer does not contain additional fragrances as well and its 10 oz bottle is convenient enough to fit desks, tables and most bags.
Touchland Power Mist Hydrating Hand Sanitizer Spray
- Kills 99.9% of germs
- Cruelty-free product
- Gluten and triclosan-free
- Vegan formula
The Touchland Power Mist Hydrating Hand Sanitizer Spray is one of the most unique hand sanitizer buys because of its modern, hip container. The size is travel-friendly and it fits most bags, even pockets. It’s designed to eliminate 99.9 percent of germs and has a lineup of efficient ingredients which adds to its germ-fighting and moisturizing capabilities—the vegan, ethyl alcohol denat-based formula is packed with aloe vera, glycereth-26, radish root ferment filtrate plus lemon and lime essential oils. Dermatologist-tested, won’t leave any sticky residue and comes in a nice range of colors and scents.
Wash your hands regularly when soap and water are available. When there’s lack of such items though, it helps to have a reliable hand sanitizer on hand, with a formula that kills a good level of germs.