Hand Sanitizers


There are generally two kinds of hand sanitizers: those containing alcohol of some form and those containing povidone-iodine, benzalkonium chloride, or triclosan.

Alcohol-based sanitizers: GOOD


The alcohol based hand sanitizers are effective. Formulations containing 70% ethanol kill 99.9% of the bacteria on hands 30 seconds after application and 99.99% to 99.999% in one minute [source: Rotter M. (1999). “Hand washing and hand disinfection”. Hospital epidemiology and infection control 87]

When using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer:

  1. Apply product to the palm of one hand.
  2. Rub hands together.
  3. Rub the product over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry.

[source: “Clean Hands Save Lives!” Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. December 11, 2013]

Non Alcohol-based sanitizers: BAD


  1. Triclosan, when combined with chlorine in water forms dioxin (carcinogen)
  2. They may not work effectively across all classes of germs
  3. Germs can develop resistance to these chemicals
  4. They are more likely to irritate skin

[source: http://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html as of May 7, 2014]

The best option is to wash with soap and water. How old fashioned is that?