Why Liquid Hand Sanitizer is Your First Best Option to Keep Hands Germ-Free
The outbreak of Novel Coronavirus, Sars-CoV-2 or Covid -19 as it is commonly known in the news media is a serious problem, but one that exists with all contagious germ environments. The World Health Organization (WHO) officially upgraded the outbreak to a global pandemic March 11, 2020. Various health and government agencies recommended historically that the public should refrain from touching their faces and clean their hands by washing with soap vigorously every time they touch public surfaces like handrails, handles and surfaces.
The problem with washing vigorously with soap and water every time you touch a public surface is three-fold.
- Washing with soap and water 20 or 30 times a day will literally wear the outer layer of skin off hands, causing redness and actually exposing the skin to further infections in the extreme.
- It is impractical to assume that a handwashing station is nearby every time a member of the public touches a public surface.
- The excess use of public facilities is a tremendous strain on public facilities which were simply not designed for thousands of hand washings in a few hours. Further, in big cities like New York or LA where the chance of infection from public surfaces is greatest, the public handwashing facilities simply do not exist in sufficient numbers to accommodate the public.
Hand Sanitizers like Sani Life became the obvious answer to public health officials and was promptly recommended by the CDC and other government agencies. The problem was that sales grew in the US the first week over 73% and all brands commonly available to the public through public retail distribution quickly sold out. Signs began to appear on drug store doors explaining hand sanitizers were sold out in their facility. Bulk companies like Sani Life have continued to provide a steady supply of hand sanitizer behind the scenes to any number of facilities, but no matter what is said in the news, Liquid Hand Sanitizer is the safest, most convenient and fastest acting solution to keeping hygienic hands in public spaces.
Although most health officials say soap and water is the best way to keep hands virus-free in the home, when not near a sink, experts recommend hand sanitizers as the best solution by far. Further, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends that people use a product that contains at least 60% alcohol but ultimately 80% is best. The DCD goes on to explain that a liquid product is better for complete virus elimination since gel must be spread to all areas of the hand, whereas liquid spreads everywhere, even under the fingernails on its own. Also, that hand sanitizer should be rubbed thoroughly, then left to dry naturally, never dried off.
This is for several reasons:
- The chemicals within CDC approved hand sanitizers are most effective when left to do their work at sanitizing until fully evaporated.
- If you wipe your hands off on a towel or other surface, you have just re-exposed yourself to potential germs left behind by another.
- The most effective for this process is liquid, since it works more thoroughly and dries in half the time as gel hand sanitizer and leaves no sticky residue as so many of the gel products do.
Even before scientists knew that germs existed, doctors made the link between handwashing and health. American medical reformer Oliver Wendell Holmes and the Hungarian “Savior of Mothers,” Ignaz Philipp Semmelweis, both linked poor hand hygiene with increased rates of postpartum infections in the 1840s, almost 20 years before famed French biologist Louis Pasteur published his first germ theory findings. In 1966, while still a nursing student, Lupe Hernandez patented an alcohol-containing, gel-based hand sanitizer for hospitals. And in 1988, the firm Gojo introduced Purell, the first alcohol-containing gel sanitizer for consumers.
Although some hand sanitizers are sold without alcohol, it is the main ingredient in most products currently being snatched from store shelves. That’s because alcohol is a very effective disinfectant that is also safe to put on your skin. Alcohol’s job is to break up the outer coatings of bacteria and viruses.
SARS-CoV-2 is what’s known as an enveloped virus. Some viruses protect themselves with only a cage made of proteins. But as enveloped viruses leave cells they’ve infected, the viruses wrap themselves in a coating made of some of the cells’ lipid-based walls as well as some of their proteins. According to chemist Pall Thordarson of the University of New South Wales, the lipid bilayers that surround enveloped viruses like SARS-CoV-2 are held together by a combination of hydrogen bonds and hydrophobic interactions. Like the lipids protecting these microorganisms, alcohols have a polar and a nonpolar region, so “ethanol and other alcohols disrupt these supramolecular interactions, effectively ‘dissolving’ the lipid membranes,” Thordarson says. However, he adds, you need a fairly high concentration of alcohol to rapidly break apart the organisms’ protective coating—which is why the CDC recommends using hand sanitizers with a bare minimum of 60% alcohol.
To give you an idea of how high a concentration of alcohol that is, some have said that you can use Vodka as a hand sanitizer. This is a fallacy, Vodka is usually 60 or 70 proof, the proof is twice the percentage of alcohol content, so a half-gallon bottle of Vodka is useless since it contains only 30 or 35% alcohol. You want to find a brand with 80% alcohol (160 proof!) because the other ingredients will dilute the final formulation some, and 60% is the minimum the final product can have.
Now if you rub high concentrations of alcohol on skin, it is not a pleasant experience, and after 5 or 10 applications it becomes even worse. The alcohol can quickly dry out your skin because it will also disrupt the protective layer of oils on your skin. That’s why hand sanitizers contain a moisturizer to counteract this drying.
The WHO offers two simple formulations for hand-sanitizing liquids in resource-limited or remote areas where workers or the public do not have access to sinks or other hand-cleaning facilities. One of these formulations uses 80% ethanol, and the other, 75% isopropyl alcohol, otherwise known as rubbing alcohol. Both recipes contain a small amount of hydrogen peroxide to prevent microbes from growing in the sanitizer and a bit of glycerol to help moisturize the skin and prevent dermatitis.
While most hand sanitizers contain either ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, alcohol-free hand sanitizers are also for sale. These usually contain antimicrobial compounds like benzalkonium chloride that provide a lasting protection against bacteria. But alcohol-free products aren’t recommended by the CDC for fighting the novel coronavirus, because it isn’t yet clear that it can be used successfully against SARS-CoV-2.
Sani Life products use the least possible ingredients unlike other products that have any number of fillers and fragrance influencers that may or may not be healthy for prolonged repeated use. They are simply untested outside the recommended formulization recommended directly by the CDC and the WHO. Sani Life is 100% CDC and WHO compliant, available at the best price shippable today –