As we trudge our way through cold and flu season – and prepare for the possibility of the coronavirus outbreak reaching our communities – proper hand hygiene is extremely important. Regularly washing your hands and using hand sanitizer are some of the most effective ways to fend off germs. Yet the myths of hand sanitizers can still be a little confusing, especially when faced with a potential health crisis like the coronavirus. Find out how to use these products properly to stay healthy.
The Myths of Hand Sanitizers
Myth: Hand sanitizer is more effective than hand washing.
Hand sanitizer can be an extremely effective germ-fighting product, killing up to 99 percent of the germs that cause cold and flu. But ultimately, hand sanitizers are a quick fix. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) report that hand sanitizers can be helpful when you don’t have access to soap and warm water to wash your hands; however, traditional hand washing is the best way to stay healthy. If you’re on the go, you can definitely rely on hand sanitizer in a pinch. However, if you have access to soap and a sink, scrubbing your hands for at least 20 seconds is your best bet to eliminate the widest array of harmful germs. If you aren’t sure if you’re washing your hands long enough, try singing “Happy Birthday” to yourself.
Myth: Hand sanitizer causes antibiotic resistance.
The CDC reports that improper and overly frequent antibiotic use is the primary cause of antibiotic resistance. However, hand sanitizers do not contribute to antibiotic resistance because they’re applied topically, not ingested. Hand sanitizer works by quickly killing a broad spectrum of germs without lingering on your skin long enough to allow germs to become resistant. For these reasons, hand sanitizer isn’t considered a risk factor for antibiotic resistance.
Myth: Hand sanitizer is quicker than hand washing.
Hand sanitizers are a popular option for people on the go. Unfortunately, most people don’t understand how to apply hand sanitizer properly. Are you simply slapping hand sanitizer onto your hands, clapping them together, and going about your day? If that is the case, you need to slow down and take your time applying the product.
Most hand sanitizers are time-kill tested for 15 seconds during the product testing phase. For this reason, you should spend at least 15 seconds applying hand sanitizer to your hands, making sure to cover the backs of the hands, over the nails, and between the fingers. When you apply hand sanitizer properly, the whole process should actually take around the same amount of time as washing with soap. One more thing: Make sure to rub the sanitizer onto your hands until it dries, ensuring maximum product absorption.
Myth: You only need a drop of hand sanitizer.
Most hand sanitizer packages recommend rubbing a dime-sized drop into your hands. Now, researchers are finding that a dime-sized drop may not be enough. To properly coat both hands, most people need at least half a teaspoon of product. Failing to apply enough product means that you might miss spots on your hands, which is an easy way to let germs take over.
The myths of hand sanitizers can be confusing. Fortunately, these handy products are pretty straightforward. While hand sanitizer is great in a pinch, there is no substitute for properly washing your hands — especially if you worry that you might be at risk for a cold, the flu, or something more serious like coronavirus.
If you want to take germ fighting to the next level, explore the products offered by SafeSpace. The SafeSpace Company is a family-owned small business proudly selling American-made germ foggers, auto disinfecting and deodorizing mist, and hand sanitizers to keep your family safe and healthy. For more information about SafeSpace, contact us online or call us toll-free at 1-800-735-2506.
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