In the fight to stay as healthy as possible, many of us are not only washing with soap and water but are making sure we have hand sanitizer available wherever we may find ourselves.
Hand sanitizers and hand wipes were available long before the H1N1 virus first made an appearance. I remember my parents keeping a container of wipes in the car if we needed our hands or faces wiped and we were not in the vicinity of soap and water. I carry wipes in my purse and have sanitizing gel on hand at work. It is especially useful if I want to eat a snack at my desk but cannot break away long enough to make a trip to the washroom.
Everywhere we go it seems there is one form of sanitizing agent or another- medical facilities, stores, schools, health clubs, etc. I have heard that even cruise ships have hand sanitizers throughout for passengers to use.
With all of the selection of hand sanitizers on the store shelves, finding a good one can be difficult. Whether you prefer scented or non-scented, a name brand or a generic brand, there is only one hard and fast rule when it comes to the purchase of a hand sanitizer. The rule is that it must contain at least 60 percent alcohol in order to be effective at killing bacteria and germs. If it has more than 60 percent, then all the better but brands with more than 60 percent are not easy to find and can be extremely drying to the skin.
Just as you read food labels, read the labels on the backs of hand sanitizing products. If it says 40 percent ethyl alcohol or less, then put it back on the shelf and keep looking. Anything less than 60 percent of an alcohol concentration is not capable of killing the microbes that can make you sick.
Hand sanitizers are made up of other ingredients and many contain aloe, which can soften your skin, but you need the alcohol content first and foremost. Purell is one of the better brands, but if you peruse the Internet, you will find a plethora of other options. You also will find that sanitizers come in different shapes and sizes with a range of price tags.