You’re Doing it Wrong: How to Use Hand Sanitizer in the Right Way

Hand sanitizer gets a bad rap, but when used correctly it can be beneficial to your health. Here’s how to use hand sanitizer and how not to use it.

These are unprecedented times in the world. Never before has there been a pandemic that’s caused the entire world to adjust its day to day habits. Because of this pandemic, there has been more importance placed on the use of hand sanitizer.

How to use hand sanitizer effectively
Fig: How to use hand sanitizer effectively

However, not many people actually understand when and when not to use it. Not knowing how to use hand sanitizers correctly will complicate matters and make you more susceptible to viruses and illnesses.

See below for an in-depth guide on when to use hand sanitizer, as well as when not to use hand sanitizer. Knowing the difference will help you in many ways.

When to Use Hand Sanitizer?

Because of the growing need for hand sanitizer in today’s world, people must use it as intended. Not doing so can lead to you running out quickly and thus taking it away from other people that need to restock.

See below for several instances in which you should use hand sanitizer. Always have it on hand (pun intended) for these scenarios.

1. When No Soap or Water Is Available:

Make no mistake about it, soap and water will always be the best way for you to get rid of germs. This is especially true after using public bathrooms, performing yard work, and so on. If there are soap and water available for use, you should always opt for overhand sanitizers.

However, there are certain situations in which the soap may have run out in the bathroom or you aren’t at a place where soap and water are available. In those moments, hand sanitizers can be the “plan B” to killing your germs.

There are many different types of hand sanitizers out there such as sprays, gel, foams, wipes, and liquids. Learn more here about the different types of hand sanitizer and when it’s appropriate to use each one.

2. When You’re Out in Public:

Everyone has those moments when they get their hands dirty while out in public without any soap and water nearby.

Maybe you just got done grocery shopping at a store without a bathroom that’s available to the public. Perhaps you and your kids just got done playing at the playground in the local public park.

Whatever the case might be, you need a way to kill the harmful germs on your hands until you can find a place to wash them thoroughly with soap and water. That’s when it helps to have a travel-sized pack of hand sanitizers for you to use.

If you have a gel hand sanitizer, then use a few squeezes, placing it in the palm of your hand and then scrubbing your hands and fingers as you would with soap. As soon as you find a bathroom, wash your hands with soap and water.

3. Frequently While Out and About:

Contrary to popular belief, hand sanitizers should be used more as a preventative measure than a reactive measure to germs.

In other words, it would be more helpful to put hand sanitizer on before you touch the door handle of a public building, not after. For that reason, you must have it with you while you’re running errands or cruising around town.

Before you and your family get out of the car, you can place it in everyone’s hands and have them thoroughly scrub it before going outside.

When Not to Use Hand Sanitizer?

Just as important as knowing when to use hand sanitizers is knowing when and how not to use them. Doing so can prevent you from getting ill regardless of your attempts to use it more often. Here are a few scenarios in which you shouldn’t use hand sanitizers, as it would defeat the purpose.

1. As a Replacement for Soap and Water:

The hand sanitizer labels that read “kills 99.9-percent of germs” have caused quite a misunderstanding in the marketplace.

Thanks to those labels, many people think that hand sanitizer serves as a replacement, if not a better solution to killing germs, for soap and water. Unfortunately, hand sanitizer is less effective at killing germs using the bathroom sink.

In fact, there are several common germs that hand sanitizer can’t kill. This includes germs such as norovirus and cryptosporidium. As mentioned earlier, hand sanitizers should be used in combination with soap and water. If soap and water aren’t readily accessible, then hand sanitizers should be used as a temporary solution until you find a sink to wash your hands.

2. For Anywhere Other Than Your Hands:

Many parents believe hand sanitizer to be a way of cleaning their kids after they get dirty while roaming around. For example, if your child gets mud on their leg, you might consider using hand sanitizers to clean it up. Try not to refrain from doing this as much as possible.

Hand sanitizer contains a heavy amount of alcohol, so if your child has some scrapes or cuts under the dirty area, it could cause some pain and discomfort. Instead, take them to the nearest bathroom to get them cleaned up with (you guessed it!) soap and water.

How to Use Hand Sanitizer the Right Way?

Now that you’ve seen an in-depth guide on how to use hand sanitizers, as well as how not to use them, it’s time for you to spread this information to your family and peers.

Doing so will help prevent the spread of viruses and illnesses. If people understand how to use it properly, it can protect them and help cut down this pandemic once and for all.

Be sure to browse our website for more articles on using hand sanitizer, as well as many other helpful topics you’ll find interesting.

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