The dirt on hand sanitiser
Updated: Jul 1, 2020
Spoiler alert: your hands are dirty right now
It's near much impossible to get them completely spotless in everyday life, but the good news is it's nothing to be scared about because its nothing new.
So heres some insight into how the hell to use handsanitiser in 2020
So when should I use hand sanitiser?
Use sanitiser when…
You cant wash with soap and water
You want added protection AFTER washing
Don’t use sanitiser when...
In place of washing with soap and water
When your hands are visibly dirty
When you have chemicals on your hands
How does hand sanitiser even work?
It works by killing cells, not human cells, microbial ones.
You’re looking for 70% isopropanol alcohol ( which is rubbing alcohol), that’s the best concentration that will kill the germs – its even more effective than 100% - weirdly. That is because it has a little bit of water in it, which improves penetration.
For a virus, they’ll work by dissolving the outercoat of proteins.
For bacteria, they work by disrupting the cell membrane.
Which hand sanitiser should I be buying?
It doesn’t matter which one you buy, as long as its at least 60% alcohol content. Any less than this and it's really not effective at killing anything.
What’s better, hand sanitiser or soap and water?
SOAP AND HOT WATER!
Hand sanitiser definitely doesn’t replace your normal soap and (hot!) water if your hands are dirty, but if you're using it and also washing your hands normally, it definitely helps fight loads of germs.
Should I be stockpiling hand sanitiser?
Abso freekin luutely not.
Think of the people who are at risk who aren’t able to get hand sanitizer anymore, because all of the otherwise ‘healthy’ people have gone out and bought it… even though your average joe has an 80% chance of not presenting with any symptoms even if they did catch coronavirus.
Instead of buying all the hand sanitizer you can fit in your basket, how about trying free things like...not touching your face, not sneezing into other people’s eyes.
Just be sensible.
And oh my god, don’t buy this £99 hand sanitiser from amazon I've seen going around!?
Just use soap and hot water, and if you are using hand sanitiser, use it properly, and don't be OTT.
If I can't find a hand sanitiser, should I just make my own?
Not a great idea!
DIY hand sanitiser guides are all over the internet since crazy people are stockpiling the real hand sanitisers.
But the recipe guides aren’t easy to follow, and if you do it wrong, it could cause a lot more harm than good.
There’s also the risk you put it on and then turn on the gas and your hand goes up like a Christmas pudding.
Some people say that using hand sanitiser is bad because it prevents us from building up a natural resistance to bugs..?
I say – show me the evidence!
Doctors used to tell their patients if they didn’t want their children to be allergic to cats, then don’t have a cat.
They’ve told their patients that for the last 50 years. But now there are people starting to say that if you have a cat, you might actually have some protection against allergies. What your saying is a similar idea.
But the reality is, we just don’t know that information. There’s no scientific evidence to support it one way or another.
My guide to using hand sanitiser
(Firstly, making sure that your hands aren't actually dirty to look at)
Squirt out about a 10p size amount to the palm of one hand
Rub your hands together, INCLUDING both sides of your hands, in
between your fingers and up around your fingertips and nails
Rub your hands together for 30 seconds to make sure they’re completely dry.
Don’t touch anything until your hands are dry