Do Hand Sanitisers Kill Viruses?

Do Hand Sanitisers Kill Viruses?

In a move towards optimum hygiene, hand sanitisers have become a permanent fixture in many commercial wash spaces. However, as we move beyond the lockdowns, the question remains as to whether or not hand sanitiser dispensers should become a permanent fixture in the washroom.

How hand sanitiser works

Hand sanitisers work to kill and destroy germs, bacteria, and viruses. Viruses are actually a collection of molecules that need a host, like the warmth of a human body, to survive. Meanwhile, germs and bacteria can live inside or outside the body. These harmful cells all have a fatty exterior, a membrane that can be broken down and destroyed with good hand sanitiser. 

The active ingredient that is helping hand sanitisers to kill germs, viruses, and bacteria, is alcohol, which is why you may have noticed some hand sanitisers carry a powerful aroma of neat spirits. 

Is high alcohol content best?

Studies have shown that only 60% alcohol is needed to effectively kill harmful bacteria and viruses. If the alcohol content is higher, then this is going to dry your hands out more than necessary. Many hand sanitisers are balanced with emollients that work to nourish and moisturise your skin, delivering a balance of protecting your skin while killing germs. 

Where should hand sanitiser dispensers be located?

Hand sanitisers are often used straight after a user has washed their hands, and there are studies to show that using hand sanitiser on hands that are well hydrated is much more effective than sanitising very dry hands. For this reason, and for convenience in user washroom habits, the siting of many hand sanitiser dispensers is close to the wash basin. However, many environments, including hospitals, schools, and some office buildings are also choosing to site hand sanitiser dispensers just outside the washroom. This doubles down on the spread of bacteria or infection as the washroom door is actually a touchpoint that can undermine our best efforts in controlling viruses and the spread of bacteria. 

Hand sanitiser is one of the most powerful ways to prevent the spread of viruses and a cornerstone of any infection prevention control. In light of Coronavirus, washrooms across all sectors have strengthened the hygiene of their washrooms. To find out how, take a look at our article on how to make your washrooms safe and hygienic

You can learn more about hand sanitiser and their effectiveness in commercial settings HERE

Or if you’d like to explore hand sanitiser options for your washroom, or need help selecting the right model, please get in touch with one of the team on 01202 650900.

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