The world is currently facing a pandemic brought about by the newest coronavirus called Sars-Cov-2. In order to prevent this disease from spreading, government bodies including health agencies agree that the best way to stop Covid-19 from spreading is through hand hygiene using water and soap. But is there any alternative to them?
According to the CDC, a DIY hand sanitizer may suffice if people cannot access disinfecting stations or bathrooms where water and soap are present. However, not all hand sanitizing products are effective. Experts recommend that you use one that contains at least 60% alcohol.
How to Make Your Own DIY Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizing products are not readily available these days especially since the outbreak began. That said, health specialists have suggested that we create our own using ingredients such as aloe vera, essential oil, and either ethanol or even isopropyl alcohol. The recommended ratio for alcohol and aloe vera is 2:1 with a few drops of your preferred essential oil added to the mix.
To make DIY hand sanitizers, you will need to do the following:
- Using a diluted bleach solution, disinfect the area where you will be preparing your makeshift hand cleansing product.
- After disinfection, the next step is to clean your hands. Scrub hands with soap and rinse with clean water.
- Any tools you will need for combining the ingredients must be sanitized as well. This is to ensure that no bacteria get transferred into the sanitizer.
- Never use diluted alcohol when you are creating a sanitizing product because it will not be that effective in eliminating germs.
- Combine the ingredients in a bowl then mix until everything is combined.
- The solution shouldn’t be handled with bare hands until you have transferred it into a bottle.
How to Use Hand Sanitizer?
Hand hygiene is back in the limelight as we are now facing a pandemic that can be passed through droplets from a carrier. Since these droplets are minute, it is up to us to protect ourselves by keeping our hands clean as often as possible, especially when you’ve been outside. Although experts recommend that we give our hands a thorough washing, if water, as well as soap, are not available in the area you are currently in, the best solution is to use a sanitizing agent.
How to use hand sanitizer? Place a good dollop of the hand gel on one palm, making sure that it is enough that it will be able to coat and clean both hands. You will need to spread the mixture by rubbing and scrubbing hands until the gel has been absorbed. If you will be using a sanitizing gel, avoid wiping your hands while they are still damp. This can reduce its efficacy when it comes to removing microbes and germs from your hands.
When to Use Hand Sanitizer?
Is there any difference between washing hands the traditional way and using a sanitizing product? The traditional method of cleaning one’s hand is recommended for hands that have been exposed to grease and even dirt, after going to the bathroom, have changed your baby’s diaper, preparing meals, and even after disposing of garbage. This method of cleaning hands is also applicable when tending to a family member who is sick, or you just coughed, or have sneezed even.
Now when to use hand sanitizers?
Hand gels with alcohol content, even DIY hand sanitizer, are useful as a substitute to traditional washing when you visit someone in a healthcare facility like clinics, nursing homes, and even the hospital. It cannot be emphasized enough that traditional hand hygiene must be done at all times, but sanitizers can be used in the absence of the former. However, there are some exceptions to using this alternative.
Hands that are caked in dirt or covered with grease should clean their hands using traditional hand hygiene practices. However, if you cannot wash using this method, you can use DIY hand sanitizer instead as a temporary measure. However, once you come home or have access to a restroom that has running water and soap, take the opportunity to wash your hands.
Are Hand Sanitizers Really Effective?
Sanitizing products that contain alcohol as one of their ingredients can help reduce bacteria, but this depends on how much alcohol is present. As it was mentioned before, sanitizers are not ideal for cleaning hands that have been exposed to dirt or grease because they will not be able to remove all of the dangerous microbes. Sanitizing products can be used in clinical facilities, but for cleaning hands after preparing food, got exposed to dirt, and others, stick with the traditional hand cleaning techniques.
Sanitizers for the hands won’t be that effective too when removing dangerous chemicals in one’s hands. Scientists have discovered that cleaning hands with home-made or pre-made hand gels simply increase the number of pesticides rather than reduce them.
If traditional hand hygiene cannot be done at the moment, alcohol-based hand gels for disinfecting can be used instead. There are several studies that show that applying sanitizers that have 60 to 95% alcohol is quite effective in removing germs compared to those that have minimal alcohol content.
Reminders in Using Sanitizers Containing Alcohol
Learning how to make DIY hand sanitizer can help with disinfecting your hands during this pandemic. However, keep in mind to keep these disinfecting products away from children as much as possible. Swallowing the contents is dangerous especially in large doses. There have been plenty of calls regarding sanitizing products poisoning children because their sweet scent and fun colors are quite attractive.
There is no doubt that sanitizers are useful when preventing germs from spreading. They can be used during commutes, eating out, or buying groceries for disinfecting hands whenever you touch any surface or hands especially now when we are facing a pandemic.
Although you can purchase sanitizing products in groceries and pharmacies, due to the high demand, there may not be enough stocks available. If this is the case, you can prepare your own sanitizing product using the ingredients listed above. Always make it a point to be careful in making your sanitizer and that it is placed away from children to reduce the risk of them getting your homemade cleaning solution.