Hand Sanitizer

The CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because handwashing reduces the amount of all types of germs and chemicals that are on your hands. However, soap and water are not always available, so that’s where hand sanitizer comes in handy. The important thing here is that all hand sanitizers are not created equally. To be effective, the CDC recommends that you use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol to help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. (CDC, “Show Me the Science – When & How to Use Hand Sanitizer in Community Settings”, 2020)

So, why at least 60% alcohol? Multiple studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Hand sanitizers without 60-95% alcohol may not work equally well for many types of germs, and they ultimately just reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright. One big issue with hand sanitizer that hand-washing addresses is that hand sanitizer may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy. Research studies have proven that hand sanitizers work well in clinical settings like hospitals, where hands come into contact with germs, but generally are not heavily soiled or greasy. On the contrary, hand sanitizers may not work well on hands that become very greasy or soiled in community settings, such as after people handle food, play sports, work in the garden, or go camping or fishing. (CDC, “Show Me the Science – When & How to Use Hand Sanitizer in Community Settings”, 2020)

Can you make your own hand sanitizer? According to Healthline, yes, and all it takes is three ingredients to make your own hand sanitizer at home. Get the recipe here!


CDC. (2020, March 3). Show Me the Science – When & How to Use Hand Sanitizer in Community Settings. Retrieved April 23, 2020, from https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html

Healthline. (2020). How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer. Retrieved April 23, 2020, from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-make-hand-sanitizer

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