Is Hand Sanitiser Effective? What options are available & where to buy them

Posted on May 29, 2020.

Is Hand Sanitiser Effective?

In the past few months, trying to pick up hand sanitiser at pharmacies, convenient corner shops and supermarkets has been futile, and that has left most of use wondering where to look and what to do even as the mainstream media has been showing rocketing figures of deaths related to covid-19. Thankfully, and a handful of cleaning supplies distributors have stepped up, and have increased their stocks from domestic and foreign suppliers to meet this new increase in demand.

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The UK government offers daily briefing and from the daily updates we have seen a decline in the daily infections and deaths recorded, however, there is no sign of this virus going away any time soon. As a result one of the key advice from NHS England and WHO to help prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wash your hands correctly for 20 seconds (Read how to wash your hands correctly here) or use an alcohol hand sanitizer regularly, which is the reason why stocks of 70% alcohol gel sanitisers are looking so depleted.

Does Hand sanitiser protect against coronavirus?

Most of the research for this article has been compiled from NHS & WHO sources and because the illness is new some of the information isn’t clear yet. However, the NHS advises using hand sanitiser gel as a hand disinfecting agent only if soap and water are not available.
As a word of caution, when procuring hand sanitiser you need to check the alcohol levels present as some will have less than the recommended alcohol amount to kill this virus and protect you from spreading or infecting yourself with coronavirus. AVOID ALCOHOL FREE OPTIONS. To effectively kill most pathogens, the alcohol hand sanitizers need to be at least 60% and it gets better as it goes up to 95% alcohol base level. Remember, we said hand sanitiser protects against most germs, it certainly doesn’t eliminate all of them and case examples are viruses like norovirus which we know are effectively removed by cleaning hands with soap and water.
To answer the above question about what germs can hand sanitiser kill or more specific does hand sanitiser protect against covid-19? The answer is yes it helps destroy the new coronavirus SARS-CoV-2 as it is known scientifically.
The only time hand sanitiser might be deemed useless is if you have dirty & greasy hands and therefore, washing hands might be the best option to ensure the germs don’t hide or get masked in dirty increasing their survival chances.


How to use hand sanitiser correctly

Before you use a hand sanitiser you need to make sure 1. Your hands are not dirty, like greasy or mucky and if so wash them with soap and water and 2. When you apply the alcohol rub you need to rub it into your skin until it dries up.

Steps of using hand rub:

    1. Apply the sanitiser on the palm of your hand
    2. Spread if on your palm and then rub the tips of your fingernails first,
    3. Make sure you rub your hands together after covering the entire hand and finger surfaces,
    4. Continue rubbing your hands until your hands run dry which usually takes about 45 – 60 seconds.
    5. If you are not sure you have done it correctly repeat step 1-4 to ensure you have killed most of the germs.

What should I do if I can’t buy hand sanitiser?

If you can’t get hold of a hand sanitiser you don’t need to panic. The best way to keep hygienic is by scrubbing your hands with soap and water and as we mentioned in our introduction section, this is what the NHS recommends. Wash your hands as often as you can. You can order hand washing soap online and even in bulk for your home or business premises.

It is recommended to spend at least 20 seconds washing your hands and some people have actually tried it and come up with you being able to sing happy birthday twice before you rinse your hands.

Hand washing vs Hand sanitiser

While both serve a crucial purpose in ensuring hygiene is maintained, the NHS stipulates that washing your hands with soap and water should always be a priority and only use hand sanitiser if soap and water isn’t available especially when you’re out and about, at work or in a situation where alcohol rub is fastest option before you can access proper sanitation facilities.


When soap and water isn’t available to prevent the spread of germs, hand sanitiser is the next best alternative and very handy if you’re on the go. To be more precise, 70% alcohol based hand sanitisers can help keep you safe and reduce the spread of the scary new coronavirus.


Here at Loorolls, we pride ourselves to being a leading stockist of janitorial & cleaning products, feel free to browse our range of products online or call us on 0151 342 2111 to create a trade account and enjoy bulk discounts.

Article has been compiled by team

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