How to use Hand Sanitizer Properly

Climate and environment blog

Here’s how to use hand sanitizer – the right way

Here’s how hand sanitizer attacks infectious substances! And here are the viruses and bacteria that the hand sanitizer works against.

It can be smart to have a bottle of hand sanitizer in your bag or pocket during flu and cold times.

The alcohol in hand disinfection has a good effect on several types of viruses and bacteria. Hand sanitizer kills bacteria, viruses, and many other microorganisms, and therefore disinfects the hands.

The effect depends on the alcohol content of at least 60 percent of the alcohol, which destroys the cell membranes of the microorganisms with a near explosive effect.

Cell membranes are made up of fatty substances and proteins, and alcohol has a detrimental effect on both of these components. Alcohol molecules wedge between the fat molecules in the cell membrane to collapse.

The proteins are very long molecules that, like a tangled cord, and are folded in a special way. Every single fold is important for the protein to function properly, but alcohol creaks in between the folds and straightens them, which destroys the protein.

Hand sanitizer and hand disinfection are good for preventing the spread of infection. It is effective against, primarily bacteria but also against various viruses and other microorganisms. There are hand sanitizers in liquid form and as gel. Alcohol content varies.

During the winter months when viruses, influenza, and colds are common, demand for hand spirit is high. At the same time, it is important to remember that hand spirit is only a complement to good hand hygiene in general.

Hand sanitizer against corona

Hand sanitizer works against viruses, including, for example, coronavirus such as the new COVID-19.

Since the alcohol in hand sanitizer is fat-free, it destroys the fat case of both bacteria and viruses, which kills them. (Soap and detergent also have the same fat-dissolving effect), but this may not always be accessible.

Hand sanitizer destroys the cells

Alcohol also has another effect on viruses and bacteria – it breaks down their cellular structures.

Alcohol also denatures proteins and certain other substances that are important for the survival of organisms.

Here’s how to wash your hands with hand sanitizer

  • Pour hand sanitizer into your one cupped palm (at least 3 milliliters).
  • Then rub both hands everywhere: handlooms, fingertips, between fingers, and more.
  • Wait until it has dried. It is important that the hand spray should air dry.
  • The effect will be worse if you have dirt or grease on your hands. Then wash with soap and water before, or if you are out: Try rubbing away dirt.

You can disinfect your hands with alcohol when you are not able to wash your hands with soap and water, thus maintaining good hand hygiene.

Disease virus that hand sanitizer kills


Both the new COVID-19, as well as sars and Mers. The reason is that they have a fat cover that dissolves and is destroyed by the hand sanitizer (and soap).

Flu virus

Also, viruses that cause regular seasonal flu have a casing and are thus destroyed by hand sanitizer (and soap).

Disease virus that hand sanitizer does not kill

Winter vomiting disease virus

The viruses that cause winter-sickness, calicivirus (norovirus) lack a fat cover and are therefore difficult to kill with alcohol. Often there are large amounts of viruses that should be removed “mechanically” by cleaning with soap and water beforehand disinfection.

How hand sanitizer kills bacteria

The alcohol in hand liquor kills most bacteria. Both by dissolving the fatty substances in the cell membranes and by “blasting” its proteins.

Hand sanitizer has no effect on the bacteria Clostridium difficile, which can cause stomach upset after antibiotic treatment. The reason is that it is a spore-forming bacterium. (Tetanus and anthrax are other spore-forming bacteria).

Here, thoroughly hand wash with soap and water.

Hand disinfection with hydrogen peroxide

There is hand disinfection with added hydrogen peroxide, bleach. It is antiseptic and if combined with hand sanitizer, the effect against bacteria and viruses is believed to increase. Some smaller studies show that it can kill the winter sickness virus.

Alcohol breaks down bacteria

Hand sanitizer attacks viruses and bacteria on two fronts by both puncturing cell membranes and knocking out the function of proteins.

Keep in mind that concentrated flushing liquid often also has added perfume. Just test whether the scent is too strong to be used in hand liquor. However, flushing liquid usually has slightly less other additives (butanone and acetone) than T-Red. If you want completely pure spirits, you must buy pure isopropanol.

Is it best to use hand sanitizer or to wash your hands?

Hand sanitizer as a disinfectant is used to remove microorganisms, bacteria, and viruses from the hands, which can otherwise make us sick or we can infect others. For example, when sneezing or coughing, it is important that we cough in the arm crease so that we do not fill the palms with infectious substances that can be transmitted through hand-healing or contact with different surfaces. If you touch the eyes, nose or mouth with infectious substances on your hands, you bring the infectious agent to the sensitive mucous membranes where they can penetrate the body and make us sick.

When you wash your hands with soap and water, bacteria and impurities are washed away. It is always good to follow up with hand spirit to get rid of the last bacteria. In fact, hand disinfection is quick to use and up to 99% of bacteria and infectious agents are killed.

Regular handwashing can have a dehydrating effect on the skin due to the sulfates in the soap, while hand washing is more gentle and usually contains skincare glycerin which gives the hands a lot of moisture and prevents dryness. Therefore, hand sanitizer is also a good solution if you have dry hands or problems with eczema, as the hand sanitizer does not remove the natural fat layer in the skin but often contributes extra moisture and care.

But if you have visible dirt on your hands, hand disinfection with hand rubbing is not enough, and then you should use water and soap in the first place. Hand sanitizer is not effective against dirt such as soil and should, therefore, be used on dry hands after a shower.

When we are on the road, it is not always that we are close to a sink and can wash out hands with soap and water, so bringing a small amount of hand sanitizer is a good solution. Especially in connection with travel, we are also exposed to an extra, large amount of foreign bacteria, because we are in new places and in public spaces with many different people.

By regularly disinfecting with hand sanitizer while avoiding touching your face, you can protect yourself from exposure to a whole lot of bacteria that might otherwise have made you sick.

When you travel, you probably also eat several meals that you have not prepared yourself. A piece of good advice is to always ensure that the food has been properly heated so that bacteria and viruses cannot make you sick. You should always clean your hands with hand sanitizer before eating to avoid bacteria being transferred from hands to mouth through food.

As long as your hand sanitizer is in a container with a maximum of 100 ml, you can bring it in the carry-on baggage – remember to store the handgun in a resealable plastic bag that holds a maximum of 1 liter. Many hand-held products that are available in travel size can also be purchased in larger packages, so you can refill when it has run out.

How do I use hand sanitizer?

When disinfecting your hands with hand sanitizer, it is important that you do not have any visible dirt on your hands. Visible dirt is removed with soap and water first. When your hands are dry, they are ready to be disinfected.

You should now apply a reasonable amount of hand sanitizer to keep your hands moist by rubbing for at least 30 seconds.

Now rub your hands on palms, between fingers, fingertips, back, and wrists – don’t forget your thumb! After rubbing your hands properly for at least 30 seconds, the alcohol dries and you have disinfected your hands effectively.

Neutral or with a scent

Hand sanitizer usually consists of 70-85% alcohol, which is why it has a natural, pungent aroma of alcohol. If you do not like the pungent scent, you can choose a hand-scented scent, which either has the scent of pears and white lilies or raspberries.

But a hand sanitizer without scent is not so strong that you do not stand to use it, and many actually like the sharp scent because it gives positive associations to purity and something sterile. In addition, the hand sanitizer dries quickly on your hands and you will notice the scent only feels for a limited time.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.