How to Choose the Right Hand Sanitizer
When soap and water aren't available, hand sanitizer is the next best option. Hand sanitizer has become a staple item during the COVID-19 pandemic, and not just at home: stores, offices, and medical facilities routinely provide hand sanitizer to visitors. But with the shelves so full of hand sanitizers, how do you know which one is right for you? We've got a list of what to look for below.
1. Alcohol percentage
The most effective hand sanitizers contain between 60-85% alcohol. It may seem surprising, but a 100% alcohol solution wouldn't be as effective at killing viruses. You need water present in the mixture to denature (break down the protein structure) a virus, and the water also prevents the alcohol from evaporating too quickly.
2. Type of Alcohol
Most hand sanitizers are made with either ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol. Both can be effective, but ethyl alcohol (ethanol) is more strongly recommended. Why?
- Naturally made: isopropyl alcohol is synthetic, while ethyl alcohol is natural and less toxic.
- Evaporates slowly: isopropyl alcohol evaporates faster than ethanol, which is why isopropyl alcohol tends to be used to disinfect sensitive equipment like electronics. You want a sanitizer that will stay on your skin for longer.
3. Extra Ingredients
Hand sanitizer can do more than just kill germs! If you've been using more sanitizer than usual this year, you know how dry your hands can get. Some sanitizers include additional ingredients for moisturizing your hands, like aloe vera, Vitamin E, and tea tree oil.
4. Multiple Formats
Are you buying sanitizer for only yourself? For an entire family? For a business you own and operate? Having options for sanitizer in multiple sizes and application formats, such as aerosol cans and foaming hand sanitizers, might help meet your unique needs more easily.
5. Point of Origin
Store shelves are full of different hand sanitizers now, even in stores that typically wouldn't carry disinfecting supplies. You want a sanitizer that you can trust to be effective. Look for sanitizers that identify the country or region they were produced in, as well as ones approved by a legitimate organization like the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
Mountain Ice Advanced Hand Sanitizer
- Alcohol Percentage: 72% alcohol content, ideal for killing common viruses and bacteria.
- Type of Alcohol: Ethyl alcohol, natural and slow to evaporate.
- Extra Ingredients: Tea Tree Oil, Vitamin E, and Aloe Vera to moisturize your hands and prevent dryness.
- Multiple Formats: Available in individual packets, 4 oz. tubes, and a 32 oz. bottle.