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Common Mistakes in Using Hand Sanitizer

A msn uses hand sanitizer to disinfect his hands.

One method society has turned to in order to combat the Coronavirus and avoid the spreading and contracting of germs is hand sanitizer. We keep hand sanitizer in our homes, our cars, our offices; anywhere that we may feel the need to sanitize our hands after being in a public space. Alcohol based hand sanitizers are commercially available for medical use and offer convenience and portability. However, there are basic principles and guidelines to ensure proper effectiveness in preventing disease transmission as well as safety for the consumer. We’ve turned to Dr. Griffith Hsu, Medivico’s senior medical advisor, for details regarding common mistakes in using hand sanitizers.

What Should Hand Sanitizer Be Made Of? 

Hand sanitizers should only be formulated with ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol and should not be made at home by consumers. Alcohol based sanitizers need to be at least 70-75% in concentration. They also must be stored below 105 degrees F, as heat can destabilize the sanitizer and render them ineffective. 

What is the Correct Way to Use Hand Sanitizer?

When using a hand sanitizer, the entire surfaces of the hands and fingers need to be coated with the product to be effective, including fingers and fingernails.

Is Hand Sanitizer Flammable?

Consumers need to aware that as sanitizers are alcohol based, they are flammable. After using a sanitizer, there should be sufficient time for the alcohol to evaporate, and as a general rule, avoid exposure to open flame for at least 30 minutes after application. There have been reports of consumers suffering burns because of hand sanitizer use and open flame exposure (cigarette lighters, etc).

Can I use Hand Sanitizer Instead of Washing My Hands with Soap and Water?

When visibly soiled, hands should be washed with soap and water for at least 20 seconds or more. Sanitizers only neutralize bacteria and viruses on the skin but do not wash them off. The gold standard of sterilization is soap and water and this should be done immediately after using the bathroom and before eating. Hand sanitizers are NOT as effective and should not be substituted in these instances.

Medivico can provide your business with hand sanitizer, as well as other alcohol-based products. To purchase, visit our alcohol-based products page and click inquire, or, view our other medical supplies and products. In addition to keeping your hands sanitized, ensure that you are following other Coronavirus safety protocols such as wearing the correct type of mask


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