One of the best ways to stay healthy during the pandemic is to wash your hands with soap and water. But if those aren’t available, hand sanitizer may help rid your hands of germs that can cause COVID-19.
Path to improved health
When selecting hand sanitizer, make sure you choose one that contains between 60-95% alcohol. Also, when you use hand sanitizer, make sure you read the directions and follow the proper technique. Generally, apply the liquid to the palm of one hand. Then rub it all over both hands until the sanitizer dries. This takes about 20 seconds. Be careful not to wipe the sanitizer off before it’s dry. That can make it less effective in killing germs.
There are many times you you should use hand sanitizer, such as before and after touching a surface other people have touched. It’s good to wipe down the handle of a shopping cart before you use it. It’s also good to use sanitizer after:
- pushing a cart around the store
- filling your vehicle with fuel
- handling money
- touching elevator buttons or door handles
Always clean your hands (with soap and water or hand sanitizer) after each time you cough and sneeze.
Things to consider
Using hand sanitizer frequently can make your hands very dry. If that happens, make sure your hands are dry from the sanitzer, then apply lotion.
Remember, hand sanitizers won’t get rid of all germs on your hands. And you shouldn’t use sanitizers if your hands are greasy or dirty. There is no substitute for washing with soap and water.
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This information provides a general overview and may not apply to everyone. Talk to your family doctor to find out if this information applies to you and to get more information on this subject.