Whether you are out playing a sport, gardening in your lawn, or just eating a snack, many daily activities require you to use your hands, which in turn can get dirty. Using hand sanitizer is a fast and effective way to clean your hands and get rid of lingering germs. It’s as easy as putting a small amount in your hands, rubbing them together for 30 seconds, and…that’s it!
Applying the Hand Sanitizer
- Clear your hands of all debris and jewelry. Take off all rings and other jewelry that may be covering the surfaces of your hands. If possible, rinse and remove all traces of visible organic matter such as dirt, grease, and food in order for the hand sanitizer to be most effective.
- Squirt the hand sanitizer into the palm of one hand. Be generous with the amount of sanitizer applied. At minimum, you should use an amount that is about the size of a U.S. quarter.
- Rub your hands together gently. Be sure to cover the surfaces of both of your hands, including fingers and around your finger tips and nails. You should also rub in the sanitizer about 2 inches (0.051 m) up each wrist.
- Let your hands dry off. After about 30 seconds of rubbing, your skin should have absorbed the sanitizer. If your hands are still a little wet, face your palms downward and let them dry in the air until they are no longer wet.
Knowing When to Use Hand Sanitizer
- Use hand sanitizer periodically throughout the day. Certain activities or settings can pose more of a risk for the spread of infections or illnesses if you have come into contact with animals, people, or food. Consider what you have been touching and who you have been in contact with. Using sanitizer periodically during the day can help reduce the chance of getting sick.
- Rinse your hands if they are visibly dirty. Inspect both sides of your hands and fingers to see if there is any debris on them. See if there is any buildup caught underneath your finger nails. Look for any open wounds, cuts or scrapes. Hand sanitizer is most effective when applied to clean hands.
- Due to its alcohol content, hand sanitizer may irritate the wounds. This pain can be uncomfortable, but it is only temporary.
- Clean your hands with soap in most cases. The most effective way to remove or deactivate germs is to clean your hands with clean running water and soap. However, many times it is not possible to locate a bathroom or sink immediately. In this case, hand sanitizer is meant to be used as a convenient alternative to help reduce the spread of germs and potential chance of illness.
- Hand sanitizers may not remove or deactivate harmful chemicals. If you have been exposed to any chemicals or pesticides, you should wash the exposed area with soap and water and consult with a doctor if necessary.
- EXPERT TIPJONATHAN TAVAREZ
Cleaning Guru & Founder, Pro Housekeepers
- Our Expert Agrees: Hand sanitizer doesn’t kill all terms, and it may not remove harsh chemicals from your hands. Proper handwashing reduces the amount of all germs and chemicals, and it gives you the best chance at preventing illness.
- Alcohol based sanitizers that contain between 60%-95% alcohol work best to reduce the number of germs on your hands.
- Some hand sanitizers contain moisturizers to help with the alcohol’s drying effect. If you notice your skin has a reaction to the sanitizer, try one with a different formula.