Hand sanitizers an alternative to hand washing, are currently everyone using during the covid-19. In the absence of water and hand soap, two hand sanitizer drops work the best.
But the question about mysterious biology behind the working of hand sanitizer might have knocked out one’s brain. That how do they really work? How sanitizers kill germs? What’s the best sanitizer?
So, let’s go in-depth about the science of hand sanitizers.
Ingredients of hand sanitizers:
The basic two components the hand sanitizer contains:
- Alcohol (active ingredient)
- Water and glycerin (other ingredients).
The magic ingredient that does the whole job is Alcohol. As the bacteria/ viruses have lipid layered outside, water alone is unable to wash them off. We can take the example of oil, as oil is insoluble in water. Similarly, it is the lipid. Still, when soap or detergent is added, oil dissolves in water and can be disposed of. Alcohol does the same job as soap and dissolves lipid (alcohol is a great antiseptic and has been used in the pharmaceutical industry forum for many years).
Whenever our hands come in contact with affected things or people and get bacterial /viral germs, the alcohol in hand sanitizers dissolve their lipid coating and kills any germs present on it instantly.
To further elaborate on this phenomenon, watch this video to understand it well.
The second question that arises is how to choose the accurate sanitizer among many available in the market.
Choosing the right/best hand sanitizer:
Following three are main factors while choosing the best hand sanitizer.
- Mandatory for the sanitizer formula to have a minimum of 70% alcohol.
- Must be Drug Regulatory Authority approved /having an enlistment manufacturing number.
- It’s best if manufactured by a pharmaceutical company.
Almost every industry is making sanitizers by knowing and considering the above three factors to choose the right product. Many people must be wondering when alcohol is the key ingredient in hand sanitizers then why the best hand sanitizers must have a minimum of 70% alcohol instead of 100%. It’s because Alcohol is an active component, while water acts as a catalyst and plays a major role in the denaturing of proteins. If we use 100% alcohol, it will coagulate proteins rapidly and form a protein layer that will prevent coagulation of other protein molecules, which’s why 70% alcohol is more effective than 100%.
Another query that we have is are gel sanitizers the right one or the liquid ones?
Purell Hand sanitizers are considered the best alcohol-based hand sanitizer and have good ranking and reviews.
Gel vs liquid sanitizers:
We got both the gel and liquid sanitizers available in the market. Both are effective and good, but only two factors make them differ: the consistency and the second is effectivity duration. The liquid hand sanitizers have a fluid formula and take almost 10 seconds in cleaning. In contrast, the gel sanitizers have thick consistency than liquid ones and take more effectivity time than a liquid one, and that’s about 20-30 seconds. It indicates that they both work well for killing germs.
This concludes that if you are on a busy commute on public transit or are in another space with many people and potentially many germs, hand sanitizers work the best. Still, ultimately, public health officials are pushing that hand washing is best with soap and water.