Hand sanitizers are useful for killing germs, especially when soap and water are not readily available. Due to the current pandemic, there are many more brands of hand sanitizer for sale these days in an effort to meet demand. How do you choose one that will work for you and your family?
First off, turn the bottle over and look at the label. For effective protection against COVID-19, the CDC recommends an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol. It will be listed as the active ingredient.
NOTE: There was a recent recall due to contamination with methanol and 1-propanol, and products might not say so on the label, so also make sure the brand is not on the FDA’s list of unsafe hand sanitizers.
While looking at the label, take note of the other key pieces of information that will ensure effective use. Read the directions. You should be applying a dime-sized amount and rubbing until dry. Pay attention to storage information. It will say not to store in temperatures above a certain degree. This means storing it in your car when it’s hot outside can make it less effective.
After that, it could be a matter of preference. If you care about scent, you can look for one with a pleasant fragrance. If your hands get dry, you may want to look for ingredients that are soothing or lock in moisture, like aloe or glycerin. Size is also a consideration, whether you want a small container that’s easy to grab and go or a larger one for use in a communal space.
Whatever you choose, it needs to be used and stored safely. It’s only meant for skin, not for ingesting or using on other surfaces. It should never be used unsupervised by children under 6. And it should always be stored in a safe place, up and away from kids and pets.