What are the different types of sanitizer?

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hand sanitizer

A hand sanitizer is one of the most common things that is found in almost everybody’s bag today. For people who travel often and are always around foreign surfaces, having a hand sanitizer handy is vital. Most hand sanitizers today come in portable and small sizes that can fit in pockets and pouches easily. Now, sanitizing has become a habit for many people. Yet, not many people are aware of the different kinds of sanitizers available and which one is suitable for which situation!

A hand sanitizer is a liquid that when applied over hands generously, cleans the hands and deems them safe for you to use. Hand sanitizers are particularly significant when there is no water or soap around and one needs immediate sanitation. Sounds like a magic liquid does it not? Well, there are two broad types of hand sanitizers that you should know about before making a purchase.

There are two main kinds of sanitizers: alcohol-based sanitizers and alcohol-free sanitizers.

As the name suggests, alcohol-based sanitizers are the ones that contain a good amount of alcohol. This alcohol content is either ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol. Alcohol is the major ingredient that kills germs and bacteria away and even the Centre for Disease Prevention, CDC recommends the usage of an alcohol-based sanitizer for effective germ-killing.

However, since alcohol is a strong chemical, it can cause burns or inflammation near the eyes. Hence it is important to keep your hands away from your eyes and mouth after applying sanitizer. Adults must also make sure that children keep their hands away from their eyes too.

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An alcohol-based sanitizer, when used effectively and often, can have a drying effect. They tend to strip away some moisture from the hands, so it is always recommended to buy a hand sanitizer that has some moisturising ingredients or use a hand cream!

A gentle on the skin but effective at killing 99.99% germs alcohol-based hand sanitizer is the Savlon Fresh Hand Sanitizer. It prevents 100 disease-causing germs and is safe to use for kids and adults alike. Take a coin-sized amount on your palm and apply it evenly on your hands for the best germ protection!

The second type of sanitizer is the alcohol-free sanitizer. Most of these types are made up of some form of Ammonium in place of alcohol. These sanitizers usually contain water and skin softeners are hence gentler on the skin. However, this type of sanitizer is not effective at killing all kinds of germs, viruses and bacteria and will not protect you in the long run. Even international health bodies like the Centre of Disease Prevention and the World Health Organisation do not recommend the usage of alcohol-free sanitizers in our current times.

Other than these two kinds, people also try to make sanitizers at home using soap and other ingredients. These are certainly not effective against killing harmful diseases and germs hence must be avoided.

Now that you know what kind of sanitizers are available in the market, one should also remember when to use them. A hand sanitizer is the most important part of personal hygiene when one steps outdoors. A hand sanitizer must be used when you meet a sick person, visit a hospital or a school, use public transport or the gym, meet a pet, use a public toilet, or touch railings or surfaces in public areas. In conclusion, hand sanitizers are a vital part of our daily lives, hence choose wisely!