How to Correctly Use Hand Sanitizer

How to Correctly Use Hand Sanitizer

Sanitizers - PPE Supplies

At first glance at the title of today’s post, you might wonder why anyone would need to know how to correctly use hand sanitizer. After all, you simply put some in your hands and rub them together and that’s that, right? Wrong. Today, we’ll look at the steps to follow to ensure you are using this item correctly, as well as when you should opt for handwashing.

At Nationwide Medical Supply, we strive to offer a variety of quality, medical PPE safety supplies, and equipment that you can use in your business, school, medical or dental practice, or in the comfort of your home. Shop online today to browse our masks, face shields, gowns, and more.

Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers Do Not Eliminate All Types of Germs

While they can quickly reduce the number of microbes on your hands in some situations, they cannot eliminate all types of germs. This could be due to the fact that people don’t typically use a large enough volume of hand sanitizer. It could also be in part that people tend to wipe hand sanitizers off before it has had a chance to fully dry.

Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizers Should Never Be Swallowed

Just because something is safe to put on your skin does not mean that it can also be safely ingested. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are made from ethyl alcohol, which can cause poisoning if you were to swallow more than a couple of mouthfuls.

When to Use Hand Sanitizers

It’s best to use a hand sanitizer both before and after visiting someone in the hospital or in a nursing home. When you find yourself in a situation where soap and water aren’t readily available, be sure to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol. Always use a hand sanitizer after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing if soap and water aren’t easily available.

Do not use hand sanitizer when your hands are visibly greasy or dirty, such as when you’ve been gardening, playing outside, or camping. Hand sanitizers may not work well against certain types of germs on your hands in these situations.

How to Use Hand Sanitizers

Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, and always supervise young children to prevent swallowing when using this product. Put enough sanitizer on your hands to cover all surfaces, and rub your hands together until they feel dry. This typically takes about 20 seconds.

Do not rinse or wipe off the hand sanitizer before it’s dry, as this will reduce its effectiveness against germs.

When to Wash With Soap and Water

Washing your hands with warm water and soap is ideal in a wide array of situations, including:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food
  • Before eating food
  • Before and after caring for someone who is sick with vomiting or diarrhea
  • Before and after treating a cut
  • After using the restroom
  • After changing diapers
  • After handling pet food or pet treats
  • After touching garbage
  • Whenever your hands are visibly dirty or greasy

How to Wash With Soap and Water

The best way to wash with soap and water is to wet your hands first with warm, clean, running water. Apply soap and lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. Scrub your hands for a minimum of 20 seconds. If you need help timing this task, sing happy birthday twice. Thoroughly rinse your hands under clean running water and then dry them using a clean towel or let them air dry.

PPE Safety Supplies

Whether you need to order hand sanitizer, face masks, face shields, gowns, gloves, or other PPE equipment, be sure to shop online at Nationwide Medical Supply to order the quality supplies you need at affordable prices.


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