Whether you prefer hand gels or sanitiser sprays, there’s a wide range of different hand sanitisers available, ranging from the cheaper, basic varieties to ones with a touch of luxury.
Not all hand sanitisers are the same, however. For hand sanitising gels or sprays to be effective in combating viruses and bacteria, they need to meet certain requirements when it comes to their ingredients. There’s plenty of choice on the market, however, and you don’t need to sacrifice effectiveness with the overall feel and fragrance of the product.
What makes an effective hand sanitiser?
Not all hand sanitisers on the market are as useful at killing germs and viruses. An effective hand sanitiser as recommended by Public Health England should contain at least 60% alcohol. Alcohol content between 60-95% is required to kill bacteria and inactivate viruses. Most hand sanitisers contain either ethanol and isopropanol, or both. The label should state the alcohol percentage. Among the leading high street brands, Carex hand gel contains 70% alcohol, Cuticura hand gel contains 66% ethanol and Dettol hand gel contains 63% ethanol.
If you’re concerned about hygiene and combatting the transmission of viruses, be sure to check that the alcohol content of your hand sanitiser meets the 60% alcohol threshold.
Hand sanitisers may not always be effective if your hands are dirty or greasy, so it’s important to wash your hands with soap and water whenever you get the opportunity.
With so many hand sanitiser choices to buy online, here are our top pick recommendations that are available and in stock. We’ll keep the list updated regularly, so you are always know where to shop.
We find hand sanitisers you can buy now, sprays, gels, or wipes.
Why use a hand sanitiser?
If your main consideration is killing bacteria and viruses, then hand sanitiser is not as effective as thoroughly washing your hands with soap and water. That said, they are invaluable when you are on the move, or somewhere where soap and water can’t be accessed easily. They are also small and compact, so they’re ideal for carrying around in bags or pockets, particularly if you’re meeting people, or opening and closing lots of door. If more people use hand sanitiser, the ability of viruses and bacteria to transmit on solid objects like door handles or handrails is dramatically reduced.
Hand sanitiser is widely used in hospitals, with so-called ‘medical grade’ sanitiser having an alcohol content of over 70%. It is used because it’s an effective first line of defence against hospital transmitted viruses and enables large numbers of people to sanitise their hands quickly.
Which is best? Gel or spray sanitiser?
Hand sanitisers come in both gel and spray options. If used correctly and you thoroughly cover your hands, both are as effective as each other when it comes to preventing the transmission of viruses. Spray sanitisers generally dispense less product compared to gel, so can be more cost-effective. However, you have to make sure that you use enough to thoroughly cover your hands.
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How should you use a hand sanitiser?
Hand sanitiser is a great first line of defence against the transmission of viruses, but if it isn’t used correctly, it’s not much use.
Public health specialists recommend three steps to ensure your hand sanitiser is effective.
- Apply the product to the palm of one hand, and make sure you use enough. Too much is always better than too little.
- Thoroughly rub your hands together, including your fingers. It’s very important to cover the surface of both your hands, including every finger right up to the tip. You should also rub the sanitiser up towards your wrists.
- Make sure you rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers until they are dry. This usually takes around 20 seconds.
Using it periodically throughout the day reduces the risk of spreading viruses. Use it before and after eating, if you sneeze and can’t wash your hands and when you get on and off public transport. It’s also important to remember to use before putting on and removing face masks and coverings. Rings and other jewellery can harbour bacteria and viruses so if you can, you should always remove them before you sanitise your hands.