Recommendation for the washing of hands, and the use of hand sanitiser, are now widespread across the UK. This article is a quick guide on hand sanitisers and their usefulness – with much of the information taken from official sources. However, there is much more in-depth information available on official websites. One place we recommend is the HSE website for the UK Gov: https://www.hse.gov.uk/coronavirus/hand-sanitiser/index.htm
Why is it effective?
Hand sanitiser is certainly a useful method to help stop the spread of harmful germs and viruses, and its definitely worth encouraging customers to do so when entering your business. However, as a worker, employee or business owner, it should be noted that depending on how dirty your hands are, hand sanitiser does not necessarily remove harmful germs of viruses. For example, the use of hand sanitisers in a hospital, office or medical environment is certainly successful, as many persons that work in this environment are already wearing gloves, are washing their hands between patients, or are sitting behind desks or dealing with jobs that do not require them to touch items that soil their hands.
Should you or your staff be handling food, plants, soil/dirt, sports equipment, harmful chemicals like pesticides and heavy metals, or you work outdoors or in a garage – be sure to wash your hands with warm soapy water. Many of the items you handle can soil your hands with certain chemicals or microbes that antibacterial hand sanitiser can only help remove.
How to use it?
Taken from the CDC website: “The steps for hand sanitiser use are based on a simplified procedure recommended by CDC. Instructing people to cover all surfaces of both hands with hand sanitizer has been found to provide similar disinfection effectiveness as providing detailed steps for rubbing-in hand sanitiser.”
When using hand sanitiser, squeeze or pump a small amount into the centre of one palm. Rub your hands together palm-to-palm, then wash the backs of both your hands and between the fingers. Then rub your hands together palm-to-palm with fingers interlocking, then clasp your hands together and rub, then clean around the thumbs. Rub your fingertips into the palms of your hands, then rub around they wrists.
There are currently many useful images, graphs and videos online for you to follow. However, one very informal video is this one provided by Babylon Health (UK): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4xC-_7ZiQoY
When to use it & how often?
Guidelines on the use of hand sanitiser and hand washing can vary – from a domestic setting, public, work and industry. Should you work in the servicing or medical sector (hairdressing, beautician, GP, therapist, waiter, barman etc) then you may be required to wash your hand in between clients/guests, or in between the handling of items (such as drinks or food). Should you work in an industry that has a regulatory body, please see online for what regulations you need to be following.
For more general guidelines, the use of hand sanitiser and hand washing can be seen as the following – in between the handling of doors, entering and exiting buildings or rooms, before and after eating your lunch etc. Remember that should you be interacting with something and are unable to wash or sanitiser your hand, you can practice not touching your face and good social distancing measures.
Difference between alcohol & non-alcohol sanitisers
Washing your hands with soap and warm water is considered the golden standard – however it’s not always practical. You may not have the facility to provide your staff with a place to do this easily. You can’t do this in a vehicle or on the move, around electrical equipment or with customers constantly entering and leaving your premises. As such, hand sanitiser is recommended for use when hand washing is difficult/not available.
While it is shown that sanitisers with up to 60-95% alcohol are recommended for use against certain microbes like COVID-19, it should be stated that some non-alcohol sanitisers are capable of providing the same results. However, we would heavily recommend that you buy these (alcohol or non-alcohol) from trusted sources – not just from persons selling them on amazon, etsy of Facebook marketplace
For example, the non-alcohol sanitisers that we stock and supply from companies such as Sursol come from manufacturers that are trusted, have undergone rigorous testing, and are producing chemical products that meet certain criteria. They come highly recommended from medical professionals and as such, we feel fit to provide them.