The most important hygiene practice is hand hygiene. This involves washing hands with soap and sanitizing your hands with appropriate proportions of alcohol-based hand sanitizer. A hand sanitizer plays a vital role in hand hygiene. The National Measurement Institute is the first institute to test hand sanitizer for alcohol-type in Australia under new pandemic guidelines from the Therapeutic Goods Administration.

The TGA asks to look for a formulation with 60% alcohol. According to the World Health Organisation formula, a buying product should have 80% ethanol or 75% isopropyl alcohol. The effectiveness of some hand sanitizers is featured from NMI’s testing.

· Effective way to clean your hands in the absence of soap and water

Only washing hands will not kill bacteria, germs, and viruses. After washing hands, sanitize them with alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Many health studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60-95% kill germs than those with lower alcohol concentrations.

Non-alcohol based sanitizers merely reduce the growth of germs rather than killing them. Alcohol-based sanitizers kill bacteria and germs ultimately. Non-alcohol based sanitizer causes more skin irritation as compared to alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

· Correct steps for the use of hand sanitizer

Take a drop of it to the palm of one hand while using it and rub it all over the places of your hand until your hands become dry.

People should cover all the places of both hands with it. This has been found to provide disinfection effectiveness.

· Does washing your hands kill more germs than using a hand sanitizer?

The answer to this question is no. Washing your hands only with soap won’t kill many invisible germs. Soap only cleans greasy and soiled hands. And also, it is not sufficient to use sanitizer on dirty hands. Hence, please wash your hands properly, let them dry, and then use sanitizer. This will kill more germs.

· What are the essential precautions to take while using hand sanitizer?

Hand sanitizer should be used as directed. Swallowing of alcohol-based sanitizer causes alcohol poisoning. Some people think that gargling a hand sanitizer can clear your throat, which is untrue. Alcohol-based sanitizer contains ethyl alcohol that is extremely harmful and poisonous. Therefore, sanitizer has to be kept out of reach from children.

· When, where, and how often should you use hand sanitizer?

When you are at outdoor activities and water is not available, you will need sanitizer at that time. It has to be used in the kitchen before and after cooking. It should be used in hospitals by doctors and nurses, public transports like buses and railways, schools and colleges, and after using bathrooms.

· How does it work?

It works on the phenomenon of friction. An alcohol-based sanitizer has 65% alcohol that has a low boiling point. Heat is generated as you run it in between your arms. The heat generated evaporates alcohol and other particles that take germs with them.

· Surprising uses of hand sanitizer

1. A drop on a soft cloth will make your phone’s screen shine.

2. Helps in making your sunglasses and glasses shiner.

3. Applying it on a pimple will make them dry and helps to remove them.

4. You can use it over the permanent marker’s stain.

5. Clean your mirrors and windows with just a pinch of it.

6. Stop itching after mosquito bites.