Washing your hands or using hand sanitizer is one of the best ways to reduce the spread of Covid-19. The benefits of keeping your hands clean will also help protect you from illnesses such as the cold, flu and respiratory issues. When washing your hands is not an option, the Center for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) recommends that sanitizing your hands with at least 60% ethyl alcohol (ethanol), or at least 70% isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) is the next best tool.

Your hands come in contact with many germs whether it be at the grocery store, the bank, visiting a drive thru, or even your own office. Keeping your hands clean will help you and others stay healthy.

When possible, wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, rubbing your palms, backs of your hands, between your fingers and under your fingernails. When in public, hand sanitize for at least 20 seconds after touching any public surfaces and let your hands air dry. Always wash or sanitize before eating, when preparing food, after going to the bathroom; after changing a diaper, after handling trash and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose.

Also, it is important to know these safety tips when choosing the right hand sanitizer.

  • Do not use hand sanitizer containing 1-propanol and methanol as they are harmful when applied to skin.
  • Be sure to supervise children when they use hand sanitizer as it can be harmful when ingested.
  • Do not store hand sanitizer in heated areas such as your car.
  • Do not use surface disinfectant wipes to clean your hands as they can cause irritation to your skin and eyes. If used to clean an object or surface, wash your hands after use.

Washing your hands with soap and water as well as hand sanitizing is effective in reducing the spread of covid-19, but it doesn’t work by itself. It must be combined with social distancing and wearing a mask in order to keep you and your loved ones safe from the virus.