When it comes to determining the most effective alcohol-based hand sanitizer, 60 is the magic number.
The U.S. Centers for Disease Controls and Preventions officially recommends hand sanitizer comprised of at least 60 percent alcohol as an effective tool for neutralizing germs when soap and water are not available. Numerous studies have verified the CDC’s conclusion, including a 2010 BMC Infectious Disease review that found office workers who used an alcohol-based hand sanitizer five times each work day were two-thirds less likely to get sick than workers who continued to just wash their hands.
Even more convincing evidence came from an American Society for Microbiology study that found ethanol-based hand sanitizers were significantly more effective at eliminating rhinovirus – the virus that causes the common cold – than washing with soap and water. The study also found hands cleansed with sanitizer remained disinfected for four hours.
“These products provide a convenient alternative when hand washing with plain soap and water is unavailable,” notes Dr. Janet Woodcock, director of the Food and Drug Administration’s Center for Drug Evaluation and Research.
From gels to foams to sprays to wipes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers like B4 Brands’ Avant Original Fragrance-Free Hand Sanitizer (which boasts a 60-percent alcohol base) are helping millions of Americans successfully repel germs and bacteria and stay healthy. Office workers, teachers, doctors and patients, and students turn to ethyl-alcohol hand sanitizers daily. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers help conserve water, kill bacteria faster than washing hands with soap and water, save time and provide an instant, nearly 100-percent germ-killing cleansing option when a sink is not readily available.
The average hand sanitizer contains about 62 percent ethanol. The higher the alcohol content, studies show, the more effective hand sanitizer is at combating germs, bacteria, and helping people stave off the cold and flu.
“Alcohol-based hand sanitizers are clearly a very useful and important method to prevent most bacterial and viral infections, with rare exceptions,” Dr. Aaron E. Glatt, MD, a spokesman for the Infectious Diseases Society of America, told WebMD.com.
Wherever you are, a 60-percent alcohol-based hand sanitizer can keep you winning the fight against harmful germs and bacteria, especially when soap and water aren’t readily available.
“(Sanitizer) cleans your hands much better than soap and water, so it reduces the bacterial burden to a much greater extent than soap and water,” University of Toronto microbiologist James Scott told Reader’s Digest’s Best Health, “and your hands tend to stay cleaner longer than if you were to use soap and water.”