25th May 2020

How does hand sanitiser kill viruses on your hands?

Post by Wet Room Materials

Importance of hand hygiene

The most effective way to maintain good hand hygiene is to wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly for 20 seconds and dry them using a clean towel. However outside the home, this is usually not possible due to limited facilities and lack of clean, unused towels as most provide hand dryers. Having good hygiene reduces infection and the use of hand sanitisers are now essential in our day to day lives.


Sanitising with gel sanitiser 

Gel sanitisers has been available for decades and the majority of the public understand how to use them, making it the go to product. Most people know how to perform the perfect application; spreading the product on the front, back, in between fingers and pressing fingertips and cuticles into the palm. Gel hand sanitisers offers the convenience of sanitising wherever you are and fast absorption whilst moisturising the hands at the same time.


Sanitising with Soap and water

The humble act of washing with soap and water, followed by drying with a clean towel is classed as the best way to keep hand hygiene up. Drying your hands with a clean unused towel makes the skin less hospitable to the bacteria and viruses.


What are germs, bacteria and viruses?


Germs are found all over the world, you can find germs in the air; on food, plants, and animals; in soil and water also your body. There are four major types of germs, theses being bacteria, viruses, fungi, and protozoa. Most germs will not harm you. Your immune system protects you against infectious agents. Although, some germs are difficult to stop as some keep constantly mutating to breach your immune system’s defences. If you know how germs work can increase your chances of avoiding infection.


Bacteria are microscopic single-celled organisms, measure a few micrometres in length and they exist in their communities of millions. They can be found in every climate and location on earth, both inside and outside other organisms. Some bacteria are harmful, but most serve a useful purpose. Pneumonia, meningitis, and food poisoning are just a few illnesses that may be caused by harmful bacteria. Antibiotics are used to fight against bacteria. Bacteria is too small for the naked eye to see, for example a gram of soil typically contains about 40 million bacterial cells. A millilitre of fresh water usually holds about one million bacterial cells.


Viruses can only live for a short time outside other living cells and they cannot survive without a host. They can only reproduce by attaching themselves to cells. Viruses come from body fluids left on surfaces like a doorknob or toilet seat can live there days. Most viruses do cause disease, and they are quite specific about the cells they attack. But Antibiotics are not effective against viruses.


Different alcohol levels

Experts agree that the more alcohol in a hand sanitiser, the more effective it will be at reducing germs. The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that you use a hand sanitiser gel with at least 60% alcohol content to fight against bacteria and viruses. Hand sanitiser is available with alcohol levels between 60% to 95%, however sanitisers with 80% of alcohol or more increases the risk of skin irritation and dry skin. Furthermore, the highest-level concentration of alcohol in hand sanitiser, can weaken the human immune system, making people more susceptible to picking up viruses. The World Health Organisation (WHO) say the recommended amount of alcohol in hand sanitiser should be between 70% and 80% for best practice and safe usage.



SharpHygiene have created a highly visible Free Standing and Wall Mounted Hand Hygiene Station which are suitable for indoor and outdoor use. Our Hygiene Stations are developed In-line with government guidelines to make your business Covid Secure and protect your customers, employees and business from potential virus outbreaks. The striking design attracts attention to maximise usage and incorporates user information to comply with section 5.3 of UK government’s Hygiene: handwashing, sanitation facilities and toilets guidelines. Both stations are anti-tamper protected and require a key to open the dispenser.

Find out more about SharpHygiene products.


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