With the threat of the Coronavirus still hanging over our heads and the idea of a widespread vaccine being months away, hand sanitizers are still vital to our daily lives. There is still a lot of confusion within the general public regarding sanitizers and which brands are safe and reliable. With so many new brands on the market, it can be confusing to decide which is best for you and your family. In this blog, I will explain the difference in benefits of liquid versus gel sanitizers, as well as a few key things to look out for when choosing a brand. The options have become endless, from varying ingredients, alcohol quantities, scents, and brands, so we are here to give you a little more confidence when choosing a sanitizer to protect you.
Let us start out with the liquid sanitizers. For personnel working in places such as hospitals, nursing homes, care facilities, or as emergency responders, liquid formulations such as our First Responder® are preferred. This is because they kill 99.9% of germs immediately and are able to cover large surface areas quickly because of their thin liquid nature. These sanitizers also dry and evaporate very quickly, making use a simple and timely process. This works well for people such as healthcare employees since they must wash their hands and/or apply sanitizer before and after each patient anyways. They need a quick cleaning rather than a protective barrier that would last several minutes to an hour. The liquid has the same quick killing and evaporating properties when used on surfaces such as doorknobs, handrails, desks, which is easy since it can be put in a spray bottle!
The gel hand sanitizers, such as our own HydroProtect®, are much gentler on skin. Our gel sanitizer is still well above the CDC’s recommendation at 75% denatured ethanol, ensuring it is very effective. This sanitizer is good for those with more sensitive skin, such as the patients in a nursing home or students at school. The gel allows the user more control when applying because it is thicker in viscosity. The gel works better for those who do not need to wash their hands extremely often, such as the general public, because the gel sanitizers form more of a barrier to protect your skin and won’t dry you out.
A common concern people have regarding hand sanitizers is their scent. Many of the pop-up manufacturers are producing sanitizers with an extremely unsettling tequila or gasoline smell. This is because these companies are not using food-grade or medical-grade ethanol like Hydromer does. They are using gasoline-grade or liquor alcohol for their sanitizers. The FDA has already recalled many companies using the gasoline-grade alcohol, as that can be harmful to humans. If the sanitizer you see smells like tequila or whiskey, it most likely came from a distillery. Per the FDA’s guidelines, the alcohol must be denatured, or it may be harmful to children if ingested. These sanitizers are not as effective as those who follow the FDA’s guidelines. Both of Hydromer’s lines of alcohol-based sanitizers use only pharmaceutical grade ingredients and are accompanied by natural scents such as lavender and citrus. Our sanitizers are safe, effective, and smell pleasant!
Whether you are out in public using the sanitizers provided by stores and restaurants or choosing a new sanitizer to purchase for your family, just be wary. It can be easy to trust our communities and large brand name chain store locations, but many of them may not even be aware their sanitizers are not up to standards. COVID-19 has been stressful for us all, and it has been confusing for everyone to choose the right sanitizer brand. Here are some things you can do to ensure you are using safe and effective hand and surface sanitizers on you and your family; One: Read the ingredients to make sure they are the CDC guideline formulations; Two: Smell a little before using a lot. If it smells like liquor, chances are it is not quality; And last but not least: Use a trusted brand name like Hydromer®, we have been in medical for more than 40 years, and we follow CDC guidelines and are FDA registered! Stay safe during these times and we hope you and family can now feel better about choosing the safest formulations of sanitizers.