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Do Hand Sanitizers Clean Your Hands?

Dr. Kline & Green Team
26 January 2020
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One question that is often asked is whether or not you can clean your hands with hand sanitizers. The answer is not quite as straightforward as you might imagine, but ultimately hand sanitizers, depending on the brand, can clean hands. However, it’s important to qualify that statement with some provisions.

The first thing to understand is that hand sanitizers are great at supplementing your hand hygiene routine. Washing hands with soap and warm water is considered the gold standard for cleanliness since it can kill germs, but also cleans your hands of grime and dirt. The job of a hand sanitizer isn’t to clean your hands of dirt, but instead to kill germs. You can’t just use a hand sanitizer and expect your hands to remain clean. You still need to carry out proper hand washing where possible. However, when you do not have access to restroom facilities then using a hand sanitizer is a fantastic way of reducing nearly all types of germs on the surfaces of your hands.

Hand Sanitizer Ingredients are Important

Another important aspect relating to the effectiveness of hand sanitizers for cleaning your hands is the ingredients found in the sanitizer itself. Not all sanitizers contain the same ingredients, and this can have a big impact as to whether they will be useful for germ and infection control. The key ingredient that kills germs in a hand sanitizer is ethyl alcohol, so this is what you need to ensure is in any hand sanitizer you buy. You should also look for products that have over 60 percent alcohol, since these are the most effective. You can buy alcohol free hand sanitizers, but these tend to be a lot less effective than the ones with ethyl alcohol. Our antibacterial hand sanitizer spray pen contains 62% ethyl alcohol and it can kill 99.9% of germs.

Advantages of Hand Sanitizers

Doctors Kline + Green also now has a travel size hand sanitizer pen that you can take with you wherever you go.

One of the key advantages that hand sanitizers have over traditional antibacterial soap and running water is that you do not always have access to a restroom to clean your hands. Whereas with a portable or travel hand sanitizer you will be able to keep your hands clean wherever you are, which is really important for when everyone around you has a cold and is sneezing. Hand sanitizers can also help protect you from catching the flu virus. You might not always be able to stop yourself from catching the flu but if you keep sanitizing your hands properly, you have a better chance of skipping the flu season.

Ultimately, hand sanitizers can definitely keep your hands clean, especially when you don’t have a means to clean them with soap and water. However, we always recommend using both methods, both traditional hand washing and using a hand sanitizer spray when you can, because you will then get double the benefit.

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