Are Alcohol-free Hand Sanitisers Still Effective Against Coronavirus?

Considering our current situation with the pandemic, hand santisers are being treated as currency. However, before getting on with hand sanitisers, make sure you are regularly cleaning your hands with water and soap, as suggested by the World Health Organisation. 


However, it is not always possible to wash your hands with water and soap at times in situations like when you are travelling. That’s where hand sanitisers come out as a handy substitute. 


The popular hand sanitiser will be, which are alcohol-based. These are widely used and recognised by institutions for their effectiveness. Comparing alcohol-based and alcohol-free hand sanitisers, the former is the most popular.


However, alcohol-based hand sanitisers are only effective when there’s at least 60% of alcohol content in the sanitiser. Sanitisers with less than 60% have found to be less effective at killing coronavirus and other viruses.


Also, alcohol-based hand sanitisers can be harsh to the skin, and can quickly evaporate, rendering your hands ineffective residual protection. Though this kind of hand sanitisers offer quick virus kill rates.


To overcome this issue, we have alcohol-free hand sanitisers. These are made up of benzalkonium chloride in place of alcohol like ethanol or isopropanol. Benzalkonium chloride works by rendering the virus vulnerable by disrupting its outer membrane. This kills the virus and also stop them from multiplying. 


The Centre for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has deemed benzalkonium chloride eligible by the US FDA and can be used as a replacement for alcohol. 


Alcohol-free hand sanitisers are kinder to your skin. This kind of hand sanitiser can be used by all groups, including those who aren’t allowed or prohibited from using alcohol-based products. There’s a misconception that since Muslims and followers of Islam don’t consume alcohol, so they wouldn’t use alcohol-based hand sanitisers as well. However, that doesn’t extend to alcohol-based cleaning or hygiene products as it is a necessity currently, considering the pandemic we are facing.


And if people aren’t really comfortable using alcohol-based hand sanitisers, they can always use alcohol-free hand sanitisers to stay safe and eliminate the viruses. 


Do remember, alcohol-free hand sanitisers might not be as effective as alcohol-based ones. However, they do work as prescribed, but not as effectively as alcohol-based ones. Alcohol-free hand sanitisers reduce or stop the growth of the virus, but do not always kill them. 


The best way to keep your hands clean will be to use warm water and soap while cleaning them to the poem twinkle twinkle little star (20 seconds).


But when it is not possible to wash your hands with water and soap, you can always make use of alcohol-based or alcohol-free hand sanitiser, as per your preference. They will keep your hands safe and clean.