Some gels are better than others for keeping your hands clean and safe, but do you pay attention to what’s in them? How do you choose which one to buy?
04/12/20: Hand sanitiser gels fail Which? tests
Today we’ve revealed that some hand saniters contain a fraction of the alcohol content they claim to.
It’s extremely concerning that hand sanitisers readily available on online marketplaces such as eBay and Etsy make misleading claims about alcohol content and could leave consumers unwittingly exposed to the COVID-19 virus.
The good news is that our research shows that if you buy hand sanitiser from a known and trusted brand, it increases the chances of it doing what you need it to, but you could face more of a lottery if you are buying from lesser-known sellers on online marketplaces.
14/09/20: Alcohol content
Unlike the shortages and price gouging we saw earlier this year, it’s now fortunately much easier to find hand sanitiser both to purchase and to use.
With more in stock it’s much easier to choose a preferred sanitiser rather than simply buying what’s available.
I’ve never been a fan of the strong alcohol smell of hand sanitiser – to me the smell evokes the experience of medical appointments and hospital corridors.
In looking for the best possible smell, I bought a small bottle from a luxury brand which advertised a ‘resurrecting’ smell – hints of mandarin, rosemary, and cedar.
The problem is it isn’t hand sanitiser – merely a ‘rinse-free hand wash’. I hadn’t looked into what I was buying and, while it does contain alcohol, the amount isn’t enough to truly sanitise my hands.
It’s down to the alcohol content
Hand sanitiser needs an alcoholic content of at least 60% for it to do its job properly.
Most alcohol-based hand gels will contain ethanol, isopropanol, or a combination of the two.
Not all alcohol is good though: in the US, the Food and Drug Administration has issued several warnings about hand sanitisers contaminated with methanol which, if absorbed by the skin, can cause severe – and even fatal – medical complications.
While these are unlikely to be for sale in the UK, it’s a worthy reminder to pay attention to what you’re using to sanitise your hands.
How do you choose?
What do you look for when buying hand sanitiser?
Do you pay attention to the ingredients in the sanitiser, or is another factor, such as price, availability, or even smell more important in what you buy?
Are there certain brands or types of hand sanitiser you avoid buying? Why?
Do you prefer an alternative hand sanitiser, such as a wipe or a foam based version?
Let us know your thoughts in the comments.