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29 April 2020

Alcohol Based. vs Non-Alcohol Based Hand Sanitiser

Alcohol Based. vs Non-Alcohol Based Hand Sanitiser

In the wake of COVID-19, hand sanitiser has become one of the most highly demanded products on the market around the world, as people do what they can to protect themselves and their loved ones against a virus which has infected over 3 million people and counting. While hand sanitiser has been around for ages, people haven’t taken getting their hands on it as seriously in the past as they do now, and it is likely that it will become a staple in the bags and backpacks of people from all over the world as life gradually starts to return to the new normal. You may have heard about alcohol based and non-alcohol based variants of hand sanitiser, and like so many others, you may also be confused about the differences. Today, we’ll explain the primary difference, while also looking at whether it is safe to make your own sanitiser, and where you can look to get your hands on it moving forward. 

Hand Sanitiser: A Case Study

Personal hygiene has “taken off” so to speak as a result of the coronavirus, with more people emphasizing its importance as part of their daily (and often even hourly) rituals. This is evident in first, second and third world nations. In India, up to 50% of people were unable to get their hands on hand sanitiser during the start of the pandemic, which showcases just how much demand has grown during this time. The expectation is that other countries will continue to face shortages as suppliers play catch up, and sales are expected to continue to rise as the world adjusts to taking greater health precautions in their day-to-day activities once the lockdown period is over, and a viable vaccine is created. 

Alcohol vs. Non-Alcohol Based: What’s The Difference?

Alcohol based hand sanitiser differs from it’s non-alcohol counterpart in the sense that the former contains a percentage of non-drinking alcohol which helps to effectively kill germ, while the latter doesn’t. The WHO and other health agencies have advocated for the use of 70% alcohol content sanitisers only, as anything weaker will not help to curb the spread of the coronavirus. Some companies are selling alcohol substitute versions (like benzalkonium chloride), which are not as effective as the real deal. In general, sanitiser prices are skyrocketing around the world, but be mindful that even an expensive alcohol-free version will not be useful in protecting you from the spread of COVID-19. Read packaging carefully before buying to know which version you are buying, as companies may use vague messaging in a bid to secure a sale. 

In Shortages, Can I Make My Own Sanitiser?

Many people have wondered whether they can make their own hand sanitisers, especially while retail stores and pharmacies are spread thin with stock numbers. In the US, the FDA has recommended against consumers trying to make their own hand sanitiser, largely due to a worry that an incorrect mix could be ineffective or cause harm to the skin. Many people have bought non-alcohol versions of hand sanitisers and as a result of the news that only alcohol-based versions are effective against COVID-19, are adding their own alcohol and hoping for the best. As standard alcohol based hand sanitisers do not contain drinking alcohol (ethanol), this is not recommended and will not be as effective as buying a 70% alcohol version from a reputable supplier. 

Buying Hand Sanitiser in South Africa

Speaking of reputable suppliers – if you’re looking for where to buy hand sanitiser in South Africa, G.Fox will be your best bet. Even in the midst of unprecedented demand, they’re continuing to do what they can to service consumers and industries with products that will help during the pandemic, including offering bulk hand sanitiser for sale. 60% and 70% alcohol content versions are available in up to 5 litres per bottle. The 500ml spray bottles are also useful to help clean potentially harmful surfaces. When buying from G.Fox, you’re getting regulation standard versions that will help protect you from not only the spread of coronavirus, but also other viruses too, especially as the winter season looms. 


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