13 May 2020
The Best Bet: Liquid vs. Gel Hand Sanitiser
In 2020, the world has gotten all the more acclimated to hand sanitiser thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic. Something that may have been more geared to the “hypersensitive” in the past has now become a common household item, and vital in the fight against the spread of the coronavirus. Hand sanitiser comes in liquid and gel forms, but which one is most effective in keeping the germs at bay? While it’s hard to generalise about all the different types of bacteria out there (the total tally running into the millions), we can take a closer look at the difference between the two, while also delving a little deeper in the the effectiveness of hand sanitiser, and why it is an important tool for us to help curb any future pandemics that generations to come may need to face.
The Effectiveness of Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitiser is typically used to decrease infectious agents on the surfaces of the hands, while also preventing the spread of germs from one hand to the next. Depending on the type of sanitiser you buy, the effectiveness against the protection against microorganisms may vary, largely determined by whether you’re buying an alcohol based or alcohol-free product. The World Health Organisation has recommended hand sanitiser containing more than 70% alcohol as the best possible preventative measure against the containment of COVID-19. This may vary with future strains, but is a safe bet for the time being based on what experts are sharing at this stage.
The Key Disinfectant Ingredient: Alcohol
It’s worth taking a closer look at alcohol based hand sanitiser, especially in light of its importance in worldwide attempts to flatten the curve during the pandemic. Alcohol is a great combatant against most microorganisms, but not spores. Consisting of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen in the form of organic molecules, the alcohol used in hand sanitizers is not the same as ethanol, which is commonly referred to as drinking alcohol. Propanol and isopropanol are common in disinfectants because they are highly soluble in water, which helps to increase their efficiency. When using an alcohol based product, remember to avoid any exposure to an open flame, like a gas stove or braai.
Liquid vs. Gel Hand Sanitiser: What’s The Difference?
Now that you know a bit more about the composition of hand sanitiser and how effective it is, you may be wondering about the difference between liquid and gel hand sanitiser. In a nutshell, liquids tend to act more rapidly (roughly 15 seconds), leaving less residual substance on the surface of the hands. Gels need a longer period (30 seconds) to act, which can result in reduced compliance. If someone dabs gel hand sanitiser on their hands, giving it a quick rub and wiping it off, effectiveness is greatly reduced. This is an important distinction, that goes hand in hand with the notion that we should be spending upwards of 20 seconds washing our hands, especially now that we know that anything less is ineffective in killing the germs that may be lingering on the surfaces of our hands.
Buying Sanitizers and Hand Wipes
Whether you prefer to get your hands on liquid or gel hand sanitiser, you’re going to need a reputable supplier that won’t let you down even in times of increased demand. G.Fox is a local company that was quick to act in the wake of the pandemic, releasing liquid and gel hand sanitiser in both alcohol and non-alcohol variants. Some of these can even be bought in bulk, and they also sell 400ml bottles for if you need to use the sanitiser across multiple people at home, or at the office. Their cloth wipes are also handy to keep in your bag during the course of your day, especially as the world starts to emerge out of lockdown, and the world starts getting used to the new normal.