Squashing Germs Sans the Sting: Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizers Do the Trick!

Ever since the pandemic started, we’ve been using alcohol-based hand sanitizers to keep ourselves safe. Now that these products are becoming scarce, you might wonder if there are any alternatives. Thankfully, research has finally begun to catch up with what works and what doesn’t against the virus, and that includes hand sanitizer too. So, how important is alcohol in reducing your risk of a COVID-19 infection?

Killing Coronavirus: Alcohol or No Alcohol

It turns out that the alcohol content in hand sanitizers might not be as important as originally believed. Brigham Young University scientists have been busy exploring the effectiveness of other options, including benzalkonium chloride, which is commonly used in alcohol-free hand sanitizers.

Before conducting their research, the scientists speculated that the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had initially advised using alcohol-based hand sanitizers simply because of limited data on other options. With a new virus like SARS-CoV-2 (the virus that causes COVID-19), even the CDC can occasionally find themselves lacking clear information.

The researchers treated samples of the novel coronavirus with benzalkonium chloride, as well as several other compounds typically found in disinfectants. They found that in most test cases, these compounds eliminated at least 99.9% of the virus within 15 seconds.

Lead study author Benjamin Ogilvie stated, “Our results indicate that alcohol-free hand sanitizer works just as well, so we could, maybe even should, be using it to control COVID.” For those worried about flu or cold viruses, rest assured, alcohol-free hand sanitizers have already been proven effective against them.

Advantages of Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizers

There are several notable advantages to using alcohol-free hand sanitizers. These include:

  • No burning sensation on hands
  • Less irritation, making it easier to use more often
  • More options to choose from, alleviating potential shortages

These points also help to combat the empty shelves where alcohol-based options used to be in high demand. Instead, people can confidently purchase and use alcohol-free hand sanitizers that were previously overlooked.

Overall, it’s clear that the use of hand sanitizer itself is crucial in fighting the virus that causes COVID, regardless of whether or not it contains alcohol. So next time you’re shopping for hand sanitizer, don’t worry if you can’t find the alcohol-based ones – the alcohol-free options are just as effective in combating COVID-19.

Other Prevention Measures

Of course, using hand sanitizer is just one part of a comprehensive strategy to prevent the spread of COVID-19. It’s also important to:

  • Wear masks in public places and maintain social distance
  • Wash your hands frequently with soap and water for at least 20 seconds
  • Avoid touching your face, especially your eyes, nose, and mouth
  • Clean and disinfect frequently-touched surfaces daily

For further information on how to protect yourself and others from COVID-19, please follow the CDC guidelines.

In summary, while alcohol-based hand sanitizers have been the go-to product for people during the pandemic, research now shows that alcohol-free options can be just as effective in killing the virus. With the advantage of being more gentle on the skin and offering more options to choose from, alcohol-free hand sanitizers should be considered as a reliable alternative, making it easier for everyone to stay safe and healthy.