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Frequently asked questions about sanitizers

Handwashing is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick. Get answers to frequently asked questions about using hand sanitizer and antibacterial gel.

Do alcohol-free sanitizers work?

No, alcohol-free sanitizers don’t kill germs on your hands. You need an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that has at least 60 percent alcohol to reduce the number of germs on the hands.

How much hand sanitizer is needed to clean your hands?

Follow the instructions on the bottle of hand sanitizer. Most will instruct you to use an amount the size of a quarter. You need to cover all surfaces of your hands, the top, bottom, fingers, around fingertips and fingernails, and rub up your wrist about two inches.

How long do you rub your hands together when using hand sanitizer?

Rub your hands together for about 15-30 seconds (about the time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday to You song) or until hands feel dry.

Do I have to wait for the hand sanitizer to dry on my skin?

Yes. Rub your hands together until the hand sanitizer feels dry on your skin. DO NOT wave your hands around to dry them because they will pick up microorganisms that are in the air.

Do natural hand sanitizers work?

Research currently indicates that natural or herbal hand sanitizers are NOT effective at killing germs.

Where should hand sanitizer be stored?

Hand sanitizer should be stored out of reach, and sight, of children. It should not be stored above 40°C (for example, it should not be stored in a car during the summer months

Is hand sanitizer flammable?

Yes. Hand sanitizer is flammable and should be stored away from heat or flame. Hand sanitizer should be rubbed into the hands until they feel completely dry before continuing activities that may involve heat, sparks, static electricity, or open flames.

Is hand sanitizer dangerous for children?

For children under six years of age, hand sanitizer should be used with adult supervision. When used according to the directions on the Drug Facts Label, hand sanitizer is not dangerous for children.

Hand sanitizer is dangerous when ingested by children. Drinking only a small amount of hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning in children. However, there is no need to be concerned if your children eat with or lick their hands after using hand sanitizer. It is also important to keep the product out of the eyes.

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