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Find Out How and When to Use Alcohol Gel Sanitizer to Prevent Coronavirus

The novel coronavirus outbreak in Brazil has urged continuous dissemination of preventive hygiene measures, including cleaning of hands with alcohol-based sanitizers (alcohol gel). As a result, this product has vanished off the shelves. Alcohol gel has antiseptic properties that help prevent coronavirus infection. However, the best way to protect yourself is to wash your hands frequently with soap and water.

Just applying alcohol gel on your hands is not enough to disinfect them. You must apply the product thoroughly on all surfaces of both hands and rub them until completely dry. Using alcohol gel on oily or dirty hands (while handling food or paint, for example) decreases its effectiveness.

According to the Brazilian Federal Council of Chemistry (CFQ), Alcohol solutions containing 60%–80% alcohol are most effective for killing virus and bacteria. The 94% alcohol used for general cleaning, for example, may not be much effective on your hands, as it will evaporate fast and lose its ability to effectively kill the microorganisms on your skin.

However, the CFQ advises that people should not produce the solution at home, not only for the risks associated with health, but because it violates the Brazilian legislation.

Alcohol Gel and House Cleaning

While hand hygiene products are antiseptic, household cleaning products are classified as disinfectants. Although both are designed to kill pathogenic microorganisms, their applications are specific – you should not use alcohol gel to clean the house, let alone clean your hands with disinfectants.

The recommendation to handle these disinfectant products with gloves is justified not by excess, but because it requires caution. Household cleaning products can have oxidizing or corrosive properties.

Where Should I Apply/Place Alcohol Gel Sanitizers?

Be strategic about how you use it and place it around. Give preference to places next to high-touch surfaces (such as elevator buttons, handrails) and high-traffic areas like cafeterias and entrances and exits. Avoid placing it near restrooms; in this case, put up posters advising people to wash their hands with water and soap.​

Find Out How and When to Use Alcohol Gel Sanitizer to Prevent Coronavirus