When it comes to keeping your hands clean and free from germs, using soap and water is the most effective method. However, hand gel sanitisers are your next best (and most convenient) option for those times when neither are available, such as:

  • At the supermarket, having touched a trolley.
  • When using public transport.
  • After shaking hands with someone.
  • While at your desk or workspace.

It’s important to note that hand gel sanitisers do not eliminate all types of germs, but instead they can quickly reduce the number of pathogens on your hands. This is why an alcohol concentration between 60-95% is most effective, as studies have found that anything below this will only reduce the growth of germs instead of killing them.

Similarly, hand gel sanitisers are not effective on every pathogen, and won’t be able to clean your hands if they are visibly dirty, greasy, or have come into contact with chemicals. If this is the case, clean water with soap should be sought and used.

The effectiveness of a hand gel sanitiser is based on the alcohol concentration, amount used, and proper application technique – that should last at least 60 seconds. For a quick look at the correct way to use hand gel sanitisers, watch our animation.