How to Use Hand Sanitizer Correctly: Tips from Your Pharmacist

Hand sanitizer

The most effective method of preventing the spread of bacteria and illness is by washing your hands with soap and water. Yet sometimes it’s difficult to find soap and water, especially when you’re out and about, in a public place, or at work. Use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer as a suitable replacement to wipe your hands. For information on hand sanitizers and stopping the transmission of germs, your pharmacist is a great resource.

Hand Sanitizer

Most disease-causing germs can be killed by hand sanitizers, which come in the form of liquids, foams, or gels. Alcohol serves as the primary element in efficient hand sanitizers. To function properly, hand sanitizers must contain at least 60% alcohol.

Use Hand Sanitizer for What Reasons and When?

There are germs on the surfaces all around you. You spread disease-causing bacteria by touching surfaces, then your nose, mouth, or the hands of other people. To ensure everyone’s safety, wash your hands frequently. You should use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer if water and soap are not accessible.

You should wash your hands after contracting something unclean and before handling anything that might contain food or medication. When using the restroom, blowing your nose, handling animals, or touching garbage, for instance, washing your hands. Also, it’s crucial to wash your hands before attending the hospital, caring for sick or hurt family members, or caring for yourself. Try to always use soap and water for hands that are obviously dirty.

  • Put hand sanitizer in your hand’s palm (around a teaspoon— enough to cover all surfaces)
  • Rub your hands collectively to coat each surface (front and back)
  • Rub your hands for at least 15 to 30 seconds more.
  • Do not remove the hand sanitizer by wiping the hands; instead, let them dry by rubbing.

Hand Sanitizers: Are They Safe?

  • The majority of alcohol-based hand sanitizers are acceptable to use on the skin of the hands, but they should not be consumed or applied to the eyes. Take precautions to keep it out of children’s reach and away from your eyes.
  • If the hand sanitizer accidentally goes in your eye, gently rinse them for 15 to 20 minutes under running water. After rinsing, if you experience redness and irritation, contact your healthcare provider or pharmacist.
  • Call poison control right away if you accidentally drink hand sanitizer (1-800-222-1222). Also, talk to your physician or pharmacist as well.


Hazardous ingredients including methanol, 1-propanol, benzene, acetaldehyde, or acetal may be present in some hand sanitizers. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) examines commonly available hand sanitizers and maintains a list of items you should avoid using if they include certain substances. Inspect the product label for these components and look it up on the FDA’s comprehensive list here to see if your hand sanitizer is safe. If you have any inquiries concerning hand sanitizers, you can also speak with your pharmacist