We are all aware of the amount of potentially dangerous germs there are on all the many surfaces we need to touch. Simply going to the store puts you in contact with things that countless other people have already handled. Many people keep convenient and easy hand sanitizer with them and with the recent focus on staying healthy there have been many places of businesses supplying hand sanitizing stations for both their employees and customers to use. However, we’ve been bombarded with a variety of brands in the past couple of years when there used to be only a few. It seemed as though everyone was making their own version of a hand sanitizer, so how is anyone supposed to know which one is best? We at Cleaning King decided to take a closer look at a few of these options to make that decision a little easier.
Purell is likely the most recognizable of the hand sanitizers. It was invented in 1988 and first introduced in 1997 and has made its way into hospitals, schools, businesses, and homes across the world. This product boasts 70% Ethyl Alcohol in its ingredient list. Other ingredients are added for protecting skin from the harsh drying tendencies of alcohol, such as glycerin, and Isopropyl alcohol as well.
Purell was originally made by GOJO, a company founded in the US in 1946, then acquired by Johnson & Johnson, then repurchased by GOJO. For a while, Purell advertised that their hand sanitizer could kill some other dangerous health scares, such as MRSA, but recently the FDA has warned all hand sanitizing companies that they can’t make that claim until there is solid evidence of its truth.
Germ-X is made by Vi-Jon Laboratories. Its original formula for hand sanitizer uses 63% Ethyl alcohol as its bacteria busting ingredient. This is certainly enough to kill most germs, including the recent threat of Covid-19 while being gentler on the skin than a higher concentration, but Vi-Jon also offers a Germ-X Advanced that contains 70% to contend with their Purell competitor.
Another great thing about Germ-X is the price. To some, Germ-X is known as the cheap Purell, but this doesn’t mean that it’s not as good. It’s just as effective, although fewer people like the smell. Both Germ-x and Purell make versions of their products that contain Aloe or other ingredients that are known to be beneficial to the skin, but we have yet to see that it actually improves it.w
Made by Young Living, a company that places a high priority and focus on natural and gentler options for several personal care products, Thieves contains 65% Ethyl alcohol, qualifying it for effectiveness against Covid-19. It also contains therapeutic level essential oils.
Young Living follows a Seed to Seal practice, knowing the sources and processing of their products to ensure the entirety of the manufacturing process fits their standards and goals of natural and green friendly conduct. We find that the smell of their hand sanitizer is another big plus. It smells great! The biggest drawback to this product is the price. It’s easily the most expensive of the three, but we understand this is because of the high-quality ingredients being used.
Because Cleaning King wants to make sure we do things correctly, we decided to look to the experts to understand the best directions for the application of hand sanitizer. The CDC recommends that you place the directed amount of sanitizer into the palm of your hand, then rub it between your two hands until both are entirely covered, making sure to cover all the surfaces of your hands. Continue rubbing until your hands are dry, which should take about 20 seconds.
It needs to be noted that hand sanitizer does not remove grime from your hands. It kills germs, but any dirt, grime, or potentially harmful substances will still be there, just with a layer of sanitizer on top. When dealing with food or when handling materials that may be dangerous to your health or irritating to your skin, you should always wash your hands with soap and water. If your hands are covered in dirt from something such as working in a garden or in construction, or if they have oil-like substances from automotive or machine maintenance, hand sanitizer won’t be as effective as well.
It also should be noted that hand sanitizers contain a large amount of alcohol, more than what a regular drink at the bar contains. There have been situations of alcohol poisoning when these hand cleansers have been swallowed, so they should never be given to small children. Likewise, they are also unsafe to put on your face, especially near your eyes. No products with alcohol should go anywhere near your eyes.
In order for the sanitizer to be effective against Covid-19, it must contain at least 60% of alcohol. All three of the hand sanitizers we’re comparing kill 99.99% of germs and will protect against Covid-19. In fact, they all contain more than 60%. Whichever kind you use, you should use it correctly.
Some people began making their own at home and if you’re tempted to do so, you should understand that both Ethyl alcohol and Isopropyl alcohol can be used, but not methanol, also called wood alcohol, and 1-propanol should never be used as ingredients in homemade hand sanitizer as they are both toxic.
All three of these hand sanitizers are very similar and that’s for the simple reason that they all use the same active ingredient. While they have varying inactive ingredients that determine other factors, such as scent, skin care, or their consideration of planet friendly thinking, they will all do the job well enough.
Thieves hand sanitizer is great and we really love how it doesn’t dry out our hands as the other two do, but that price is way too high for something that needs to be used often. The smell is great and we feel good using this hand rub. We also love that Young Living makes a point of maintaining a clean and green product, but with how much more it costs we believe it isn’t practical.
Purell is great, and most people are happy with the smell. Some even like it. Purell is a trusted brand and has changed its formula over time to be as safe and pleasant as possible. They do also offer a great variety of options in terms of using their products that increase their convenience.
Germ-X is our choice of hand sanitizer. Those of us with more sensitive skin and therefore more likely to have issues with dried out hands can use the lower percentage of the Germ-X original formula, but those who want the same strength of Purell can use the Germ-x Advanced. While the smell isn’t the best out of the three, it’s wasn’t unpleasant and while it doesn’t feel as nice on the skin as the Thieves sanitizer, we were able to go with the lower alcohol percentage which helped. While all three have their benefits and it was extremely difficult to choose only one, we had to weigh the pros and cons and Germ-X came out on top.
Purell is made by GOJO, Germ-X is made by Vi-Jon, and Thieves is made by Young Living.
Alcohol is effective at killing many viruses, including the Coronavirus. While no sanitizers will kill every virus known to man, they are highly effective in sanitizing skin. They must be used correctly and you need to practice other clean habits to reduce the chances of you becoming infected. Hand sanitizers are great for those situations when you can’t wash your hands or are on the go.
It does expire and usually, that will be in two to three years. However, unlike some foods and medicines, hand sanitizer is not dangerous if it expires. Because the main ingredient is alcohol, this alcohol will eventually evaporate to the point of the percentage becoming lower than the 60% effective limit. This doesn’t mean that as soon as your hand sanitizer expires, it’s no longer going to work. The amount of evaporation is dependent on where you keep it, how often it’s opened, and the beginning percentage of alcohol.
Yes, it is. Because of the high alcohol percentage, you need to keep it away from open flame, and if you’ve just applied it to your hands, you should avoid putting your hands near open flame.
Hand sanitizer isn’t too picky about how you store it. It should be kept where children or animals can’t get to it and it should be kept in a place that won’t get hotter than 105°F.