Len Rome’s Local Health: Choosing the right hand sanitizer


You should watch out for certain ingredients and the expiration date

Cropped hands using alcohol-based hand sanitizer in car background

(WYTV) – A thorough washing with soap and water is the best way to get your hands clean of visible dirt and the coronavirus.

A liquid hand sanitizer is your second best option. You can choose from many types of hand sanitizers, but how do you know what products are safe?

When picking one, first check the label and look for the type of alcohol it contains.

“You want to select a hand sanitizer with at least 60%, ideally 70%, ethyl alcohol in it,” said Gregory Poland, M.D., of the Vaccine Research Group, Mayo Clinic. “You do not want a hand sanitizer that has methyl alcohol. Methyl alcohol is a toxin and should not be used.”

Another ingredient to avoid is propanol alcohol, which is also a toxin, but watch for the expiration date.

Like most products, hand sanitizers become less effective over time, as their alcohol content weakens. The ethanol-based hand sanitizers last about three years.

You can always check the Food and Drug Administration’s website to see a list of hand sanitizer products you should pass by.

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