A study conducted by Japanese researchers at the Kyoto Prefectural University of Medicine has discovered that germs carrying the flu virus can withstand the alcohol found in hand sanitisers longer than we first assumed.
After applying the flu virus to the hands of 10 participants, researchers applied an ethanol-based sanitiser to their hands and found that it takes up to four minutes of the hand sanitiser sitting directly on top of the germs for the virus to be neutralised. The findings suggest that as long as wet mucus, such as from sneezing or couching, is on your hands – the virus is infectious.
Unfortunately, sanitiser is only effective when used correctly, and that means using a liberal amount on both hands and rubbing it in until it has completely evaporated, usually for around 20 seconds or more. And if there are bodily fluids on your hands, such as saliva, you actually have to rinse your hands off before applying hand sanitiser for the product to be effective.
It seems washing our hands with antibacterial soap is still the most effective way to ward off germs.
How to wash your hands correctly
According to Healthdirect, to wash hands correctly you should:
- Remove all jewellery
- Wet hands under water
- Apply soap
- Rub hands together, covering all surfaces such as between the fingers, nails and backs of hands for 20 seconds
- Rinse hands to remove all soap
- Turn off tap using backs of hands or paper towel
- Dry hands with clean paper towel, cloth or air dryer.
You might also like: