Alcohol Based vs Non-Alcohol Based Hand Sanitiser

Hand sanitisers are a vital tool in the prevention of spreading germs and illnesses. While washing your hands with soap and warm water is the most effective way of cleaning your hands, hand sanitiser is one of the best practices for quickly killing the germs on your hands when there is no soap and water. It is also great as an extra precaution afterwards and in day to day life. That is why hand sanitisers are recommended in the kitchens, hospitals, restaurants and washrooms.

Their are two main types of hand sanitisers on the market. Those that are alcohol based and those that are non-alcohol based. Below we will explore the main reasons people chose the different types and what sanitisers gives the best results.

Alcohol Based Hand Sanitisers

Alcohol based hand sanitisers are the most common and have been around for a long time. The tried and trusted sanitiser can wipe out 99.9% of germs in a matter of seconds. As the percentage of alcohol increases the effectiveness of the hand sanitiser increases. It should ideally be around 60-95%. As it has been around longer and has been trusted for so many years it is often considered the more reliable of the two sanitisers. Another benefit of the alcohol based sanitiser is that within 15 seconds of application and hand rubbing the area is dry. One down side may be that alcohol based sanitisers dry out the skin. However quality hand sanitisers now contain solutions to help the hands retain moisture and keep them from drying out. Unlike many non-alcohol based sanitisers, hands can be left feeling clean with no overwhelming smell of perfume or other chemicals.

Non-Alcohol Based Hand Sanitisers

The lack of standardised ingredients in non-alcohol based hand sanitisers means that there is a lack of scientific evidence available to say whether they are just as effective. While some may be more effective in some strains of germs, it is important to note that the CDC reports alcohol-free hand sanitisers may not be as effective for all classes of germs. One often cited benefit from switching to alcohol based hand sanitisers is that some do not strip away the natural oils in your skin. Others include the fact that they can be made completely odour free. Some brands also boast that they give protection from germs for longer. Some even up to 6 hours. Some non-alcoholic based hand sanitisers are not flammable and also do not cause pain when applied over cuts or abrasions. This may be advantageous in some circumstances.

Our Thoughts

Alcohol based hand sanitisers are still our recommendation. Why? There is too much variance in the alcohol free sanitises ingredients with not as much research behind it. Alcohol has been shown to be effective throughout history and has been proven to reduce sickness and the spread of germs to others. It is still recommended by organisations such as the CDC over other solutions. Further, many of the apparent disadvantages from alcohol based hand sanitisers (such as drying out hands) are not relevant when the liquid is high quality with additional ingredients.

”Many studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers” –Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

The solution used in our hand sanitisers are high quality and alcohol based – killing 99.9% of germs. They also do not dry out the skin like some other alcohol based sanitisers. If you would like a quote or have more questions, please call 1800 992 135. Alternatively, use our contact form.