Hand sanitizer prevent covid19 infection. These days everyone is looking for hand sanitizers to prevent infection from covid19. The question is, is the hand sanitizer is a disinfectant to be used against Covid19? Only when it has disinfectant property it could prevent you from getting microbial, viral, fungal or plasmodium infections. Disinfectant can be specific or universal. When the disinfectant is intended only for killing microbes then it is not effective against fungal. When universal, one need to look at the effective concentration of disinfectant in the hand sanitizer against all the intended infection type.

Please do not use any hand sanitizer believing it could prevent you from Covid19. Hand sanitizer prevent covid19 infection must be selected properly.  Please do not do your own DIY hand sanitizer at home because if concentration is wrong it is not effective. Furthermore many DIY hand sanitizer include essential oils and fragrance which might reduce the disinfectant potency and it will not protect you against Covid19. Some essential oil and other ingredients might not be compatible and could jeopardize the anti-viral effect. Many of these hand sanitizers also use Aloe Vera. It is used for only soothing and moisturizing effect since alcohol is harsh to the skin. Don’t be confused Aloe Vera for effective Covid19 removal since the concentration of Aloe Vera used is very little and it is not effective against Covid19. In many cases the gel could be synthetically produced and it is not even Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera is a moisturizer molecule and not a disinfectant for hand sanitizer prevent covid19 infection.

If it is not a disinfectant than it only works as a hand hygiene wash. Therefore one need to know for which purpose they are using the sanitizer. These days in almost all the cases, they are using it in preventing themselves from getting Covid19.  Therefore it is important to look at the ingredients of the hand sanitation if it behaves as a disinfectant or a hygiene wash. If it behaves as a disinfectant, check the ingredients and make sure these ingredients have the specific anti infection activity you are looking for.

If you find it does not have disinfectant ingredients than it is better to use soap and running water from the tap. Soap and running water from tap does not kill the germs but water will mechanically remove the germs. Water combined with soap will effectively pull germs and removes it.

These ingredients are also known as active ingredients. Some manufacturer will include 2 or more actives in making their hand sanitization. Following are the different type of ingredients commonly used in hand sanitizer and their properties as disinfection is elaborated:

Ingredients with disinfectant properties – Alcohol based

  1. Alcohol

Alcohol kills most bacteria, fungal and stop many viruses. It must contain at least 70% alcohol. It eliminates 99.9% bacteria on hands in 30 second

Ingredients with disinfectant properties – Non Alcohol based

  1. Chlorhexidine gluconate at 0.5%.

On its own, it is not effective to most bacteria and viruses but if it is combined with alcohol, it is more effective. It is effective against a broad range of gram positive, gram negative , fungal and enveloped viruses.

  1. Benzelkonium chloride (BAC) 

It is used in non-alcohol based hand sanitizer. It is effective against bacteria but limited activity against viruses. It is ineffective against enveloped type of virus and Corono virus is an enveloped type virus.  CDC have stated BAC is not as effective against corona virus.

  1. Triclosan

It is detrimental to the body’s endocrine system and FDA have banned it use at the end of 2017

Ingredients with disinfectant properties – Plant or natural based

At current time there are many plant actives showing anti-microbial, anti-viral and fungal activity but at which concentration is a big question mark. There isn’t much scientific evidence to support at which concentration they are effective to act as an efficient disinfectant. Peer reviewed scientific journal shows that Diterpenoids, sesquiterpenoids, triterpenoids, lignoids and curcumin were shown to inhibit SARS-CoV in the range of 3–10 µM. An extract from the leaves of Toona sinensis Roem inhibited SARS-CoV replication with EC50 values ranging from 30 to 40 µg/ml and SI values ranging from 12 to 17.

Therefore how much interest you have in using plant based hand sanitizer, please refrain because the concentration utilized is not known.  This information is missing in almost all the manufactured hand sanitizer as disinfectant.