March 20, 2012 : Why I Choose Hand Sanitizing Wipes over Hand Sanitizer

Why I Choose Hand Sanitizing Wipes over Hand Sanitizer

Why I Choose Hand Sanitizing Wipes over Hand Sanitizer

Today’s consumer has a wide array of products to choose from when it comes to sanitizing their hands.  I have been asked many times why I prefer hand sanitizing wipes over hand sanitizer.  For purposes of this discussion, I am considering hand sanitizer and hand sanitizing wipes with the exact same active ingredient, ethyl alcohol.  The active ingredient in many hand sanitizing products is ethyl alcohol, although hand sanitizing wipes and hand sanitizer are available with various active ingredients.  Simply put, I prefer to use a hand sanitizing wipe because of the wiping motion with the wipe material that helps pull soil from my hands. 
If my hands are visibly soiled and I can’t wash with soap and water, a hand sanitizing wipe allows for at least some of the soil to be removed.  I often will use two wipes if my hands are visibly soiled with the idea being that the first wipe is for cleaning the hands and the second wipe is for sanitizing the hands.  If I simply applied hand sanitizer gel to my hand, I am not removing any of the soil unless it is dripping off of my hands.  I have nothing against hand sanitizer as it is a great hand hygiene tool that has been proven to reduce germs on hands when used according to labeled directions.  It’s the wiping of the hands with the hand sanitizing wipe I prefer.  I typically carry the
Sani-Hands individual hand sanitizing wipes or the Purell Cottony Soft Sanitizing Wipes so I am always prepared when it’s time to sanitize my hands!

What do you prefer to use when sanitizing your hands?

Written by:  Sherman McDonald

March 16, 2012 : Top 10 Occasions to use Hand Sanitizing Wipes

Top 10 Occasions to use Hand Sanitizing Wipes

Top 10 Occasions to use Hand Sanitizing Wipes

Why Use Hand Sanitizing Wipes at all?

You may think that a disposable hand sanitizing wipe is the best way to clean and sanitize your hands.  The truth is many experts point to the traditional approach of using soap and water to properly clean your hands.  I certainly can’t argue with that logic, personally I prefer soap and water over hand sanitizing wipes when I have the choice between the two.  The fact is there are many occasions when soap and water are not available and clean hands are a must.  I thought I would define the Top 10 Occasions to use hand sanitizing wipes based on my 25 yrs. of experience in the world of hand hygiene.   

Top 10 Occasions to Use Hand Sanitizing Wipes

1.       Restaurant

Hand sanitizing wipes come in handy once you have placed your food order as the menu may have germs that have transferred onto your hands.  The other objects that are of particular interest to me are the salt and pepper shaker, the mustard and ketchup bottle, and any other item found on the table.  I always use a hand sanitizing wipe just before I begin to eat, even if I have visited the restroom and washed my hands thoroughly.  Sanitizing your hands before touching your food is a must.

2.       Pharmacy

This is a favorite one for me.  At the pharmacy I use, you must sign for your prescription when picking it up.  What a way to catch a cold if you’re not careful.  How many sick folks have visited the pharmacy that day to pick up their meds and had to sign for their script?  That ink pen or electronic pen is most likely loaded with germs.  I always wipe my hands down with a hand sanitizing wipe after leaving the pharmacy.

3.       Doctor’s Office

The same thought process for the pharmacy is true for the doctor’s office.  The only difference is that many of those sick folks visiting the pharmacy started out at the doctor’s office first.  Always, always, always, use a hand sanitizing wipe once you have left the doctor’s office.

4.       Hospital

This one is a no brainer.  You just never know what you might encounter at the hospital.  Taking the time to wipes those hands down with a hand sanitizing wipe once you leave the hospital is a great idea.

5.       Sporting Events

You are sitting at the baseball stadium getting ready to eat that hot dog you just purchased.  Since you washed your hands in the stadium restroom 20 minutes ago you have touched several dirty surfaces such as a hand rail, arms of the stadium seat, money you used to pay for your hot dog and you also picked up something off of the ground.  Your hands are not visibly dirty and you really do not want to walk back to the restroom to wash your hands.  Grab a hand sanitizing wipe before you start to eat that hot dog. 

6.       Diaper Changing

You’re out for a stroll with your family and you need to change your child’s diaper.  No soap and water in sight.  Grab a hand sanitizing wipe when you’re done with that diaper and enjoy the rest of your walk.

7.       Picnic

You’re out for a day at the park with your kids and it’s time to eat.  Before you sit the little guys down, grab a hand sanitizing wipe to clean those hands before they start to eat.

8.       Fishing

Out on the boat for a day of fishing and you just baited your hook with a worm.  It’s suddenly time for lunch and you wash your hands with some lake water but you’re not quite sure your hands are clean enough to eat with, grab a hand sanitizing wipe.  You might just want to grab two and get those paws really clean!

9.       On the Plane

Traveling on an airplane can present numerous obstacles with keeping your hands clean.  You can read more on our blog entry titled Hand Sanitizing Wipes for Air Travel which covers the big picture related to keeping your hands clean while traveling via the air.  I personally carry a number of hand sanitizing wipes when traveling, both for on the airplane but also for all of those other times I will need to clean and sanitize my hands while I am away.

10.   School Lunch

As a father of four children, I always told my wife that the kids brought home every bug under the sun.  Kids today are constantly engaged with their cell phone, which I am convinced never gets cleaned properly.  They typically do not practice good hand hygiene and can bring home colds to share with the rest of the family.  I like to think that the sharing of a “cold” may have been prevented if they had practiced good hand hygiene at school.  When they sit down to eat their lunch at school, I have to believe a large number of kids have not visited the washroom to clean their hands properly.  Having a hand sanitizing wipe that they can use is a great idea.  There are even products that are designed with kids in mind like Sani-Hands for Kids instant hand sanitizing wipes.   Schools should have these wipes available for all kids as they enter into the lunch room. 

I am sure there are many more occasions when hand sanitizing wipes would be the ideal solution to maintaining proper hand hygiene.  What are some of the occasions you find hand sanitizing wipes beneficial?

Written by:  Sherman McDonald

March 15, 2012 : Hand Sanitizing Wipes for Air Travel

Hand Sanitizing Wipes for Air Travel

Hand Sanitizing Wipes for Air Travel

Getting to the Gate

Traveling through the air presents many challenges to today’s traveler.  Finding suitable airport parking, checking your luggage, and getting through security are enough to stress most travelers more than they care to be.  I find air travel to be a hygienic obstacle course as well.  By the time you have reached your gate your hands have come into contact with various items that are most certainly contaminated with germs.  When you pass your driver’s license and boarding pass to the airline representative or TSA agent, you are exchanging bacteria via your hands.  Did you ever wonder why the TSA folks wear disposable gloves?  As you move through the security process and on to your departure gate you touch a number of items that have germs on them.  For example, the tub you placed your laptop in, your shoes, your carry-on luggage, and the hand rail on the automated walkway.  Those items most likely have enough germs on them to start a germ farm!  Now comes time for you to take a moment and grab a quick bite before reaching your gate.  Once you order your food you hand your credit card to the restaurant employee and sign the receipt with a pen that has been touched by the last 250 customers.  When you grabbed that sandwich out of the bag did you think about washing your hands?  Oh yes you say, however, I didn’t want to drag my carry-on luggage and my sandwich into the restroom just to wash my hands, so I ate my sandwich and hoped I didn’t catch anything from all of those germ infested surfaces I touched getting to this point in my travel day.  Hand sanitizing wipes are the answer to this hectic scenario played out daily by the traveling public.  Can’t get to a hand wash sink to use soap and water, grab an individually packaged instant hand sanitizing wipe and get those grubby paws of yours as clean and sanitized as possible.  You may want to consider using two of them just to be sure you get those hands really clean.  I know, alcohol gels are good for this application too, however, from my experience they do not do a good job of removing soil on my hands.  In my opinion, hand sanitizing wipes have a distinct advantage over hand sanitizing gels in that they can actually remove soil from your hands while gels just move that soil around on your hands.

Aboard the Plane

Now you have made it on the plane.  Let’s review the number of things your hands have come into contact since you had your sandwich.  Well, your carry-on luggage is a good start.  Remember when you rushed away from the security check point with your carry-on luggage?  You may recall that you had just come into contact with a plethora of soiled surfaces and while doing so you had to continuously touch your carry-on luggage.  Now that you have carried your luggage onto the plane, touched the latch on the overhead compartment, put your seat belt on, and touched the armrest on your seat, guess what, your hands are loaded with those nasty little germs again.  When the flight attendant comes by to offer you that drink and snack, you think, oh I had better go wash my hands, however, the flight attendant is between you and the restroom not to mention the two passengers seated between you and the aisle.  Oh well, I guess I need to grab another individually packaged travel wipe before I eat that snack.

What about the Restroom?

Ever try to wash your hands at the sink in an airplane restroom?  Good luck with that.  Turning the faucet off once you’re done washing, opening the door latch, and turning the door handle on your way out of the restroom leaves your hands in a mess again.  Even if you can get out of the restroom with clean hands, they are soiled again as soon as you put your seat belt back on.  That old seat belt buckle may be just loaded with germs waiting to get on your hands.  That’s why I always use a hand sanitizing wipe after I return to my seat and have buckled up. I like to keep my hands as clean as possible just in case I decide to snack on those peanuts the flight attendant dropped off a few minutes ago.

Washing your hands with soap and water is not always a possibility.  When I need to clean and sanitize my hands when water is not available or when I need to reach that level of clean I am comfortable with, I always grab an instant hand sanitizing wipeMy favorite options are the Sani-Hands and Purell Cottony Soft individually packaged hand sanitizing wipes.

What do you use to keep your hands clean when you travel by air?

Written by:  Sherman McDonald



Health and Fitness