Hand Sanitizer-Types, Handling, Application, Composition, etc

Hand sanitizer (hand rub) is used for the sanitization of our hands. There are two types of hand sanitizers available in the market. One of them is alcohol-based while the other one is an alcohol-free sanitizer. 

Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Vs Alcohol- Free Hand Sanitizer

The comparison or the features between alcohol-based and alcohol-free sanitizers are as follows.

Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer
Recommended by WHO Not recommended by WHO
Alcohol is used Disinfectant such as triclosan is used
Risk of catching fire due to the presence of alcohol Not flammable due to the absence of alcohol
More effective Less effective
Can have a side effect if ingested No side effect

Soap Water Vs Hand Rub

Lets us now see the comparison between the soap water and the hand rub that we use.

Soap  Water Hand Sanitizer
Better germicide Not as good  as soap water
Gets rid of fungus, dirt, and dust Will not work for dust and dirt
Not poisonous Poisonous if inhaled
Not flammable Flammable
  • Soap water will always be a better option in comparison to hand sanitizer.
  • You need to carry a portable sanitizer while going to public places, vehicles, etc.

Alcohol-Based Hand Rub

Alcohol-based hand sanitizer consists of alcohol as the main constituent for the sanitization/disinfection of your hand. It is germicidal in nature and kills around 99% of microorganisms. Alcohol causes denaturation of the micro-organisms. This will cause an alteration of the chemical properties of the germs.

You can find either ethanol or isopropanol-based sanitizer. Sometimes, you can also get a combination of these two alcohols to get their superior properties. Alcohol concentration of 70 to 90 percent is best suitable for sanitization. If the concentration is less than 70%, it will not be effective. If the concentration is more than 90%, it might cause osmosis to your skin cells. This will make your hands dry.

Hand Sanitizer Formulation

(As stated by the World Health Organization WHO)

  • Take a container or jar in which you want to make the sanitizer
  • Pour 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol (99%) into the container.
  • Then add 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (3%) to the alcohol.
  • Also, add 1 teaspoon of glycerin (98%) to the solution.
  • Finally, add 1/6 cup of distilled water into the container and immediately close it.  If you do not have distilled water, then you can use cold boiled water. 
  • Now, gently shake the container and allow it to stay for 72 hours.  
  • Your hand sanitizer is finally ready. 
  • Now pour it from the container to the bottle and use it as per your need.

Types of Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer

(Liquid-Based  Vs Gel Based)

Liquid-Based Hand Sanitizer

Gel Based Hand Sanitizer

Kills germs under 15 seconds of use

Kills germs under 30 seconds of use

Maybe more effective due to quick action

May not be more effective because of the slow response. People may quickly wipe off their hands before 30 seconds of usage.

Dries quickly

Dries slow



I prefer to purchase liquid-based hand rub rather than gel-based.  Liquid-based sanitizer is cheaper and its action is quicker than gel-based. So for me, using a gel-based sanitizer is just a waste of my money.

Besides these two, you may even find foam-based sanitizer, in your market

How to use it?

  • Pour few drops of sanitizer onto your palm.

  • Rub it throughout your hand until it dries out completely. It should take about 15 seconds or more.


  • Alcohol is a flammable and volatile substance. So it should be stored in a cold room.
  • Also, it should be protected from fire, electric sparks, etc.
  • If ingested, this will be poisonous to human health. So, keep it away from the reach of your children.


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