Germs and bacteria can easily spread across facilities and in the places where people live, work and play. It is believed that humans come into contact with 300 surfaces every 30 minutes, being exposed to 840,000 germs on a daily basis. From respiratory infections to foodborne illnesses, many sicknesses can be avoided by putting preventative, necessary hygiene measures in place including essential facilities to aid good hand hygiene practices. The CDC states 20% of respiratory infections, including seasonal colds, the coronavirus and others, can be prevented with proper hand washing and/or hand sanitising.
Hand sanitiser solutions can help to prevent disease by removing germs, infection and bacteria gathered on hands through touch. While proper handwashing is essential to fighting off infections, soap and water solutions aren’t always readily available and therefore, hand sanitisers act as an alternative solution to killing harmful germs. Hand sanitiser can be placed around any commercial environment to encourage good hand hygiene at all times, preventing the spread of harmful illness that can heavily affect an organisation.
What is Hand Sanitiser?
Hand sanitiser can come in liquid, foam or gel form. Often containing alcohol content, hand sanitiser is applied to the hands for the purpose of removing pathogens (disease-causing organisms) to prevent the risk of illness.
Why Effective Hand Sanitiser is So Important
Hand sanitisers can be used to control the transmission of infectious diseases. Within a working environment it’s vital employees feel they have access to high quality working hand sanitising solutions to ensure they can rid any bacteria on their hands. Studies found the incorporation of either alcohol-based or alcohol-free hand sanitiser within a school classroom environment has been associated with reductions in absenteeism related to infectious illnesses. In addition, the use of alcohol-based hand sanitiser in the workplace had been associated with a reduction in employee sick days and an improvement in work performance as well as overall improvements in hand hygiene when place within hospital and health care settings. Days off and poor productivity due to illness can lead to lower profitability and less engaged employees so it’s something that should be reduced at all costs.
Without the availability of effective hand sanitising solutions businesses may risk presenting themselves in the wrong light to employees and visitors. Keeping the workplace clean and hygienic has always been an important factor to business success, to deliver great customer experiences and to minimise the number of sick days. Hand sanitisers can help to provide a considerate environment for all who come and go, keeping you in control of infection spread within your business and the wider community.
Businesses that Would Benefit from Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitising dispensers can be useful for a range of different types of businesses from various sectors:
• Retail stores benefit from placing dispensers at entrance points to encourage shoppers to sanitise before entering to minimise the risk of cross contamination between customers.
• Offices benefit from mounting dispensers outside washrooms and around communal spaces to promote good hygiene where water and soap solutions aren’t available.
• Gyms benefit from populating the gym floor with effective hand sanitising solutions to allow members to clean their hands before and after equipment use.
• Schools benefit from hand sanitiser when incorporating dispensers within their facilities to prevent the spread of infection between students and staff.
• Manufacturing and warehousing facilities benefit from effective hand sanitiser dispensers when workers can’t access a washroom easily.
Almost all types of businesses from healthcare to hotels to banks would all benefit from effective hand sanitiser solutions to protect people and reduce infection transmission.
Important things you must know about Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitiser is essential to minimising the risk of illness and the spread of bacteria, working to kill pathogens we come into contact with each day. It’s important to understand the meaning behind hand sanitiser, the importance of hand hygiene, how hand sanitiser actually works and what the best sanitising methods are for your business.
Understanding Hand Sanitiser
Hand sanitiser utilises a Polygiene® antimicrobial technology that kills 99.9% of microbes on contact, such a MRSA, Influenza, E-Coli and the Coronavirus. Hand sanitiser can be the quicker method to hand washing where water and soap solutions aren’t readily available i.e., outside the washroom. For any commercial environment, hand sanitisers are the perfect solution to ensuring all who come and go are protected from illness.
The Spread of Infections
Infections can be spread in a number of ways; in order to maintain excellent hygiene standards and to understand why hand hygiene is so important we need to learn about how infection actually spreads. This will help to spot situations where hand washing is particularly vital.
Person to Person Cross Contamination
Many infections are commonly spread by touch transmission where pathogens are spread onto items that are then touched by others, or directly from one person to another. This is why hand sanitising should be practiced multiple times throughout the day as we are inevitably going to come into contact with thousands and bacteria from the thousands of objects we touch.
Environmental Spread of Bacteria
Some diseases may not be passed from person to person and can actually be contracted through contact with environmental sources such as food, water, animals or soil. It’s vital to ensure standards around food and drink hygiene are high to reduce risk of transmission within your commercial facilities.
Infections similar to the common cold, influenza or the coronavirus are commonly spread through the air as droplets or aerosol particles when people cough, sneeze, talk or as we have recently been advised – even singing. The small droplets they produce contain germs which travel a short distance before falling and can be inhaled but others around causing illness.
Effective air care solutions have been proven to be 99.9% effective against bacteria and viruses, improving air quality and reducing airborne VOC’s.
The Difference Between a Virus and Bacteria
Both bacteria and viruses are types of pathogens; the main difference being their size. Bacteria are tiny microorganisms that are made up by a single cell, with a larger variety of shapes and structural features. Bacteria can live in any environment including the human body. On the other hand, viruses are smaller than bacteria and are parasitic which means they require living cells to grow.
In-effective hygiene methods can cause both bacterial and viral infections to spread. Read our blog on the difference between bacteria and viruses for a more in-depth insight into germs, bacteria and viruses and learn how they can be prevented to keep employees and visitors safe at all times.
How does Hand Sanitiser work?
Hand sanitiser usually contains alcohol which are organic molecules made of carbon, oxygen and hydrogen. Most people immediately picture alcohol being ethanol that’s found in alcoholic drinks however hand sanitiser contains propanol and isopropanol which are highly soluble in water. Alcohol works by killing pathogens by splitting cells and breaking a part proteins or a cell’s metabolism. Alcohol is beneficial as bacteria cannot build a resilience against it therefore it never loses its effectiveness.
How to Clean Hands with Hand Sanitiser
Washing your hands with correct hand washing techniques is the easiest yet most important way to prevent the spread of illness. The hand sanitising procedure should last between 15-30 seconds to ensure all the surface area on your hands has been covered.
1. Apply one measure of hand sanitiser gel/liquid into cupped hands
2. Rubs hands together, palm to palm and create a circular motion
3. Rub one palm over the back of the other hand and interlink fingers, repeat on other side
4. Rub palm to palm with fingers linked
5. Rub back of fingers with fingers interlocked
6. Rub each thumb and rotate around
7. Rub tips of fingers in the opposite palm in a circular motion
8. Once dry, you have successfully sanitised your hands
Download our Hand Cleaning Technique poster to display next to hand sanitiser dispensers, to help employees and visitors wash their hands correctly and effectively each time.
Alcohol vs Non-Alcohol Hand Sanitiser – Is one more effective?
Both alcohol and non-alcohol hand sanitisers work effectively to reduce the risk of illness and disease however there are some differences.
Hand sanitising formulas with alcohol usually contain 60-65% of alcohol and are likely to claim that they can kill up to 99.9% of germs. Many healthcare centres have witnessed higher concentration of alcoholic hand sanitisers more effective than lower alcoholic or non-alcoholic hand sanitisers. Having said this, some have reported that alcoholic hand sanitiser has caused skin dryness. Alcohol-free sanitisers tend to have no fragrance and create a little foam after rubbing hands together and therefore, they tend to be a little easier on the skin as they’re often water based, containing skin conditioner & vitamin E for moistening purposes. Although, latest alcoholic hand sanitisers have actually proven to moisturise as well as sanitise the skin.
Choosing between the two mainly boils down to preferences and what works best for skins type. Perhaps schools and facilities where younger children are present would benefit from alcohol free commercial hand sanitising dispensers as they have a safe, non-sting, non-toxic, non-flammable formula enriched with Aloe Vera and Glycerin moisturisers that are softer on younger, more delicate skin. In a workplace environment, you may want to provide both as you may have some employees who have a preference over one vs the other. Providing both can show consideration towards your employees, guests and visitors.
Types of Hand Sanitiser Solutions
Hand sanitising solutions are available in many different forms including gels, wipes, sprays, liquids or foam. Depending on the needs and preferences of your organisation, there’re a range of variations to choose from however the type of solution you choose may be dependent on the dispenser it will go in. All formulations are designed to keep customers, visitors and employees safe protected.
Read more on how you can combat germs with effective hand sanitiser spray within your organisation.
Alternatives to Hand Sanitiser
Both soap and hand sanitising solutions work to create a safer environment for all who come and go. They shouldn’t replace each-other and your choice of hand solution should depend on location. For example, within the washroom environment effective soap solutions are preferable whereas hand sanitising dispensers can be placed outside the washroom environment where soap and water isn’t available to encourage hand hygiene in various locations of your premises.
Learn more about the battle between soap vs sanitiser and find out how you can prevent the spread of infection with both.
How to Encourage the Use of Hand Sanitiser
It’s important to encourage the use of hand sanitising facilities within your organisation to ensure employees are taking full advantage of methods provided to prevent illness.
Correct placement in your business
Hand sanitiser dispensers should be placed near the germ hotspots within your facility. This is to ensure employees are staying hygienic whilst interacting with the area’s most likely to cause illness. This includes areas such as the communal kitchen, within the office floor, entrances and exits and outside washroom facilities. Hand sanitisers can also be placed in various other locations, usually areas of higher population.
Display Guidance Posters
The value of hygiene education should not be understated especially within a workplace facility. Posters can be displayed near hand sanitising stations, where they’re likely to be most effective, to help promote a healthy working environment and to educate staff on the importance of hand hygiene.
Discover our ‘Please Use Me’ hand sanitiser signs to help visitors and employees practice proper hand hygiene.
Use Hand Sanitiser Dispensers
Hand sanitiser dispensers can be either wall mounted or placed on a stand situated around your facility. They’re easy to incorporate and are aesthetically pleasing, making it easier for businesses to incorporate into a brand image. Hand sanitising dispensers leave no excuse for communities to lack proper hand hygiene practices as they can be clearly visible and accessible by all. Discover the other benefits of using effective hand sanitiser dispensers.
Hand sanitiser dispensers are not always required and you may want to also consider providing bottles of hand cleaner for employees and customers to use. This may be relevant in office settings at desks, hospitality settings e.g. hand sanitiser on tables or supermarkets and retail settings for example.
Automatic vs Manual Hand Sanitiser Dispensers?
Hand sanitiser can either be dispersed in automatic or manual dispensers depending on what your business prefers. Both types of hand sanitisers work effectively in killing bacteria and freshening hands where water isn’t available. They are highly convenient and present a healthy and hygienic environment for all who come and go. However, auto hand sanitising dispensers provide an ultra-hygienic solution for hand sanitising as they limit touch delivering a use-friendly no touch liquid or gel dispensing experience.
Commercial Hand Sanitisers for Your Organisation
When looking for sanitising solutions for your business it’s important to consider what the best solution is for you. With so many hand sanitisers on the market, it’s also important to consider looking for a reputable hygiene services provider that can advise you on the most effective solution for your business.
How Can you Tell if You Are Buying an Effective Hand Sanitiser?
When buying effective hand sanitising dispensers for your facilities it’s important to look for a reputable, reliable hygiene services provider to supply your business with hygiene products that actually work. Find out where your hygiene services company get their supplies – do they come from a reputable source with testing done on the products themselves? Partnering with a hygiene services company that will refill your dispensers on a service instead of buying standalone products from a local supermarket for example can help to ensure you always stay stocked up.
What Type of Commercial Hand Sanitiser Does My Business Need?
Depending on your business’ needs, you should be supplying your employees and visitors with the most effective hygiene methods to ensure good hygiene standards are sustained. This will vary between industries as some hand sanitising methods will work better for your organisation than others. Whether you’re an office facility looking for a touchless automation sanitising dispenser to limit contamination between businesses or a school looking for alcohol free sanitising solution, choosing the right one for your facility is crucial to maximising your hygiene standards.
Expert Opinions on Hand Sanitiser
Infection and prevention control is vital in any commercial environment. Buckinghamshire Healthcare NHS Trust highlights how handwashing is one of the most effective methods of preventing the spread of viruses and bacteria. They provide hand sanitiser for patients at the entrance of wards/departments and at the end of hospital beds to ensure patients can practice hand hygiene at all times.
According to the World Health Organisation (WHO) washing hands with soap and water is effective at killing illnesses however gel sanitisers can also be used where soap isn’t available and work well when paired together.
A Public Health spokeswoman said "Always carry tissues with you and use them to catch your cough or sneeze. Then bin the tissue, and wash your hands, or use a sanitiser gel,"
Continue to encourage such behaviour within every commercial environment and you’ll be on the road to a safer, healthier, more hygienic space for all.
Find out about Citron Hygiene’s Hand Sanitiser Solutions
Citron Hygiene can help you build a safer, hygienic space with effective hand sanitising dispensers proven to successful kill 99.9% viruses and bacteria found on hands. We can help support your business to exceed hygiene expectations with a range of solutions for every organisation.
To find out more about our hygiene services get in touch today and we can discuss your hygiene needs.