Let’s talk EFFICACY! – What is the effectiveness of your hand sanitizer?

Hand sanitizers are a regular feature of our daily lives. They’re in handbags, schools & hospitals…on desks, at airports and in doorways of shops all around the world.

But not all sanitisers are the same, and we are here to look at the hand sanitizer effectiveness.

There are two main choices when it comes to the hand sanitiser market. The two choices are alcohol based gels, or alcohol free foams.

Let’s look at how each works and the pros and cons of each…then you can make up your own mind, depending on how you use sanitisers in your daily life.


ACTIVE INGREDIENTS: Alcohol or isopropanol. Very similar chemically and are both effective antiseptics. Both proven to kill germs and bacteria.

EFFICACY: should contain 60%-95% alcohol for maximum efficacy. A very high concentration. Both are highly flammable meaning storage and safety concerns.

Safety requirements must be met due to the nature of storing the flammable compounds.

TOXICITY: Both substances can be dangerous if ingested. With the high alcohol concentration, accidental consumption can cause acute alcohol poisoning..

SKINCARE: Strips the skin of moisture and essential oils in the skin. Can cause irritation, dryness and cracking if used frequently.


ACTVE INGREDIENTS: Most alcohol-free products are water based foams & contain Quaternary Ammonium Compounds (QAC’s) as their active ingredient.

EFFICACY: QAC concentration varies, but as little as 0.1% concentration can provide the same protection as alcohol based sanitisers.

Largely a water based solution, often containing plant extracts for additional skincare, it is non-flammable and can be stored very easily.

TOXICITY: and the low concentrations of QACs make it relatively non-toxic. Alcohol free sanitisers should still never be ingested. But are much less toxic if accidentally ingested.

SKINCARE: Being mostly water and plant based, these products are kind to hands. They also continue to protect once dry on the hands, this is because the QAC compounds stay on the skin to provide a protective layer that last longer.

What is the Right Kind of Hand Sanitizer?

Both products do a simliar job of killing harmful viruses. What’s the right sanitiser for you? Probably depends on your budget, personal needs and circumstances…how and when you use sanitiser. 

Here’s a few key things to consider:

  1. Alcohol Free Sanitisers are slightly more inexpensive when you take into account their foaming water based means they last longer and you get more applications per litre. 
  2. Working in an environment like a school, hospital or airport, having low risk of fire is vital, safety and security come first and so alcohol free solutions might bring more peace of mind.

It all depends and it’s all up to you! You decide what is best for you. We are here to try and help you stay well informed, know the difference in the chemisty of sanitisers and make the most informed decisions you can! Education is a key pillar at SANZi, so continue to eductate yourself…stay up to date! 

There is futher reading available here! 

“Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today.”
Malcom X
Are you the person responsible for buying sanitiser in your organisation?

If you need sanitisers for your place of work, your organisation and it’s locations, SANZi can help. If you like the sounds of non-flammable, kinder to hands, low toxicity and a longer lasting protective layer…then we would love to hear from you! 

Take a think about how your company or organisation uses sanitiser and in all it’s contexts, there might be a better way to manage your businesses santisation?


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