The Ultimate Guide to Using Purell Hand Sanitizer (2023)

Purell is a trusted hand sanitizer brand – it’s a staple in hospitals, schools, offices, and bathrooms around the world.

Hand hygiene is now a critical public health tool that we all use to protect ourselves and others from infectious pathogens and viruses. Hand sanitizer became part of our daily lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to be used to combat ongoing challenges like colds, flu, and other illnesses.

Knowing how critical hand hygiene is to our health, it’s important to use the right tools and techniques to effectively get rid of germs.

Read on to learn more about why Purell is a go-to brand for hand sanitizer and how you can use hand sanitizer effectively in your organization.

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What is hand sanitizer?

Hand sanitizer is a hand hygiene substance that, unlike soap, allows you to get clean while you’re on the go without the use of water. It often comes in the form of a gel, liquid, or foam.

Hand sanitizer like Purell is commonly used in public settings or high-traffic areas to disinfect hands for the purpose of killing germs on the skin and limiting or preventing the spread of common pathogens.

Fun Fact: Alcohol has been used as a sanitizing agent since the 1300s, when alcohols were used to clean medical tools or disinfect wounds to protect against infections.

Modern hand sanitizers can be traced back to factory and plant workers who used a waterless hand cleaner to remove harsh chemicals and substances from their hands at the end of their shift.

When did hand sanitizers become commonly used?

The Ultimate Guide to Using Purell Hand Sanitizer (1)

In the 1900s, when hygiene and body cleanliness became common, the daily use of soaps became more common and eventually a matter of public hygiene.

In 2009 when H1N1 was storming the nation and beyond, hand sanitizer became a staple in households and businesses around the world to try to combat the flu.

In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic increased our collective awareness of the relationship between hand hygiene and germs.

Sanitizers like Purell were once again in high demand – to the point where we recently experienced the infamous sanitizer shortage during the early days of the pandemic.

Fortunately, the production of Purell and other hand sanitizing products is on the rise, allowing us to combat seasonal germs and illnesses while we’re out and about.

Have you heard about the tripledemic? Find out how to combat RSV, the flu and COVID-19 in school bathrooms.

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How does hand sanitizer work?

In order to be effective, hand sanitizers must contain between 60% – 95% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol, mixed with water or gels (like glycol and/or glycerin).

There’s a time and a place for using hand sanitizer – in particular, when soap and water aren’t available.

The CDC has created a guide for the use of hand sanitizers to help you determine when and how to use Purell and other hand sanitizers – and when to just use soap and water to have hygienic hands.

Because hand sanitizers contain alcohol, there are tips you should be aware of on the safe ways to use sanitizer.

Follow this guide to learn how to apply hand sanitizer effectively!

Why use hand sanitizer?

There are times that you’re on the move and you don’t have access to a restroom, sink, soap, or water.

In those moments, sanitizer is there to keep your hands clean while you go in search of a proper hand-washing station.

Sanitizer is also highly effective for reducing the spread of contagious illnesses when you’re visiting high-traffic, high-touch areas – such as busy shopping centers and hospitals.

For example, most hospitals have hand sanitizers on both sides of the door when entering and leaving units.

The simple act of taking 30 seconds to sanitize your hands can mean the difference between introducing a contagious pathogen to an entire unit of vulnerable patients and preventing the spread of viruses across a hospital ward.

Here’s 12 tips for using hand sanitizer to effectively remove germs from your hands.

(Video) Purell TFX Touch-Free 1200 mL Hand Sanitizer Dispenser, Gray/White

When to use hand sanitizer

Here’s a short list of times using hand sanitizer can protect you and others:

  • After using the washroom
  • Before handling someone’s food
  • Before and after you eat
  • Before entering a public space with vulnerable people (i.e. hospital, daycare)
  • Immediately leaving a public space with an increased level of germs (i.e. daycare)
  • Before and after using high touch surfaces such as mall door handles
  • Before and after using public transit
  • Multiple times throughout the day if you work with children
  • Multiple times throughout the day if you’re a healthcare professional
  • Multiple times throughout the day if you serve the public
  • While caring for someone in your home who is sick
  • After changing diapers
  • After touching an animal
  • After touching garbage or recycling
  • Before administering first aid
  • After blowing your nose

The Ultimate Guide to Using Purell Hand Sanitizer (2)

What makes Purell hand sanitizer different?

If you think about the many different sanitizers you’ve likely used since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, you would likely agree they aren’t all the same.

Some are too runny, some are too thick and sticky. Some smell like alcohol while others come with overpowering fragrant scents.

That’s why one of the things that makes GOJO’s Purell product stand out is the satisfying hand-feel. Purell’s formula also doesn’t come with an overpowering or distracting odor.

GOJO is one of the first companies well-known to have mixed alcohol and gel in a balanced way to create a cleanser that has just the right amount of gel.

The Ultimate Guide to Using Purell Hand Sanitizer (3)

What is Purell sanitizer made of?

The ingredients of GOJO’s Purell hand sanitizer are:

  • Thickening agents called acrylates (C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer)
  • 70% ethyl alcohol

Prior to GOJO’s efforts to perfect the science behind the sanitizer to create a balance between alcohol and gel, sanitizers were basically just – alcohol: a runny liquid that ran off your hands more than it stayed on, thereby reducing the cleaning effect.

Purell is well known for being less harsh on hands compared to other sanitizer brands, and Purell was deemed the best sanitizer in an Insider article.

Here at Citron Hygiene, we believe in distributing only the best hygiene solutions to reduce infection transmission within organizations, which is why we are a recognized distributor of the Purell brand.

(Video) Purell LTX Hand Sanitizer Stand

Where can you buy Purell hand sanitizer?

If you’re looking for hand sanitizer for on-the-go, or to keep around the home when you’re entertaining company, you can find Purell readily available in most grocery stores, drug stores, and general stores.

If you’re a business seeking to invest in a regular supply of hand sanitizer for high-traffic areas like public restrooms, workplace washrooms, or school bathrooms, you’ll need a commercial distributor like Citron Hygiene.

Where to buy Purell hand sanitizer dispensers

Citron Hygiene’s hand sanitizer dispensers are easily incorporated into any commercial environment – either mounted on the wall or standing in high-traffic areas.

Ensure your employees and visitors can sanitize their hands with easy-to-access, regularly stocked hand sanitizer dispensers.

Having sanitizer on hand has proven reliability in killing germs and leaves no sticky residue!

As distributors, Citron Hygiene offers a range of Purell sanitizer solutions, including:

  • Hand sanitizer stands and wall mounted dispensers
  • Surface sanitizer to keep high-touch areas clean
  • Sanitizer wipes

All of our products are available in durable dispensers that keep products free from cross-contamination with different sizes and capabilities available.

Buy your Purell hand sanitizer dispenser today

If you’re ready to buy a Purell hand sanitizer dispenser, follow these steps:

  • Follow this link to our Hand Hygiene Solutions section on our website
  • Scroll down to read about our Automatic Commercial Hand Sanitizer Dispensers
  • Learn more about our Hand Sanitizer Dispensers and service plans
  • Request a quote that will reflect your unique business needs!

Along with your hand sanitizer dispenser, Citron Hygiene offers a complete suite of services that will help you make sure your business never runs out of sanitizer.

Your health and hygiene are important to us – which is why we take care of everything, so you don’t have to.

Order your Purell hand sanitizer dispensers today – you can also request a FREE trial!

(Video) Purell ES8 Dispensing System: Hand Hygiene That's Always Ready


How many times can you use hand sanitizer before washing your hands? ›

Some people have advocated that you should wash your hands after every four or five uses of alcohol-based hand rub. But, there is no reason to do this. If your hands feel 'grubby' or are visibly dirty, you should wash them with soap and water.

Can I use hand sanitiser instead of rubbing alcohol? ›

This makes rubbing alcohol unpalatable for human consumption. Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer 4LA hand sanitizer is generally a slightly safer, better-smelling product, and often comes in easily-carried bottles or containers. IN other words, you can use rubbing alcohol in place of hand sanitizer.

How do you test the effectiveness of hand sanitizer? ›

The Hair Dryer Test

*Using a hair dryer, dry the sanitiser for 30 seconds. Make sure to let the hair dryer heat up before you start. *In the same way and at the same temperature, dry the water. If the sanitiser has the required amount of alcohol, it will dry up significantly compared to the water.

What is an essential rule when using a sanitiser? ›

Disinfectants kill bacteria and viruses, and should be used on a visibly clean surface. They do not work effectively if the surface is covered in grease or visible dirt. It is also important that you leave the product on the surface for the time specified in the instructions.

Can you touch food after using hand sanitizer? ›

Is it safe to handle food after using an alcohol sanitizer? Using a hand sanitizer before handling food is generally considered safe.

Should you wash your hands with warm or cold water? ›

Use your preferred water temperature – cold or warm – to wash your hands. Warm and cold water remove the same number of germs from your hands. The water helps create soap lather that removes germs from your skin when you wash your hands.

Why are my hands sticky after using hand sanitizer? ›

Stickiness is often due to residue left behind from the sanitiser evaporating.

Can I use hand sanitizer to clean my phone? ›

Protect your screen

Do not use rubbing alcohol, paper towels, compressed air, dish soap or vinegar. All of these can damage your phone: Paper towels can scratch your screen, and vinegar could damage its coating. Do not use hand sanitizer on your phone screen, but do sanitize your hands before touching your phone.

Is it OK to put hand sanitizer on a cut? ›

Alcohol-based hand sanitiser is safe when used correctly. You should use hand sanitiser to clean your hands when you cannot use soap and water. Never put hand gel into your mouth or into open wounds and do not use it on delicate skin like your face.

Why is 70 alcohol better than 100? ›

70% isopropyl alcohol is by far better at killing bacteria and viruses than 99% isopropyl alcohol. As a disinfectant, 70% concentration of alcohol is the most effective at killing pathogens. Any higher or lower percentage will be less effective.

What are the 5 factors that affect a sanitizers effectiveness? ›

Factors Affecting the Efficacy of Disinfection and Sterilization
  • Number and Location of Microorganisms.
  • Innate Resistance of Microorganisms.
  • Concentration and Potency of Disinfectants.
  • Physical and Chemical Factors.
  • Organic and Inorganic Matter.
  • Duration of Exposure.
  • Biofilms.

What is the correct way to check if a sanitizer is too strong or too weak? ›

Use test strips to check the strength of the sanitizer. Make sure it is not too strong or weak.

What are three things that impact the effectiveness of sanitizers? ›

There are several factors that influence the effectiveness of sanitizers. The three factors most often discussed are time, temperature and concentration.

Which is the correct order of the 5 moments of hand hygiene? ›

Moment 1 - before touching a patient. Moment 2 - before a procedure. Moment 3 - after a procedure or body fluid exposure risk. Moment 4 - after touching a patient.

Do you sanitize or disinfect first? ›

Clean surfaces before you sanitize them. Disinfecting kills most germs on surfaces and objects. Disinfecting is done with stronger bleach solutions or chemicals. Clean surfaces before you disinfect them.

What are the 2 stages of effective cleaning? ›

Cleaning needs to be carried out in two stages. First use a cleaning product to remove visible dirt from surfaces and equipment, and rinse. Then disinfect them using the correct dilution and contact time for the disinfectant, after rinse with fresh clean water if required.

What are the three factors that must be considered in chemical sanitizers? ›

To get the most out of your sanitizers, keep three factors in mind: temperature, concentration, and time.
  1. Use sanitizer at the right temperature. ...
  2. Mix sanitizer at the correct concentration. ...
  3. Give the sanitizer time.

How long can dishes sit in sanitizer? ›

"Allow dishes to sit in the solution for 30 seconds, then wash and rinse thoroughly as you normally would." Give your dishes even more time to soak before washing, if you'd like.

How long does hand sanitizer last on the skin? ›

Experts have been doing much research about the use of hand sanitizer, and everything has concluded: wash your hands with soap and water. That's the best thing. Applying hand sanitizer on your hands will only last for about 2 minutes.

How long should dishes sit in sanitizer water? ›

Dishes must be submerged in the sanitizing solution for a minimum of 1 minute.

Should you dry your hands with a disposable paper towel? ›

The World Health Organization (WHO) advises that a disposable towel should be used, if possible, to eliminate bacteria as effectively as possible.

Why is it important to wash hands after using toilet? ›

Keeping hands clean is one of the most important steps we can take to avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. Many diseases and conditions are spread by not washing hands with soap and clean, running water. Feces (poop) from people or animals is an important source of germs like Salmonella, E.

Should you wash your hands after touching dirty laundry? ›

Exposure to germs can occur while handling dirty laundry or transferring wet laundry from the washer to the dryer. It is always a good idea to wash your hands after handling soiled or wet laundry, even in healthy households.

What happens if you inhale too much hand sanitizers? ›

If you inhale hand sanitizer you may develop chemical burns on the insides of your nose. Short-term abuse of hand sanitizer may lead to allergy-like symptoms, while long-term abuse often results in permanent damage to mucous membranes and a loss of smell.

What to add to hand sanitizer to make it less sticky? ›

4. Add in vegetable glycerin if desired. You can play around with the proportions depending on how dry your hands are. If you find that your hand sanitizer leaves a sticky feeling on your skin, then you may want to lessen the amount of glycerin.

How do you treat your hands with too much sanitizer? ›

If you have dry skin from using hand sanitizer, apply moisturizer immediately after your hand sanitizer dries. Handwashing helps to prevent illness, but frequent handwashing can dry your skin. To prevent and heal dry skin, apply a hand cream or ointment after you wash your hands.

What are the steps for hand hygiene using sanitisers? ›

How To Perform Hand Hygiene Using An Alcohol-based Hand Sanitiser
  1. squirt enough alcohol-based hand sanitiser into cupped hands to cover all surfaces.
  2. rub hands together for 10 to 15 seconds.
  3. pay attention to the backs of hands, wrists, between fingers and under fingernails.

Do you use hot or cold water for sanitizer? ›

Temperature: The temperature of the solution is crucial. The water must be warm enough to increase the activity of the solution, but not so hot that it increases the evaporation of the sanitizer. Generally temperatures between 75°F and 120°F allow sanitizers to work properly.

What are the 3 types of hand washing? ›

There are 4 main types of cleansing agent: soap & water, alcohol based hand rub, hand wipes and antiseptic cleansing agents. There are 3 methods of hand decontamination: social, antiseptic hand decontamination and surgical scrub technique.

What are the 6'7 steps of hand hygiene? ›

What are the 7 Steps of Hand Washing?
  1. Step 1: Wet Hands. Wet your hands and apply enough liquid soap to create a good lather. ...
  2. Step 2: Rub Palms Together. ...
  3. Step 3: Rub the Back of Hands. ...
  4. Step 4: Interlink Your Fingers. ...
  5. Step 5: Cup Your Fingers. ...
  6. Step 6: Clean the Thumbs. ...
  7. Step 7: Rub Palms with Your Fingers.
Oct 11, 2019

What are the 5 steps of sanitizing? ›

General procedures for manual cleaning and sanitizing are as follows:
  • Pre-scrape utensils and equipment of food debris.
  • Wash in a warm solution of approved detergent.
  • Rinse in clear water or running water.
  • Sanitize in an acceptable chemical solution or hot (171°F) water.
  • Air dry before reusing.

What are the four steps in a basic hand wash procedure? ›

Follow Five Steps to Wash Your Hands the Right Way
  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. ...
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. ...
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.

Should we wash hands after using sanitizer? ›

Do not wipe or rinse off the hand sanitizer before it is dry. Do not use hand sanitizer if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy; wash your hands with soap and water instead. If you use alcohol-based hand sanitizers, keep these safety tips in mind.

What are the 3 sanitizers? ›

Three primary chemical compounds are used as sanitizers in the food service industry: chlorine-based cleaners, quaternary ammonium and iodine sanitizers. Chlorine is the most commonly used chemical sanitizer agent, since it is highly effective and relatively inexpensive.

Can I put sanitizer on my face? ›

You should also not use hand sanitizer on pimples because of the harsh effects it can have. Your facial skin is very delicate and using ingredients with very strong effects like alcohol can create severe reactions.

What sanitizer do restaurants use? ›

Chlorine – this is the most common type of restaurant sanitizer because of its high effectiveness and relatively low cost. Chlorine sanitizers are considered broad-spectrum germicides and come in various formulations, including liquid chlorine, hypochlorites, and chloramines.

How often should you change sanitizer water? ›

Buckets should be changed every 2-4 hours or more as needed to keep the water clean and the sanitizer effective in use.

What temperature kills germs on hands? ›

In order to kill bacteria on your hands with water alone, you would have to use boiling liquid that would burn you – 212 degrees Fahrenheit or 99.98 degrees Centigrade. In general, the temperature of hot water used for hand washing ranges from 104 to 131 degrees Fahrenheit or 40 to 55 degrees Centigrade.


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