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One of the best ways to protect yourself from infection is to regularly wash your hands with soap and water, but there are times when you don't have immediate access to soap and water, say when you're on public transport or walking to and from work.
In these cases, buying hand sanitiser online to have it on the go could be a great alternative. According to the Department of Health, you should be using a 60-80% alcohol-based hand rub.
Safe and Clean Hand Sanitiser
Biogenic Health Australia
Stay Safe spread good vibes only™
Whether you’re looking to stock up on multiple travel-size bottles, or you’re keen to purchase a huge bottle, see our list of retailers that let you buy in bulk.
The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends using sanitiser as a way to prevent spreading disease, and generally one with an alcohol base is best.
We've compared the best hand sanistier brands here so you can find the best product for you.
Alcohol-based hand sanitisers work by killing germ cells on the surface of your hands, which you may have picked up by doing something as simple as opening a door or handling money.
While according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) it's not quite as effective as washing your hands with soap and water, hand sanitisers with 60-95% alcohol should reduce the growth of germs.
To use it effectively, make sure you're covering the surface of both your hands with the sanitiser and continue rubbing it in until both your hands are dry.
Combined with social distancing, regular hand washing is recommended by the World Health Organization as it can kill viruses that may have be present - whether you've touched something that the virus was sitting on on or have been in close contact with someone who has coronavirus.
If you're to unable to use soap and water, an alcohol-based hand sanitiser can also kill viruses.
Hand sanitiser can help protect you from infection, but it isn't a miracle worker.
Trent Yarwood is an Infectious Diseases Physician and Senior Lecturer at James Cook University and The University of Queensland.
In an article for The Conversation, he said:
"Along with getting vaccinated and staying home if you're sick, washing your hands is the best defence against getting the flu. Installing hand rub in public areas won't solve this year's flu outbreak by itself. But it can be part of a bundle of strategies..."
So while using hand sanitiser can help you fight potential infection, remember it's still much better to wash your hands with soap and water whenever possible.
According to the World Health Organisation, washing your hands properly should take as long as singing "Happy Birthday" twice, which is roughly 20 seconds. Make sure you use soap and warm water, and dry your hands thoroughly afterwards. You can click here for the full WHO guide.
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