College of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Tips for Using Hand Sanitizer

Good hand hygiene is an important disease-prevention measure that everybody needs to adopt. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends washing your hands with soap and water whenever possible, because hand-washing reduces the amount of all types of germs and chemicals on your hands. However, if soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. 

Remember that hand sanitizer is not a replacement for hand-washing. According the CDC, when hands are heavily stained or greasy, sanitizers may not work well. Read the instructions on your sanitizer and make sure you purchase one that contains at least 60% alcohol.

Follow this process when using hand sanitizer

  1. Apply one or two drops of sanitizer gel into one hand.
  2. Rub your hands together.
  3. Rub the gel over all the surfaces of your hands and fingers for 20 seconds or until your hands are dry.
Caution! The CDC warns that swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning if more than a couple of mouthfuls are swallowed. Keep them out of the reach of young children and supervise their use.

For more information

Contact Jimo Ibrahim, Ph.D., agriculture health and safety specialist, at