Handwashing with soap and water is the single most effective way of avoiding Covid-19. However, when you're on the go it can be really hard to find a tap and place to wash your hands properly. This is when an alcohol-based gel or spray comes in really handy.
Is Squeaky Clean always the best way to go?
At Washpool we've long held an 'as natural as possible' position when it comes to formulation. However, we have ALSO prided ourselves on being deeply thoughtful in our choices, basing our ingredient selection on quality research, years of experience, formal study and consultation with experts in the field.
Sometimes there's an overwhelming argument for including a synthetic ingredient in a product and hand sanitisers are a good case in point. Simply put, if we want the product to be as effective as possible we need to utilise a proven, skin safe (synthetic) ingredient rather than put ourselves, our loved ones or our community at risk. Safety is the higher value, so we choose the best formulation for the task rather than hold doggedly to an 'only natural' rule.
The last thing we want is for people to be placing faith in formulas that may be 'all-natural' but run the risk of causing skin sensitization or not working as they're claimed to do.
So - what are the critical factors needed in a good hand sanitiser?
We need a high percentage of alcohol (ours is 70%). Lower and higher percentages of alcohol have been demonstrated to be less effective.
We need the formula to spread easily and stay on long enough to be in contact with the organism we're trying to destroy. This is why our sanitiser is formulated as a gel. We need it to coat the hands and stay reasonably wet for at least 20 seconds to be effective. This is where the synthetic gelling agent comes into play. There are not many options for creating a gel naturally in a high alcohol formula so the best choice is a skin safe synthetic gelling agent.
When it comes to a sanitising spray, the formulation is not gelled because it's designed to be spritzed on hard surfaces. It still has the ideal alcohol content of 70%.
This is not a time for googling homemade formulas, buying from people who do not have the knowledge or experience needed to formulate safely or those who are happy to cynically sell anything they can to make a fast dollar.
This crisis calls for taking advice from authorities whose recommendations are backed up by real evidence - the science.
If you would like to read further on the topic, may we suggest the following:
- ABC: As coronavirus spreads, what you need to know about handwashing and the power of simple soap and water
- World Heath Organisation: WHO-recommended Handrub Formulations
- Centers for Disease Contol & Infection: Show Me the Science – When & How to Use Hand Sanitizer in Community Settings
- Insider: Hand sanitizer is selling out, but soap is a much better defense against the coronavirus
We are limiting these to 5 per order to ensure more customers can access these products.
Update 18/3: we have sold out but will be packing more within the next week. Choose the PreOrder option if you'd like to guarantee your order.