"I was asked today whether I made hand sanitiser, and while the answer is no I don’t I feel that maybe this is an opportunity to educate."
So I'm editing this post as I do now make a hand sanitiser but the rest of this blog still applys!!!
Washing your hands with soap and water reduces the amount of germs and chemicals on your hands, using hand sanitiser is NOT a substitution for washing your hands.
Only when soap and water are not available is it recommended to use a sanitiser which has a minimum of 60% alcohol. Studies show that hand sanitisers can reduce the number of microbes on hands however they do not eliminate all germs. Hand sanitisers work well in clinical environments such as hospitals, however may not be effective when hands are greasy or heavily soiled.
Wash your hands in clean running water avoid using a basin or sink of water as hands could become recontaminated. The surfactants in soap lift the microbes from the skin and by creating a lather and scrubbing your hands you create friction which helps move the dirt and germs. Make sure when washing you get the backs of the hands between fingers and under the nails. Then rinse your hands under running water. Dry your hands thoroughly afterwards germs can be transferred more easily from wet hands.
And I do not recommend you make your own unless you actually know what you are doing. Here is a great video with Greg Dickinson joined by Dr Alexander Edwards, Associate Professor in Biomedical Technology from Reading School of Pharmacy interview/video of why you shouldn't!