The Hand Sanitizer Calculator: How long will your disinfectant last?

Disinfectants are currently in short supply due to the corona pandemic. Those who especially rely on it are anxiously looking at their dwindling reserves: How much longer will your disinfectant last? Use the disinfectant calculator to find out.

What is the proper way to use disinfectant?

As a general rule: To protect yourself from pathogens such as the coronavirus, proper hand washing (at least 30 seconds under warm water and using soap) is more than sufficient.

If you are healthy and live alone, you really don’t need any disinfectant. This is an important piece of information, as there are people who truly depend on disinfectants – like medical practices and hospitals.

Those who wish to disinfect their hands should do so for at least 30 seconds. Apply disinfectant to dry hands. Rub onto the entire hands for at least 30 seconds. Don’t forget the spaces between the fingers! Do not dry your hands afterwards – let them air dry.

Which disinfectants should be used for hands?

It depends on what you want to achieve. Many hand disinfectants and hand gels have an antibacterial effect. This means they work against bacteria, but not against fungi or viruses. Such products are not effective against viruses, such as the coronavirus.

If you want to use a disinfectant that is also effective against viruses such as SARS-CoV-2, the WHO (World Health Organization) recommends that you look for the following characteristics: The hand disinfectant should contain at least 62% ethanol or bear the statement “limited virucidal” or “effective against enveloped viruses”.

The reason: The coronavirus, like other viruses such as influenza, mumps and measles, is a so-called enveloped virus. This is good, as these viruses can be deactivated by disinfectants with the above-mentioned properties.

What if I run out of disinfectant?

If you run out of disinfectant at home, you can simply wash your hands instead. Proper hand washing effectively protects against various pathogens such as the coronavirus, which can lead to the lung disease COVID-19.

On the other hand, it would be quite problematic for people who are dependent on disinfectants and for medical practices and hospitals if their inventory of effective disinfectants ran out. Many companies are currently working on increasing their production of disinfectants. In fact, a number of alcoholic beverage producers have switched their production over from alcohol to disinfectants.