The whole world has suddenly become serious about cleaning, washing hands, and other means of disinfecting.
Yes! The world has changed. We can't be as cool as ever anymore!
In this new world, cleaning and sanitizing is the only way for survival.
The World Health Organization recommended alcohol-based disinfectants to be effective against infectious microbes and microorganisms.
If you are wondering whether the alcohol can kill germs on your skin and surfaces, the answer is YES!
When used in the right concentration, it is highly effective against bacteria and viruses.
Can alcohol actually kill the microbes?
Alcohol kills germs with denaturation and coagulation. It will act on the fat membrane and denature it, and on the protein to coagulate it.
The most commonly used alcohol-based sanitizers contain either ethanol or isopropyl alcohol.
Both are effective in eliminating bacteria and viruses on skin and surfaces. Even though both are used to disinfect, ethyl alcohol is slightly more effective against Viruses.
Why 70% of alcohol is better than 100%?
Many studies have revealed that 100% of alcohol prevents cell death. When it is poured on a single-celled organism, it will immediately coagulate its protein and prevents the further penetration of the alcohol. It is like a defense mechanism as the coagulated protein forms a protective layer and stops the further coagulation of the inner protein. Basically, 100% of alcohol makes the organism dormant but doesn't kill it. When the alcohol is washed off, it is possible that the organism would come back to life!
This process defeats the purpose of using alcohol to kill microbes. Instead, scientists have found a way to trick these microbes with a lower percentage of alcohol.
70% of alcohol also causes protein coagulation, but at a much slower rate. It will help the alcohol to penetrate the entire cell before it had a chance to block it. Thus the entire cell is coagulated and causes cell death.
And also the water used in dilution slows the drying time and generates a longer contact time.
Let's meet the most recommended disinfectant Alcohols in the market.
70% Isopropyl Alcohol
70% Isopropyl alcohol is the most commonly used disinfectant in the pharma industry. 70% solution is the most effective in killing surface microorganisms. It is generally used as hand rubbing alcohol and for equipment surfaces in pharmaceuticals.
70% Ethyl Alcohol
A 70% solution of Ethyl Alcohol kills organisms by denaturing their proteins and dissolving their lipids and is effective against most bacteria, fungi, and many viruses, but is ineffective against bacterial spores. It is used for hands, wound cleaning, sanitizing food making surfaces, and in hospitals.
How to use alcohol effectively?
Concentration is the first and important thing to consider when you are buying alcohol for sanitizing. 70% alcohol is ideal for the purpose. Avoid using 100% spirits.
Usage guidelines for sanitizing hands.
- Make sure that your hands are not visibly dirty.
- Put the sanitizer on one hand.
- Rub your hands together, making sure that you are covering all the areas of both hands with sanitizer.
- Keep rubbing until your hands feel dry.
- Do it every time you touch any exposed surfaces.
For sanitizing the surfaces
- Remove all the visible dirt from the surfaces before disinfecting.
- Wear gloves and open the windows, if possible.
- Wipe the surface and ensure that it is visibly wet for at least 30 seconds.
- Clean the surfaces at least once per day and do it more often if someone around is sick.
According to the global health agency, the most effective way to protect yourself against coronavirus is by frequently cleaning your hands with alcohol-based hand rub or washing them with soap and water for 20 seconds.