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No evidence alcohol-free hand sanitisers effective against COVID-19

Australians thinking their alcohol-free hand sanitisers are protecting them from COVID-19 should think again, says CHOICE.

The consumer advocate has issued a warning over the efficacy of alcohol-free hand sanitisers, saying there is zero evidence they are effective against COVID-19.

“After CHOICE found a hand sanitiser without enough alcohol to be effective against COVID-19, our members asked us to look at whether any alcohol-free options would work. The simple answer is no,” says CHOICE managing editor Marg Rafferty.

The study revealed that hand sanitiser must contain between 60 per cent and 80 per cent alcohol – depending on the type of alcohol – to be effective against COVID-19.

Products that adhere to the World Health Organisation (WHO) formula should contain at least 80 per cent ethanol or 75 per cent isopropyl alcohol.

“While alcohol-free sanitisers can be effective at killing common bacteria, you shouldn’t rely on them to protect you from COVID-19. For protection against coronavirus you need to use a hand sanitiser that contains between 60 per cent and 80 per cent alcohol,” says Ms Rafferty.

“If you’re out and about and there’s nowhere to wash your hands, and you can’t use an alcohol-based hand sanitiser, an alcohol-free sanitiser is not recommended as an alternative. One of the experts we spoke to suggested filling a drink bottle with water and detergent and using it to thoroughly wash your hands when there are no bathroom facilities available, rather than using alcohol-free sanitiser.”

CHOICE checking the alcohol percentage on the bottle is the best way to ensure efficacy.

However, if information is not on the label or sanitiser is dispensed from an unmarked bottle, “pay attention to how the sanitiser feels on your hands, says CHOICE. “If it’s sticky and doesn’t evaporate off your hands quickly, it may not have the appropriate amount of alcohol needed to kill the virus.

“If your hand sanitiser doesn’t smell of alcohol or feel cool on your skin, be wary and avoid hand sanitisers that only state they kill bacteria or germs, as this doesn’t mean that they will be effective against COVID-19.




Were you ever of the mind that alcohol-free hand sanitisers would be effective against COVID-19?


I use soap and water as the alcohol sanitizer cracks your hands making you more vulnerable.

Also it is important to close the toilet seat after use as the water from hand washing goes into the sewage and when you flush the toilet, the caronovirus can be released.

I have very little confidence in WHO that failed to call a pandemic, only followed Australia a fortnight after it called it.

I agree Suze, soap and water is the best option where you can use it, the WHO cannot be trusted for many things, they are being funded mainly by Bill Gates who stands to make the most money out of this plandemic.

If I were shopping in the Eastern States I would be wearing a pair of examination gloves, I purchased from the chemist when all this fun and games started back in Feb, I wore them for two months.  I only use them now if I have a parcel delivery.  I wipe down the  hand bar tolley with santizer too. 

The only cooked food I would buy is from Miss Mauds here in WA so far.

Good idea Celia, people are mainly using the wipes to wipe down the trolley handles at supermarkets.

I wipe down the entire trolley not just the handle bar and have done so even before COVID-19. I don't want to put my groceries and fresh foods where other people put their kids and even dogs!

Yes more alcohol the better. There are even 7 health benefits drinking vodka. ( moderation) I had some very sad news, my bloid pressure went dangerously high, i had a few vodkas and my blood pressure decreased. Being an old school nurse I understood the danger of a virus. I prepared myself well before WHO. There's no cure for the common cold nor flu. Prevention is better then cure, that's what I learnt in nursing.

I would never recommend the use of alcohol for health problems, best prevention is no alcohol and a wholefood diet. The liver hates alcohol and gets worn out by having to filter it out of the body because it see's it as poison.

Are Long Nails Making You Sick | Nail Luxxe


Washing hands with soap and water is the gold standard of hand hygiene..hand sanitisers with over 60% alcohol if water not available is the next best thing. However, just hand cleaning is not going to sanitise your hands.

Nails whether long or short harbour all sorts or bacteria. Virologists have found that the coronavirus can spread through urine and faeces…a nailbrush is your friend at the sink.


I would think the toxicity of the nail polish is not too good for you either. Good advice about the nail brush, but I cannot see those with long nails using them much, too afraid to ruin their nails.


... but I cannot see those with long nails using them much, too afraid to ruin their nails.

:) Oh so true Incognito.

I hear that Choice voted the Sukin hand sanitizer as the best.

Good ol' soap and water is the best, and wearing gloves, years ago people use to wear gloves a lot and not only in cold weather.


As a nurse we had to have short nails so we did not scratch patients and cause infections. Guess there was a good reason for old fashion methods. 

You are quite  right Jan

I don't know anyone who thought alcohol free sanitisers were effective against the SARS2 virus. Even very early on we were advised that hand washing with plain soap and water was the best option. The soap penetrates the fatty surface layer of the virus killing it and then the water washes it away. Then we were also told that where hand washing was not possible - if you were out for example - then a hand sanitiser with a minumum 70% alcohol content was necessary. Anything less was not going to do anything.

Why is this such a surprise now?

Spot on KSS