Alcohol free hand sanitizer. Does it work?

raiyanaraiyana Member
edited February 6 in General
Increasing number of coronavirus cases in my country caused very limited stocks of hand sanitizers. Some sellers sell non-alcohol based hand sanitizers, particularly for children.

Does non-alcohol based hand sanitizer work to kill germs? These hand sanitizers are made of plant extracts and/or essential oils. Apart from alcohol, what other ingredients proven to safely sanitize hands?

Comments

  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    Isopropanol, n-propanol, hydrogen peroxide, bleach, iodine solutions, and blends thereof... plant extracts and essential oils might help against bacteria but won't be good enough against viruses.
  • Image result for dettol
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  • Dettol is great though! I use dettol wipes to clean boxes and wipe the bottles with my ingredients.
  • It IS good. I never understood why it's not sold in the USA, which is still using more primitive substitutes.
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  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Belassi - what's the active ingredient in it?

  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    @Perry I guess it's based on PCMX and then other ingredients like castor oil soap, IPA, etc. 
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    And that's why, in the wake of 2019-nCoV, alcohol is still the gold standard. PCMX and all other phenol derivatives don't work against viruses. They're okay as toilet cleaners and are used in several countries as household cleaners too. Me, I don't like Dettol but my wife loves it.
  • AgateAgate Member
    Also be sure to use 70% ethanol as a bare minimum. Better and WHO-recommended is a concentration of 75-85%. High ethanol concentrations are especially important for virucidal action. Furthermore, ethanol is more effective against viruses than isopropyl alcohol. ("Ethanol, the most common alcohol ingredient, appears to be the most effective against viruses; whereas, the propanols have a better bactericidal activity than ethanol." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513254/)

  • @Perry, the active ingredient is chloroxylenol. I understand it’s the main ingredient in all dettol products. They have a variety of household cleansers and sanitizing wipes and are very popular in the UK.
  • Bill_TogeBill_Toge Member, Professional Chemist
    edited February 10
    at sufficiently high concentrations, chlorhexidine will basically nuke microorganisms from orbit, which is why it's used as a surgical disinfectant
    and for what it's worth, Dettol is sold in the USA, but under the brand name Lysol
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  • Chemist77Chemist77 Member, PCF student
    @Bill_Toge Absolutely. I do formulate 4% active surgical scrub but for a regular sanitizer haven't found anything on chlorhexidine. 
  • GuntherGunther Member
    edited February 12
    Agate said:
    Also be sure to use 70% ethanol as a bare minimum. Better and WHO-recommended is a concentration of 75-85%. High ethanol concentrations are especially important for virucidal action. Furthermore, ethanol is more effective against viruses than isopropyl alcohol. ("Ethanol, the most common alcohol ingredient, appears to be the most effective against viruses; whereas, the propanols have a better bactericidal activity than ethanol." https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK513254/)

    Another advantage to using ABHS is that they are often less irritating to the hands. Excessive hand washing with soap and water can cause skin damage and increase the risk for infections. Drying hands with a towel removes pathogens first by friction during rubbing with the drying material and then by wicking away the moisture into that material. The CDC recommends the use of alcohol-based hand rubs containing various emollients and other skin conditioners instead of irritating soaps and detergents as a strategy to reduce skin damage, dryness, and irritation. Damage to the skin can change the skin flora, resulting in more frequent colonization by staphylococci and gram-negative bacilli. Irritant contact dermatitis was lowest with well-formulated, alcohol-based hand rubs containing emollients and other skin conditioners when compared to other methods of hand hygiene according to several studies. This is especially true for healthcare workers, who may wash their hands more than 30 times per shift. Nevertheless, it is recognized that even products containing emollients along with the alcohol may cause a momentary stinging sensation if there are any cuts or abrasions present on the hands. Allergic contact dermatitis associated with alcohol-based hand rubs is uncommon.[2][9][10]
  • chemicalmattchemicalmatt Member, Professional Chemist
    I'll weigh in here - and heads up Bill Toge - the British invented use of PCMX with phenoxyethanol (turbocharges its effectiveness) during the 1st World War to sanitize latrines and keep their soldiers from succumbing to the Spanish influenza. British university training helps the world again! It was in the BP (British Pharmacopaia) for years, then ignored here in the States during the 1980s when the other disinfectants came to fore. PCMX is accepted in every country, it is still effective, does NOT contribute to MIRSA or any other negative outcome. I use it (with phenoxyethanol) in HBA products to this day as a broad-spectrum preservative with great success. It has an odor issue and works better above pH7.0 but use it to fend off CVI?  You bet! 
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