Coronavirus: Hand sanitiser DOES expire – how to tell when it’s time to get rid – The Sun

AS the coronavirus outbreak rapidly progresses, most people won't be leaving the house without their trusty bottle of hand sanitiser by their side.

This is because experts are urging people to practice good hand hygiene in a bid to prevent the deadly bug from spreading further.

⚠️ Read our coronavirus live blog for the latest news & updates

In fact, the spread of deadly Covid-19 has seen sales of hand gels surge – with many shops running out or having to ration the hygiene product.

It comes as the number of confirmed cases in the UK has reached 798 today – a staggering jump of 208 in the last 24 hours.

However, many people aren't taking into account the expiry date on their hand gels and if theirs is actually still worth using.

Well, it turns out the minute you pop the top on your hand sanitiser – it starts to lose effectiveness.

That's because the alcohol inside evaporates over time and once it drops below 60 per cent alcohol, it won't be as effective at killing germs.

But don't fear, experts say it usually takes about three years after its manufacture date to fully expire.

And expired hand gels may still have some effectiveness.

Alex Berezow, microbiologist and Vice President of Scientific Communications at the American Council on Science and Health, told Insider: "Some alcohol is better than nothing."

In particular, if a bottle hasn't been opened less of the alcohol will have evaporated – so it could still be effective.

The World Health Organisation says if you use an alcohol-based hand gel, you need to ensure you use it for 20 to 30 seconds.

And if you don't have your mits on any hand sanitiser that's also not a problem, as health bosses say the best way to protect yourself is with soap and water.

They recommend you wash your hands for the time it takes to sing Happy Birthday twice.

Happy Birthday takes about 20 seconds to sing twice and is said to be the perfect number to clean your hands to thoroughly.

Public Health England are also warning people against making their own homemade hand sanitisers, saying they won't actually protect you from the virus.

Dr Nick Phin, deputy director at the National Infection Service, PHE, said: "Proper hand washing is the most effective method and this should be your first choice."

In February alone, it's estimated that hand sanitiser sales were up 255 per cent, according to research company Kantar.

Other kinds of liquid soaps saw sales increase by seven per cent, and ten per cent more was spent on household cleaners.

The demand has seen some second-hand sellers take advantage of the low stock, such as putting hand gel which costs 50p in Lidl for sale on eBay for £40.

Source: Read Full Article