Choose a hand sanitizer with at least 60-percent alcohol. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands, but according to the CDC they do not eliminate all types of germs. Hand sanitizer with less than 60-percent alcohol may not work as well for many types of germs and it tends to just reduce the number of germs verses destroying them.
Hand washing is more effective than hand sanitizer at removing certain kinds of germs like norovirus, Clostridium difficile, and Cryptosporidium. But hand sanitizer that is alcohol-based can inactivate many types of germs effectively when used correctly.
How to Use Hand Sanitizer
The CDC guidelines for using hand sanitizer include applying the product into the palm of one hand. Read the label to know the correct amount to pour. Next, rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry.
It is unclear if using hand sanitizer past its expiration date is just as effective.