Q: Is hand sanitizer effective against COVID-19?
A:  YES! The best way to prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of getting sick is by washing your hands with plain soap and water for atleast 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 75% alcohol.


Q: Where can I buy hand sanitizer? If I can’t find it in the store, can I make my own?

A: Many retail stores and pharmacies sell hand sanitizers.  WHO recommends that consumers do not make their own hand sanitizer. If made incorrectly, hand sanitizer can be ineffective, and there have been reports of skin burns from homemade hand sanitizer.


Q: Many surface cleaners and disinfectants say they can be used against SARS-CoV-2. What does this mean? Can I use these products on my hands or body to prevent or treat the virus?
Always follow the instructions on household cleaners. Do not use disinfectant sprays or wipes on your skin because they may cause skin and eye irritation. Disinfectant sprays or wipes are not intended for use on humans or animals. Disinfectant sprays or wipes are intended for use on hard, non-porous surfaces.


Q: Where should hand sanitizer be stored?
Hand sanitizer should be stored out of reach, and sight, of children. It should not be stored above 105°F (for example, it should not be stored in a car during the summer months).


Q: How long do you rub your hands together when using hand sanitizer?
Rub your hands together for about 15-30 seconds (about the time it takes to sing the Happy Birthday to You song) or until hands feel dry.

Q: Do I have to wait for the hand sanitizer to dry on my skin?
Yes. Rub your hands together until the hand sanitizer feels dry on your skin. DO NOT wave your hands around to dry them because they will pick up microorganisms that are in the air.

Q: Do natural hand sanitizers work?
Research currently indicates that natural or herbal hand sanitizers are NOT effective at killing germs.


Q: Is hand sanitizer dangerous for children?
For children under six years of age, hand sanitizer should be used with adult supervision. Hand sanitizer is dangerous when ingested by children. Drinking only a small amount of hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning in children. However, there is no need to be concerned if your children eat with or lick their hands after using hand sanitizer. It is also important to keep the product out of the eyes.

Q: Is a sanitizer a disinfectant?

A:Sanitizer is a chemical that is designed to kill some bacteria and some viruses that can cause disease in humans or animals. These chemicals are not as strong as disinfectants, which makes them safe to use on skin. If you’re disinfecting a hard surface or object use a disinfectant not a sanitizer.


Q: Where in the home is it most important to use a disinfectant or antibacterial cleaner?

A: Areas of food preparation should be cleaned and disinfected on a daily basis. It’s a good idea to clean and disinfect moist surfaces such as sinks and toilets at least every few days, because germs can grow rapidly in a moist environment. If someone is sick, daily cleaning and disinfection are recommended. More frequent disinfection can also help guard the health of those especially vulnerable to infection, such as young children, the elderly, people just home from the hospital or those with chronic serious illnesses.


Q: How can I protect myself and others when using disinfectants?

A: Disinfectant solutions should always be prepared in well-ventilated areas. Wash your hands after using any disinfectant, including surface wipes. Keep lids tightly closed when not in use. Spills and accidents are more likely to happen when containers are open. Do not allow children to use disinfectant wipes. Keep cleaning fluids and disinfectants out of the reach of children and pets.
Throw away disposable items like gloves and masks if they are used during cleaning. Do not clean and re-use.
Do not use disinfectant wipes to clean hands or as baby wipes.


Q:What areas should be prioritized for disinfection in non-health care settings?

A: Disinfection practices are important to reduce the potential for COVID-19 virus contamination in non-healthcare settings, such as in the home, office, schools, gyms, publicly accessible buildings, faith-based community centres, markets, transportation and business settings or restaurants. High-touch surfaces in these non-health care settings should be identified for priority disinfection such as door and window handles, kitchen and food preparation areas, counter tops, bathroom surfaces, toilets and taps, touchscreen personal devices, personal computer keyboards, and work surfaces.


Q:Which surface disinfectants are effective against COVID-19 in non-health care setting environments?

A:In non-health care settings, sodium hypochlorite (bleach / chlorine) may be used at a recommended concentration of 1% - 1.2%. Alcohol at 70-90% can also be used for surface disinfection. Surfaces must be cleaned with water and soap or a detergent first to remove dirt, followed by disinfection.  Cleaning should always start from the least soiled (cleanest) area to the most soiled (dirtiest) area in order to not spread the dirty to areas that are less soiled.

All disinfectant solutions should be stored in opaque containers, in a well-ventilated, covered area that is not exposed to direct sunlight and ideally should be freshly prepared every day.


Q: Can I use the same disinfecting wipe on multiple surfaces?

A:No. Disinfecting wipes are designed to be used on a single surface and then disposed in a rubbish bin (not flushed down the toilet). If you use a disinfecting wipe on multiple surfaces it will lose its effectiveness and may even transfer germs from one surface to another.