How does antibacterial hand gel work?

31 January 2020

How does antibacterial hand gel work?

How Does Antibacterial Hand Gel Kill A Virus?

How does it work?

Generally, we use hand sanitiser gel for instant hand hygiene in between thorough hand washes with soap and water - but how do they actually work?

An enveloped virus refers to a virus which has nucleic acid coated in a layer of lipids which can be dissolved with use of soap or hand sanitisers. The active ingredient in the product promotes the breakdown of this protective layer, preventing a virus from attaching to our healthy cells.

The main ingredient in many hand sanitisers is alcohol, some contain up to 70% alcohol along with emollients and water - these added elements give the skin moisture to improve penetration of the active ingredient. Our guide to choosing the right hand sanitiser explains more about how emollients contribute to achieving the desired forumlation of hand sanitiser.

Read this article to learn more about how hand sanitisers work.

Instant hand sanitisers introduced a quicker and more convenient way of washing hands, reducing the accesibility issues that come with needing soap and a water supply whilst out and about. Prevention is the first step we can all take as individuals to help stop the spread of diseases and germs we could be carrying. Hand sanitiser is staple product in the wide array of infection control solutions we can introduce into our everyday routines along with face masks, gloves and surface wipes.

It's important to note that hand sanitisers can't fight all germs and you should still aim to wash your hands with soap and hot water regularly for at least 15-20 seconds to keep infection at bay and protect yourself and others.

How To Use Hand Sanitiser

How do i use it?

We are exposed to germs every day, which are mainly carried on our hands that come into direct contact with the mouth, nose and eyes. The best way to reduce the spread of germs and prevent infection is to ensure you are regularly cleansing your hands and using a good quality hand sanitiser in the correct way;

  1. Take off any rings or jewellery
  2. Apply product on dry hands - see the product label for recommended amount
  3. Rub hands together for around 20 seconds until they are dry
  4. Repeat whenever you make contact with people, objects and surfaces throughout the day

Avoid touching your face and try to keep physical contact with others to a minimum when you're out and about, that means no hand shaking or high-fives!


Does it matter which hand gel I use?

Using a good quality hand sanitiser is one of the best ways to guarantee protection against germs and viruses that live on the skin on our hands. Although you may be tempted by cheaper alternatives, the low price comes at a high cost to your health and protection against germs. Cheaper substandard hand sanitiser gels are manufactured using a high alcohol content and use this as the basis of their selling approach. Beware of these kinds of products which are being heavily advertised during the pandemic.

You can usually spot these cheaper harsh alternatives from the very thin consistency and strong alcohol scent. Professionals at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention state that only 60% alcohol is necessary to work against germs and viruses, a higher alcohol content will only dry out your hands. Dry or chapped hands are more susceptible to infections and can accommodate increased germs and pathogens.

According to an article from The Washington Post - washing dry hands is less effective at reducing bacteria than washing hydrated hands as the breaks in the skin barrier welcome germs and bacteria. When skin is moist, it can better protect you from germs and reduces the transmission of germs.

At Steroplast Healthcare, we care about what goes into our products and provide our customers with only the highest quality, tried and tested products that meet British Standards. Our hand sanitiser formulas contain 70% alcohol, moisturisers, and emollients to provide special skin protection. We have been developing and manufacturing our products for over 25 years and know what it takes to make a product that is worth investing in – that's why we are trusted by the NHS and healthcare professionals.

We only sell hand sanitiser formulations which contain moisturising benefits to reduce drying of the skin which is commonly associated to instant hand sanitisers. Even with regular use, our products will ensure that the skin barrier is protected and hydrated, further reducing the risk of infection. Emollients are added to our hand sanitiser formulations to soften the skin with a protective film which traps in moisture – they are often used in products to manage skin conditions such as eczema and psoriasis. Our hand gels have been dermatologically tested and are suitable for regular use and on sensitive skin.



Don't settle for low quality alternatives - your skin will thank you!

We recommend using only the best quality, tried and tested products to keep your hands clean, refreshed and free from germs throughout the day...

Sterosan Hand Sanitising Rub

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Our Sterosan Hand Sanitising Rub is made with a proven tried and tested formula that is a favourite for many of our customers - available in a sturdy 500ml dispenser for frequent use.

It's unique formula has been dermatologically tested and includes moisturisers and added emollients providing special skin protection that won't dry out your hands with continued use, making it suitable for use on sensitive skin.

Other key product features include:

  • It can kill up to 99.999% of germs
  • Medical grade
  • Leak-proof
  • 1-2 sprays is all you need
  • Conforms to the EN1500 Standard
  • Available in handy 50ml size or ultra-stable 500ml dispenser
  • Ideal for multiple users in care homes, doctors surgeries and physiotherapists
  • Testing performed by the Hospital Infection Research Laboratory
  • Bulk-buy options available


Sterosan Hand Sanitising Rub 500ml

This ultra-stable domed 500ml dispenser aids single handed operation as it wont tip over. This product comes in a pack of 6, making it easy to bulk buy hand gel,  ideal for multiple users in care homes, doctors’ surgeries, physiotherapists etc.


*For all distributor pricing and enquiries, call 0161 902 3030 or email


Water Jel Hand Sanitiser

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Make hand hygeine a priority in your office, workplace or shared living enviroments - this Water Jel antibacterial hand sanitiser kills 99.9% of germs, making it a quick solution to keeping hands clean throughout the day, introducing it to your routine between hand washes could drastically reduce your risk of infection.

The high alcohol content in most hand sanitisers can dry out your hands, causing cracks in the skin and increasing the chance of infection. This skin-friendly formulation contains aloe vera and vitamin E, making it suitable for repeated use.

Other key product features include:

  • Kills 99.9% of germs
  • Contains 62% Ethyl Alcohol
  • Perfect size for first aid kits and medical response bags
  • The solution to fighting germs and risk of contamination
  • Cleans, refreshes, and kills germs
  • Easy to use bottles with flip-top seal lid - can be used one-handed
  • Added Vitamin E and Aloe Vera
  • Available in packs of 6 or 24
  • Bulk-buy options available

This product comes in packs of 6 or 24 making it easy to stock up on hand gel– ideal for multiple individual users to keep with them for on-the-go hand hygiene; at home, in the office, car or whilst out and about.


*For all distributor pricing and enquiries, call 0161 902 3030 or email


Did you know that hand sanitiser can become less effective againts germs and viruses over time? If it's time for you to replace an expired bottle of hand sanitiser, these recommendations are available to buy in bulk and with next-day delivery options.


If you would like more information about our range of hand sanitisers, or for any other infection control needs, request a callback with one of our experts or get in touch using the form below


Hand hygiene is an important part of the individual action we can all take to protect against everyday germs. See our full range of recommended products for everything you need to protect yourself and others against infections, including face masksapronsgloves, PPE packs and surface wipes.

Stock up on these products now to make sure you are equipped to prevent the spread of infections. 

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