Each of us can help stop the spread of COVID-19 disease by washing our hands regularly with soap and water for 20 seconds – especially after going to the bathroom, before eating, and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing your nose. If soap and water are not available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommend that consumers use alcohol-based hand sanitizers containing at least 60% alcohol.

Do not use hand sanitizer if your hands are visibly dirty or greasy; wash your hands with soap and water instead.

The alcohol in hand sanitizer works best when you rub the sanitizer all over your hands, making sure to get between your fingers and on the back of your hands. Do not wipe or rinse off the hand sanitizer before it is dry.

Keep hand sanitizer out of the reach of pets and children, and children should use it only with adult supervision. It is poisonous if swallowed.

Although sanitizer may be hard to find at stores, don’t make your own. If made incorrectly, hand sanitizer can be ineffective – or worse, like causing skin burns.

Also, adding alcohol to non-alcohol hand sanitizer is unlikely to be effective. And using disinfectant sprays or wipes on your skin may cause skin and eye irritation. Disinfectant sprays and wipes are intended to clean surfaces, not people or animals.

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