Purchasing hand sanitiser as the coronavirus continues to spread
Due to major fears and anxieties caused by the coronavirus spread, the UK is struggling to keep hand sanitisers on the shelves as panic buyers clear the stock from the shelves.
On a global scale, there have been more than 170,000 cases, with over 8,000 of these confirmed in the UK.
This has led to an increased demand for hand sanitiser, especially as the World Health Organisation and the NHS, both recommend the use of alcohol hand sanitisers to fight the spread of the infection.
Shortage in shops and stores
But whether it’s online or in-store, consumers are struggling to get their hands on any anti-bacterial hand gel and are constantly met with “we’re sorry this product is temporarily out of stock.”
Most shops, like Boots have even detailed that the latest restock will be in two weeks time, if there is any left by the time you checkout.
In February alone, hand sanitiser sales were up by 255 per cent, according to Kantar. As the demand for the product has been so high, Watchdog have even announced there has been an influx of second-hand sellers taking advantage of the low stock levels and reselling it on internet sites like eBay for £40.
In some cases, where retailers like Superdrug have not run out of stock only have hand sanitisers available for click and collect, with some orders not being available for two weeks or more.
Where can I buy hand sanitiser?
For key workers, hand sanitiser is an essential item. For those, who are unable to access a sink, like for example on public transport, hand sanitiser is useful to limit the spread of the virus.
But getting hand sanitiser is now proven to be difficult. Places like Asda, Tesco, Morrisons and Sainsburys are all experiencing low stock levels or no stock whatsoever online. With many customers taking their chance in stores to find shelves empty.
Other online retail giants like eBay and Amazon have hand sanitisers listed but at inflated prices. Making it extremely accessible for the majority of the public.
However, there are still a few independent suppliers out there and legitimate health companies not trying to take advantage of the breakout. Companies like Hunter Medical are selling 100ml and 50ml bottles of hand sanitisers in bulk, helping to reduce panic buying and allowing more vulnerable customers the chance to stock up. Purchase it here.
Should I stock up on hand sanitiser?
Stores across the country have not put restrictions and limits in place to stop people buying huge amounts of hand wash and hygiene products at one time. Not only for hygiene products, but across their product range too.
This has been put in place to make it fair for all shoppers, whilst trying to reduce the risk of people reselling the products at higher prices online. But that does not mean that it has gotten easier to get these products as more and more people react to the virus.
Hunter Medical display on their website:
The maximum order value is listed as £125, which means you can buy at least three packs (30 50ml bottles).
This will ensure you have enough hand sanitiser to get you through the outbreak and even allows you to pass on and share to family and friends, who are otherwise finding it difficult to purchase hygiene products.
How to use hand gel
One of the main hospitals in London, Guy’s has advised to pump two squirts of the hand gel into the palms of your hand. From there you should rub all the surfaces of your hands together, just as you would wash your hands in the sink.
Allow for the hand rub to dry, this can take up to 30 seconds. It’s important that you do not wet your hands afterwards, or it will wash the hand gel off.
How many times should you use your hand gel?
It’s critical to use your hand gel after your hands come into contact with anything new.
These can include:
- Getting in and out the car
- Returning from a supermarket
- Before touching door handles, keys and windows
- Before you come into contact with someone new
- After you use your work computer
- Touching anything on public transport
Can I make my own hand sanitiser?
You certainly can, however medical professionals do not recommend you do.
Whilst it can possibly be effective at killing off bacterias, many experts have advised against the use of homemade hand sanitisers.
Alcohol is one of the main ingredients in most common hand sanitisers, however, it is finely mixed with moisturisers in order not to be harmful to the skin.
The effects of too much alcohol on your skin can severely damage your hands and strip your skin of essential natural oils.
Plus, as it’s really important to get the balance right and ensure the alcohol content is more than 60 per cent, it can greatly affect the safety of others you come into contact with.
It’s critical to follow medical and health experts advice on this, especially when it comes to transferring and spreading the disease further.
Health experts, instead, advise washing hands with soap or hand sanitisers. It will be the safest option.
Sally Bloomfield, a professor at The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine commented that “It’s very unwise, dangerous, even.”
Is hand washing better than hand sanitiser?
Preventing the spread of the disease is best done by practicing diligent hand hygiene. Even if you think your hands look clean, they can in fact be carrying some very dangerous germs.
Washing your hands in the sink is somewhat the same as using hand sanitiser, except that alcohol-based hand sanitisers with an alcohol content of 70 percent are proven to kill any traces of the virus within 30 seconds.