Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Natural Hand Sanitizer Vs. Alcohol Hand Sanitizer

It seems all everyone is talking about at the moment - at least on the playground - is the flu. There's an abundance of questions out there and we decided to put ours directly to Dr. Larry Weiss, the Stanford-educated MD behind our new Cleanwell all-natural hand sanitizer, and get a clear understanding of the facts about fighting germs - naturally.

Is a natural hand sanitizer like Cleanwell as effective in fighting germs as traditional alcohol-based products?
Alcohol is not the only effective germicide. In fact there are many classes of chemicals that are laboratory documented germicides including the Thyme Oil based active ingredient in CleanWell. It is a not-uncommon mistake to misinterpret the warning that alcohol based products must be greater than 62% alcohol to be effective as an indication that nothing else would be effective.

CleanWell natural hand sanitizer is a safe and effective product proven in independent laboratory studies to perform as well as alcohol based products. So you can confidently use CleanWell just as you would an alcohol hand sanitizer. In fact CleanWell hand sanitizers are registered with Natural Health Products (NHP) in Canada and exceed the efficacy requirements for Human-Use Antiseptics as per Health Canada's Natural Health Products Directorate.

How do you know Cleanwell instant hand sanitizer really does kill germs?
Cleanwell hand cleaner has been tested against a wide range of germs by one of the top independent microbiology labs in the US, using methodology accepted by the FDA and EPA and in compliance with GLP (Good Laboratory Practices) standards. It has been proven to kill 99.99% of germs on contact, including MRSA (resistant Staph), E. Coli and Salmonella.

Is Cleanwell effective in fighting H1N1?

The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates this category of products in the United States and restricts all products, including alcohol, from making any antiviral claims especially H1N1 claims. This is a policy decision and doesn’t mean that the products aren’t effective against the virus, only that any company that makes such claims is subject to enforcement action including fines and product seizure. Although Health Canada permits antiviral claims on these products, CleanWell is a US based company and it is our policy to comply with all FDA regulations. As such, we make no antiviral claims on CleanWell hand sanitizers.

Fortunately, Orthomyxyovirus, the family of viruses that includes Influenza A is relatively fragile and easily killed or inactivated by most germicides. ((H1N1 is the currently accepted designation for the Swine Flu which belongs to the Influenza A family of viruses.) Not surprisingly, the key to effective prevention is compliance with good personal hygiene practice. The foundation of good personal hygiene is hand washing with soap and water. However, since this is not always readily available when the risk of exposure is high during cold and flu season, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends the use of both alcohol and non-alcohol based hand sanitizers.

Is Cleanwell safe for kids?
With no artificial chemical agents, Cleanwell hand cleaner is safe for kids, pets and those with sensitive skin. It is safe to touch, inhale and expose to food surfaces. The hand sanitizer dispenser-spray system and small pocket size make it easy for kids to apply the right amount of sanitizer - two sprays - every time. Cleanwell is made with a patented formulation of natural essential plant oils. These ingredients are all recognized as safe by the FDA, and have been safely used by people around the world for centuries.

With Cleanwell
alcohol-free hand sanitizer, there is also no risk to ingestion, especially by kids.

What's the best way to avoid getting sick - washing my hands or using a hand sanitizer?
Whenever it is available, good hand washing is your best way to prevent infection. Period. Hand sanitizers serve a very specific purpose in the personal hygiene toolkit and that is to provide a level of prevention when soap and water are unavailable and the risk of illness is high. However, just like soap and water, hand sanitizers only work if they are used properly. CleanWell offers the benefits of the alcohol based products to those who don’t or won’t use the alcohol products because they don’t like them. A substantial number of people don’t like the drying or fixative effect that alcohol has on their skin and for them CleanWell is a safe and effective alternative.

Cleanwell natural hand sanitizer is available in two scents: original and orange vanilla at Vancouver-based Lavish & Lime. Learn more about Cleanwell here. Save $3 on a 6-pack now.

If you have a question you'd like to ask Dr. Weiss, post it below and we'll be sure to get an answer from him for you. If you have any other thoughts or ideas about the flu, H1N1 or how to prevent it, please let us know by leaving a comment below.


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