It can be a challenge to find hand cleaning products that are safe for the environment, with many sanitisers containing abrasive chemicals that can dry out and damage your skin. In this context, it’s worth looking for non-toxic cleaners, as well as sanitisers that are made using essential oils; alternatively, you can make your own hand cleaner at home to take with you when you go out. Above all, though, you should try to use or invest in hand dryers and sanitisers for work and the home.
1. Make Sure You Use the Latest Sanitiser Dispensers and Dryers. If you run a business, or work in a public place, it’s important to boost the environmental footprint of your hand cleaning products by using the latest automatic sanitiser dispensers and dryers. These devices can work through digital sensors and timers that allow for the most efficient use of power, while also reducing the amount of materials and waste associated with paper towels, making them an excellent green option. Newer hand dryer models also tend to feature anti-bacterial coatings, as well as filters that prevent blow back from microbes, and that restrict the amount of dripping of germs onto shoes and clothes that can occur with other cleaners.
2. Nontoxic Cleaners. While synthetic sanitisers are typically used in hospitals and other public places to fight the risk of infection via MSRA and other bacteria, prolonged use can lead to abrasion and skin problems as the result of chemicals like Triclosan. Ongoing use can lead to problems with antibacterial resistance, and a greater susceptibility to colds. Instead, look to use hand cleaners that are derived from essential oils, and that use non toxic chemicals; doing so will also reduce the risk of children accidentally ingesting hand cleaners.
3. DIY Hand Cleaners. It’s possible to make your own DIY hand cleaners, which can be made at home and then carried with you to work and public. Making these cleaners at home can be cost effective if you want to make up large batches. Effectively, you combine quarter cups of aloe vera gel and gel alcohol, and 5 drops of tea tree essential oils with a fragrance; this can be carried around in a washed out bottle.
4. Natural Soaps. When looking for hand cleaners and sanitisers, look for natural soaps, rather than harsher antibacterial soaps; particular ingredients to keep your eye out for include soaps made from water, oil, and lye, as well as shea butter soap, which is better for the skin. Soaps made from aloe and tea tree oil are also more biodegradable, as is natural dishwashing liquid and dish soap.
5. Heavy Duty Cleaners. If you still want to protect the environment while using heavy duty cleaners of the type preferred by hospitals, then it’s important to look for types that have been manufactured to reduce synthetic damage. Particularly look for cleaners that use silica complexes, as these can kill bacteria on contact, as well as viruses like E.Coli and MRSA, but will not cause as much damage as other industrial strength hand sanitisers.
Thanks to James McDonnel for this article. He’s writing for a leading provider of hand dryers in the UK. Visit www.handydryers.co.uk to learn more about the options available to you.