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So, hand sanitizers and masks have become the “new normal” in a pandemic world. But, does hand sanitizer really work? Does it “go bad”? How long does a mask last? How should I clean my cloth mask? We have the answers to these and more in our PPE tips courtesy of Care Solutions Group, a medical supply and testing group from Oklahoma.

  • Does hand sanitizer go bad? A 60% alcohol solution of hand sanitizer will go bad 3 years after manufacture date according to most experts. And that is if it is stored in temps of less than 73 degrees to avoid evaporation.
  • 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.
  • If you can wash your hands, it is HIGHLY suggested to do so before using hand sanitizer.
  • You must use enough hand sanitizer to cover your hands fully with approximately 2.4 to 3 mL of the gel. In a typical hand sanitizer with a pump, this would take several pumps to achieve that amount on your hands.
  • Once you have covered your hands with the gel, rub your hands with the sanitizer on for at least 20 to 30 seconds.
  • You must allow the hand sanitizer to dry fully.
  • Just for those unsure- No y’all should never drink hand sanitizer
  • It has become more common to find public hand sanitizer dispensers in public and corporate bathrooms and kitchen areas. These dispensers are safe to use, provided you use the hand sanitizer in the most effective manner as described above. Public hand sanitizers placed in workplaces led to a decrease by two-thirds of sickness among workers who used it.
  • Don’t leave hand sanitizers out in the open in your car during the hot summer months. Again, made out of alcohol, and in a clear bottle usually, asking for a recipe for disaster.
  • Better yet, leave the bottles in the purse or at home and carry wipes.
  • ppeHow to wear cloth face coverings?Cloth face coverings should:• Fit snugly but comfortably against the side of the face.
    • Be secured with ties or ear loops.
    • Include multiple layers of fabric.
    • Allow for breathing without restriction.
    • Be able to be laundered and machine dried without damage or change to shape.How often should cloth face coverings be washed or otherwise cleaned?

    Cloth face coverings should be routinely washed depending on the frequency of use. Mayo Clinic recommends that cloth face coverings be washed after every day of use.

    How do I store my cloth mask?

    Masks should not be placed in pockets for later use. To store or transport, carefully fold the mask so the contaminated outside is folded inward and against itself. Place in clean or new paper bag, and perform hand hygiene.

    How can I safely clean a cloth face covering?

    Machine washing or hand washing should suffice to properly wash a cloth face covering with regular laundry detergent. Mayo Clinic recommends a ‘hot’ water temperature for washing face coverings.

And finally, as hurricane season approaches, don’t forget to have sanitizer and masks available in case of evacuations or need to shelter.

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