After suffering a hideous cold-and-flu season in 2013, I’m geared up and ready to fight this year. That has meant stocking up on cough medicine, making sure I bought some chicken noodle soup in bulk during a recent trip to the wholesale club, and making sure I’ve got my doctor and the pediatrician on speed dial. I’ve basically been following this list and checking things off one by one to make sure I’m ready.
I also typically stock up on hand sanitizer, but a recent article has me rethinking the hand sanitizer addiction in favor of simply washing my hands more often with soap and water. It turns out that some hand sanitizing products fight bacteria and don’t actually fight viruses that cause cold and flu. And those same products can lead to bacteria that are resistant to antibiotics. I knew that hand sanitizers aren’t effective against everything, but I didn’t know to look for a specific concentration of alcohol for maximum effectiveness. I probably won’t be throwing out my giant vat of sanitizer any time soon, but now I certainly know what to look for — and avoid — the next time I’m shopping for a bottle of the stuff.
Read on to bone up on all of your hand sanitizer stats so you can be sure to buy the right thing to effectively prepare for the viruses and germs that’ll be coming at you as the weather gets colder.
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