Study shows alcohol-free sanitiser is effective against Covid-19

11th of December 2020
Study shows alcohol-free sanitiser is effective against Covid-19

Alcohol-free hand sanitiser is just as effective at removing Covid-19 virus from surfaces as alcohol-based products, according to a new study.

Researchers from Brigham Young University discovered this after treating samples of the coronavirus with benzalkonium chloride - commonly used in alcohol-free hand sanitisers - and other quaternary ammonium compounds found in disinfectants. In most cases the compounds wiped out at least 99.9 per cent of the virus within 15 seconds.

Alcohol-free hand sanitisers offer a number of advantages over alcohol-based counterparts, according to lead study author Benjamin Ogilvie.

"Benzalkonium chloride can be used in much lower concentrations and does not cause the familiar 'burn' feeling you might know from using alcohol hand sanitiser," he said. "It can also make life easier for people who have to sanitise their hands a lot, like healthcare workers, and maybe even increase compliance with sanitising guidelines.

"Our results indicate that alcohol-free hand sanitiser works just as well so we could - maybe even should - be using it to control COVID."

Alcohol-free hand sanitisers were already in use before 2020, according to co-author Brad Berges. "It seems like during this pandemic, those non-alcohol-based hand sanitisers have been thrown by the wayside because the government was saying, 'we don't know that these work,' due to the novelty of the virus and the unique lab conditions required to run tests on it," he said.

He added that reintroducing alcohol-free sanitisers could help to relieve the shortages of sanitising products.

The study is published online in the Journal of Hospital Infection.



Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited