How much hand sanitizer do I really need?

In the height of the COVID 19 pandemic, distributors and facility managers grappled with chain supply difficulties, unable to get the hand sanitizer and hand soap they needed. It led to shortages or purchasing products that didn’t meet their usual standards: watered down hand sanitizer, soaps mixed with other soaps, overwhelming scent of alcohol coming from the sanitizer…you get the picture.

Consumers experienced much of the same: searching for alcohol hand sanitizer high and low then resorting to purchasing from untrustworthy sources. Or in an effort to save the hand sanitizer they did have, using an amount less than ideal in order for the sanitizer to do the job it was intended to do.

The pandemic, along with the annual flu season, emphasized further the importance of stocking enough hand sanitizer and soap to help keep facilities, employees, customers, patients, students and visitors healthy. Proper hand care is the first line of defense in battling germs.

How much hand sanitizer is enough?

You have probably heard that using a dime-sized amount of hand sanitizer is enough, but it’s likely not. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends applying a “palmful” of sanitizer, or more than a half a teaspoon. You’ll need enough sanitizer to cover all surfaces of your hands – just as you do with hand soap. This includes both sides of hands, palms, fingers, around fingertips and fingernails, between fingers and thumbs. If you are unsure of the amount of hand sanitizer to use and you’re in an environment with a lot of interactions, you’re better off using more than less.

How much hand sanitizer is needed for sports, entertainment or other large venues?

Let’s take a look at an example of how much sanitizer is needed. Kutol’s wall mount hand sanitizer dispensers are programmed to dispense .75 mL of foaming hand sanitizer per activation. This is an adequate amount to meet the WHO’s recommendation of a palmful per use. A standard Kutol refill bag contains 1000 mL of hand sanitizer. One thousand mL divided by .75 mL equals 1,333 dispenses.

One dispenser filled with (1000 mL) hand sanitizer = 1,333 uses

The 2022 Super Bowl featuring the Cincinnati Bengals vs. LA Rams is being played at SoFi Stadium in Inglewood, California. The venue’s listed capacity for events such as the Super Bowl is 100,240 people. If each person in attendance sanitized their hands just one time while at the game, the stadium would need 77 dispensers filled fully with foaming hand sanitizer. This doesn’t account for high traffic areas where many dispensers are needed or the same person sanitizing their hands more than once (let’s hope!).

Proper use of hand sanitizer

  • Use enough sanitizer to cover all surfaces of the hand. Don’t forget the back of your hands.
  • Rub the sanitizer thoroughly until it dries. Similar to washing your hands, this will take about 20 seconds. Sing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song twice to time yourself.
  • The CDC recommends that you Do NOT rinse or wipe off hand sanitizer before it’s dry for maximum effectiveness against germs.
  • These hand sanitizer dispenser signs from Kutol remind users how to properly sanitize hands in seven easy steps.

Foaming hand sanitizer or liquid hand sanitizer

A few things to keep in mind:

  • Foam hand sanitizer is thick and stays on hands while liquid hand sanitizer tends to run off hands leading to product waste.
  • It’s also easier to ration foaming hand sanitizer because it feels like you’re using more. (But make sure you are using enough by following the above tips.)
  • Facility managers feel there is significant product savings when using foam because of the reasons stated above.

Remember: it’s always important to supervise children when they use hand sanitizer, especially in schools and childcare facilities. Additionally, make sure you are choosing the right kind of hand sanitizer for your facility. If you’re not sure which hand sanitizer is right for your needs, find your local Kutol rep to get in touch with us.


About Sarah

Sarah Fry is the marketing Manager at Kutol Products –a leading manufacturer of hand soaps, sanitizers, and dispensing systems for commercial use. In this role, Sarah develops marketing strategies and executes results-driven business-to-business campaigns for Kutol’s full line of skin care products. Sarah’s communications career spans more than 20 years, having spent time in both the public and private sectors. Prior to joining Kutol, she worked in facility services marketing. Her love of solid, worthwhile content means she is constantly creating, which she enjoys very much. Especially in the blog space!