It helps kill bacteria and viruses, can be set on fire, and can even get you drunk. This is hand sanitizer.
This gooey substance is normally meant for our hands, but what if we covered our bodies in it Specifically, by jumping into a pool full of hand sanitizer?
What would submerging yourself in hand sanitizer feel like? Could you swallow some of it? And is this be the best way to kill deadly diseases?
Hand sanitizer is made up of a huge list of chemicals, from things that make it a gel to the moisturizers and lubricants. But its main ingredient is ethanol. This is what kills the germs on your hands. In order to be truly effective, it should have over 60% ethanol.
So to kill all the deadly viruses on our bodies, let’s use something that’s a 95% concentration. And now that we’ve chosen our hand sanitizer, what happens if we jump into a pool full of it?
As soon as you jump in, any cuts or open wounds you might have would immediately begin to sting. Have you ever had a hangnail on your finger and used hand sanitizer? Remember how much that
Now imagine the alcohol and other chemicals attacking every cut or scratch you might have on your body. Ouch!
If you don’t have too many of those, you’ll be able to swim around in our pool full of hand sanitizer. And swimming in something like this would be more like swimming in jelly than water.
This gel substance would be a gloopy, thick mess to swim through. And if you dunk your head into it, it would fill your ears, nose, and any other crevice it can make its way into.
And while you’re under there, don’t try opening your eyes. If you do, you’ll immediately feel severe pain from the hand sanitizer. And if you don’t wash it out immediately, you could go blind. Yeah, alcohol is not good for the eyes.
And let’s hope you don’t swallow any of this stuff. If you did, it would taste pretty disgusting, like an incredibly harsh alcohol with a strong chemical taste. And if you drank enough of it, you would be extremely intoxicated. That’s because a 240 ml (8 oz) bottle of hand sanitizer contains the same amount of alcohol as about five shots of hard liquor.
Luckily, swallowing it is avoidable. What isn’t is the damage these chemicals would be doing to your skin while you’re in here.
If you’re in this hand sanitizer long enough, it could filter through your skin and get into your bloodstream. The reason why we can put hand sanitizer on our hands is that they have tougher skin than other parts of our body. The skin on places like our faces and butts is pretty weak and soft. So if your entire body is marinating in hand sanitizer, it could lead to alcohol poisoning.
And we know that hand sanitizer’s purpose is to kill bacteria. But it gets rid of both the bad and good germs. Having small doses on your hands is OK, but spreading it all over your body would kill a
lot of the good bacteria you have on it. This could make you very sick, or even kill you.
And hopefully, you won’t have any smokers standing nearby. Because if they happen to drop a match or a lighter into the pool, it would instantly burst into flames, and quickly kill you.
But if you manage to survive all this, and make it out of the pool, you’d need to wash immediately. And after that, your skin would begin to feel tight and dry. It would start to crack, and bleed, and be incredibly painful. Let’s hope you have a pool of lotion to jump into.
So it’s pretty clear that hand sanitizer is only good in small doses, and only on our hands. Besides, if you really want to kill bacteria, just wash your hands. Trust me. It’s a lot safer, cheaper, and healthier. And because washing your hands is so good for you, why don’t we try something really dumb, and not wash them for an entire year?
- “The science behind hand sanitizers”. Sreedhar, Nitin. 2020. Livemint.
- “Hand sanitizer” 2020. aciscience.org.
- “Glycerine: an overview” 2020. aciscience.org.
- “Skin reactions related to hand hygiene”. World Health Organization.
- “Boy, 6, blind in one eye after hand sanitiser accident in Ajman”. 2020. The National.
- “Is hand sanitizer bad for my microbiome?”. 2020. Popular Science.