What Is the Difference Between Ethanol & Isopropanol?

As COVID-19 continues to ravage the globe, consumers worldwide are investing in hand sanitiser more than ever before. It’s becoming one of the hottest commodities around. In fact, experts estimate that the global hand sanitiser market will reach a 1.7 billion pound ($2.14 billion USD) valuation by the year 2027.

Recently, lots of new hand sanitiser brands have popped up to meet global demand. A lot of people are shopping for hand sanitiser, but they don’t always know what to look for to tell if the product they’re buying is an effective one.

When it comes to hand sanitiser ingredients, two of the most common products you’ll find are ethanol and isopropanol. Read on to learn the difference between these two ingredients and find out which one you should be using to clean your hands.

Ethanol vs Isopropanol: What’s the Difference?

Both ethanol and isopropanol are alcohols known for their disinfecting properties. Ethanol is a type of alcohol that is present in alcoholic beverages. Isopropanol (also known as isopropyl alcohol, rubbing alcohol, and 2-propanol), on the other hand, it used almost exclusively for disinfecting.

Both ethanol and isopropanol disinfect by denaturing proteins and dissolving lipids. This combination makes them very effective when it comes to destroying both bacterial cells and viral cells (including lipid-wrapped viral cells like HIV, Hepatitis A). Alcohol helps to kill the COVID-19 virus, too, by breaking down the proteins that surround it.

One of the main differences between ethanol and isopropanol, though, is that manufacturers can use less ethanol than isopropanol in their products and still yield similar (if not the same) results. Ethanol-based hand sanitisers often contain a lower concentration of alcohol compared to isopropanol-based products.

Which Is Better for Hand-Sanitising?

Both ethanol and isopropanol can be effective when it comes to hand-sanitising. They’re especially effective when compared to alcohol-free hand sanitisers. 

Of the two, though, ethanol has been more heavily studied and is used more often in top-performing hand sanitisers. For example, a 2014 review showed that ethanol does a better job of getting rid of disease-causing bacteria regular handwashing with soap. This includes antibacterial soaps.

This next point is perhaps the most important for folks using hand sanitiser today. Ethanol has also been shown to be incredibly effective when it comes to killing coronaviruses.

Studies show that it can kill coronaviruses in as little as 30 seconds. This is more effective than regular soap and water and bleach (bleach does help to kill the virus, but it takes about 10-15 minutes to work its magic).

It’s important to note, though, that ethanol is most effective in concentrations of 70 per cent or higher. At least 75 per cent appears to be the most ideal concentration.

Take-Home Message

As you can see, both ethanol and isopropanol are effective when it comes to hand sanitising. At the end of the day, though, research shows that ethanol, which is what we use to make Your Sanitiser, is the best choice to use.

Keep this information in mind as you’re shopping for hand sanitiser. Don’t forget to make regular hand sanitising a priority, either! Remember, the more diligent you are about keeping your hands clean, the better able you’ll be to slow the spread of COVID-19.

If you’re in need of an effective ethanol-based hand sanitiser, we can help. Order Your Sanitiser today and start killing 99.999% of germs in just 60 seconds.

 

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