The Ultimate Guide to Using Purell Hand Sanitizer

A hand sanitizer dispenser in a work setting containing Purell.

Updated on November 21, 2023

Purell is a trusted hand sanitizer brand – it’s a staple in hospitals, schools, offices, and bathrooms around the world. 

Hand hygiene is now a critical public health tool that we all use to protect ourselves and others from infectious pathogens and viruses. Hand sanitizer became part of our daily lives during the COVID-19 pandemic, and continues to be used to combat ongoing challenges like colds, flu, and other illnesses

Knowing how critical hand hygiene is to our health, it’s important to use the right tools and techniques to effectively get rid of germs. 

Read on to learn more about why Purell is a go-to brand for hand sanitizer and how you can use hand sanitizer effectively in your organization. 

What is hand sanitizer?

Hand sanitizer is a hand hygiene substance that, unlike soap, allows you to get clean while you’re on the go without the use of water. It often comes in the form of a gel, liquid, or foam. 

Hand sanitizer like Purell is commonly used in public settings or high-traffic areas to disinfect hands for the purpose of killing germs on the skin and limiting or preventing the spread of common pathogens. 

Fun Fact: Alcohol has been used as a sanitizing agent since the 1300s, when alcohols were used to clean medical tools or disinfect wounds to protect against infections. 

Modern hand sanitizers can be traced back to factory and plant workers who used a waterless hand cleaner to remove harsh chemicals and substances from their hands at the end of their shift. 

When did hand sanitizers become commonly used?


In the 1900s, when hygiene and body cleanliness became common, the daily use of soaps became more common and eventually a matter of public hygiene. 

In 2009 when H1N1 was storming the nation and beyond, hand sanitizer became a staple in households and businesses around the world to try to combat the flu. 

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In 2020, the COVID-19 pandemic increased our collective awareness of the relationship between hand hygiene and germs. 

Sanitizers like Purell were once again in high demand – to the point where we recently experienced the infamous sanitizer shortage during the early days of the pandemic.

Fortunately, the production of Purell and other hand sanitizing products is on the rise, allowing us to combat seasonal germs and illnesses while we’re out and about. 

Have you heard about the tripledemic? Find out how to combat RSV, the flu and COVID-19 in school bathrooms  

How does hand sanitizer work?

In order to be effective, hand sanitizers must contain between 60% – 95% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol, mixed with water or gels (like glycol and/or glycerin). 

There’s a time and a place for using hand sanitizer – in particular, when soap and water aren’t available.

The CDC has created a guide for the use of hand sanitizers to help you determine when and how to use Purell and other hand sanitizers – and when to just use soap and water to have hygienic hands.

Because hand sanitizers contain alcohol, there are tips you should be aware of on the safe ways to use sanitizer

Follow this guide to learn how to apply hand sanitizer effectively

Why use hand sanitizer? 

There are times that you’re on the move and you don’t have access to a restroom, sink, soap, or water.

In those moments, sanitizer is there to keep your hands clean while you go in search of a proper hand-washing station. 

Sanitizer is also highly effective for reducing the spread of contagious illnesses when you’re visiting high-traffic, high-touch areas – such as busy shopping centers and hospitals. 

For example, most hospitals have hand sanitizers on both sides of the door when entering and leaving units. 

The simple act of taking 30 seconds to sanitize your hands can mean the difference between introducing a contagious pathogen to an entire unit of vulnerable patients and preventing the spread of viruses across a hospital ward. 

Here’s 12 tips for using hand sanitizer to effectively remove germs from your hands. 

When to use hand sanitizer

Here’s a short list of times using hand sanitizer can protect you and others:

  • After using the washroom 
  • Before handling someone’s food
  • Before and after you eat
  • Before entering a public space with vulnerable people (i.e. hospital, daycare)
  • Immediately leaving a public space with an increased level of germs (i.e. daycare)
  • Before and after using high touch surfaces such as mall door handles 
  • Before and after using public transit 
  • Multiple times throughout the day if you work with children
  • Multiple times throughout the day if you’re a healthcare professional
  • Multiple times throughout the day if you serve the public 
  • While caring for someone in your home who is sick
  • After changing diapers 
  • After touching an animal 
  • After touching garbage or recycling 
  • Before administering first aid 
  • After blowing your nose

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What makes Purell hand sanitizer different?

If you think about the many different sanitizers you’ve likely used since the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, you would likely agree they aren’t all the same.

Some are too runny, some are too thick and sticky. Some smell like alcohol while others come with overpowering fragrant scents. 

That’s why one of the things that makes GOJO’s Purell product stand out is the satisfying hand feel. Purell’s formula also doesn’t come with an overpowering or distracting odor. 

GOJO is one of the first well-known companies to have mixed alcohol and gel in a balanced way to create a cleanser that has just the right amount of gel. 

Why Purell

What is Purell sanitizer made of?

The ingredients of GOJO’s Purell hand sanitizer are: 

  • Thickening agents called acrylates (C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer)
  • 70% ethyl alcohol 

Prior to GOJO’s efforts to perfect the science behind the sanitizer to create a balance between alcohol and gel, sanitizers were basically just – alcohol: a runny liquid that ran off your hands more than it stayed on, thereby reducing the cleaning effect. 

Purell is well known for being less harsh on hands compared to other sanitizer brands, and Purell was deemed the best sanitizer in an Insider article.

Here at Citron Hygiene, we believe in distributing only the best hygiene solutions to reduce infection transmission within organizations, which is why we are a recognized distributor of the Purell brand. 

Where can you buy Purell hand sanitizer?

If you’re looking for hand sanitizer for on-the-go, or to keep around the home when you’re entertaining company, you can find Purell readily available in most grocery stores, drug stores, and general stores. 

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If you’re a business seeking to invest in a regular supply of hand sanitizer for high-traffic areas like public restrooms, workplace washrooms, or school bathrooms, you’ll need a commercial distributor like Citron Hygiene.

Where to buy Purell hand sanitizer dispensers 

Citron Hygiene’s hand sanitizer dispensers are easily incorporated into any commercial environment – either mounted on the wall or standing in high-traffic areas. 

Ensure your employees and visitors can sanitize their hands with easy-to-access, regularly stocked hand sanitizer dispensers. 

Having sanitizer on hand has proven reliability in killing germs and leaves no sticky residue!

As distributors, Citron Hygiene offers a range of Purell sanitizer solutions, including:

  • Hand sanitizer stands and wall mounted dispensers
  • Surface sanitizer to keep high-touch areas clean
  • Sanitizer wipes 

All of our products are available in durable dispensers that keep products free from cross-contamination with different sizes and capabilities available. 

Buy your Purell hand sanitizer dispenser today

If you’re ready to buy a Purell hand sanitizer dispenser, follow these steps: 

  • Follow this link to our Hand Hygiene Solutions section on our website
  • Scroll down to read about our Automatic Commercial Hand Sanitizer Dispensers
  • Learn more about our Hand Sanitizer Dispensers and service plans 
  • Request a quote that will reflect your unique business needs!

Along with your hand sanitizer dispenser, Citron Hygiene offers a complete suite of services that will help you make sure your business never runs out of sanitizer

Your health and hygiene are important to us – which is why we take care of everything, so you don’t have to. 

Order your Purell hand sanitizer dispensers today – you can also request a FREE trial!

Find out how we can elevate your washroom experience today.

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