Harvard Health Tips
Alcohol-based hand sanitizers
The main advantage of alcohol-based hand sanitizers is that you don't need water or a towel, so you can use them anywhere. The alcohol's killing power comes from its ability to change and destroy proteins crucial to the survival of bacteria and viruses. It thoroughly eliminates bacteria and even some viruses. But it doesn't kill everything; bacterial spores, some protozoa, and certain viruses aren't affected.