Keep Your Hands (Nose) Clean & Stay Out of Trouble

Our dear mothers used to tell us this every time we walked out the door. 

A few weeks ago, Gail mentioned a 24 hour hand sanitizer that works differently than the alcohol-based sanitizers you are probably used to seeing.  With alcohol sanitizers, once they dry on your hands, the protection is gone.  It clears your hands of germs and viruses but 30 seconds later you can pick them up again. 

Companies are developing products with a different technology that work all day.  Like an antimicrobial glove, they permanently bond to the skin cells until your skin naturally sloughs them off 24-hours later, sometimes longer.  They’re in a moisturizing base so they will not dry out your hands.   You can wash your hands up to 10 times and it won’t wash off.     

Gail uses one that has the active ingredient benzalkonium chloride 0.13%.  She contacted the FDA because it appeared as if benzalkonium chloride, as well as ethyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol, weren’t eligible to be reviewed by the FDA for efficacy, which doesn’t make sense in today’s climate with the coronavirus.   So far, only alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol have been FDA approved.

A pharmacist at the FDA surprised Gail by contacting her directly and then following up with her via email.  She was told that in addition to killing 99.9% of bacteria, benzalkonium chloride has been demonstrated to be effective against a variety of viruses, including adenoviruses, in several studies.

In a recent ruling, three deferred active ingredients—benzalkonium chloride, ethyl alcohol, and isopropyl alcohol— are now the only active ingredients determined to be eligible for evaluation under the OTC Drug Review for use in OTC consumer antiseptic rub products.  

I don’t know about you, but assuming one can even find an alcohol- based sanitizer anymore, who can be bothered remembering to put it on your hands 4000Xs a day to remain protected?

I’m bringing you this information not as a healthcare professional, but as someone who wants to share something that may just keep you and your family safe until the COVID-19 crisis has passed.

Gail and I are currently using a brand offered by ESC, a group of companies that utilizes this nano antimicrobial anti-viral technology designed to address the world’s ongoing battle against pandemics and disease transfer. ESC Brands are particularly focused on preparedness measures for Ebola and mosquito-born viruses from Malaria, Zika, Dengue fever & West Nile and insect repellants for both health & personal care.  I’m not plugging the company.  I’m just telling you what they do.  They have a product that we use called GermFree.  The active ingredient is benzalkonium chloride 0.13%.  Unfortunately, they are currently out of stock; however, they have another brand that is available:    


 Make your comments known to speed up the FDA approval process.  Gail was assured they read your comments:

Regarding comments to the Policy for Temporary Compounding of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency and Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-19), you can submit online or written comments on any guidance at any time (see 21 CFR 10.115(g)(5)). All written comments should be identified with this document’s docket number: FDA-2020-D-1106.


  1. If anyone is wondering, “How can it be safe if it lasts so long?” Consider…

    If you’ve ever been asked by your doctor to provide what’s called a “clean catch” urine sample (one that is not contaminated by what might be on your genitals) where you were instructed to wipe ‘the area’ with a moistened towelette, urinate a little into the toilet, and then catch a urine sample in the cup mid-stream, the towelette they give you is saturated with benzalkonium chloride. They’ve been used for decades with no ill effects that I am aware of. And this on…well…an area of your body, whether male of female, that is far more sensitive than your hands.

    • Gail Michalopulos says

      Speaking of sensitive areas, when I was out of town I accidentally mixed this stuff up with my contact lense solution (they both look and smell the same) and soaked my contact lenses in it overnight. I was in Las Vegas with my daughter, and you should have seen the look on her face when I said, “Wow! Look at that fog rolling in. Where is it all coming from? Why would Las Vegas be having fog?” She thought I was having a stroke. When she told me she wasn’t seeing any fog, I thought I was having a stroke! It didn’t sting. I couldn’t feel it. I flushed out my eyes with water and my vision was foggy for several hours but there were no deleterious effects. Even on a perpetually wet surface, where I was blinking all the time, it lasted about 6 hours.

      I put it on my lips (so I can kiss the icons, cross, etc.) and even in my nostrils in case it might help if someone sneezes and I breathe in the particles. (BTW, one of the viruses it kills is herpes so I guess you could use it there, too! Just saying. . .)

      As you said, it’s been around a long time and it’s non-toxic. The only thing I’ve heard is that some people may be allergic to it. I would strongly encourage everyone to submit a request to the FDA so they can fast tract their testing since they know it kills some viruses (perhaps all). Being able to protect your hands for a 24 hour stretch is HUGE.

  2. Alitheia 1875 says

    I just learned of the repose of Father Anthony Coniaris, founder of Light and Life Publishing. He was truly one of the bright lights in the GOA.

    • George Michalopulos says

      Memory eternal!

      • Do you use the product in the link  by itself or in conjunction with another product? 

        • George Michalopulos says

          Nick, I use it alone (mostly) every morning and when I return from home. In the meantime, I do wash thoroughly and if it strikes my fancy, I use whatever hand sanitizer is handy wherever I’m at.

          Also, as far as the 24hr product that Gail is talking about, in the morning I’ll rub some on my lips and on my nostrils.

  3. Who to blame says
    …. available evidence indicates benzalkonium chloride has less reliable activity against coronavirus than either of the alcohols {Editor Note: Removed same link provided twice.]

    • Gail Michalopulos says

      Actually, what it says is this: “Benzalkonium chloride, along with both ethanol and isopropanol, is deemed eligible by FDA for use in the formulation of healthcare personnel hand rubs2.

      And they’re not just talking about the general public. They’re talking about healthcare personnel who are presumed to be continually exposed to germs and viruses.

      If you look at the statement, “However, available evidence indicates benzalkonium chloride has less reliable activity against coronavirus than either of the alcohols3” you will notice it is attached to a footnote. When you click the link in the footnote, you will find the page has been pulled.

      However, you can click on the link I have provided below to obtain the abstract for the study. You will discover that: (1) the study used a less optimal strength of benzalkonium chloride, i.e. 0.05-0.2% vs. 0.13% and (2) they were studying the efficacy on inanimate objects, not hands. This could explain why the page was pulled. Abstract Link:

      The bottom line is this:

      1. You can’t get alcohol-based products today because they are no longer on the shelves.
      2. Alcohol sanitizers do not afford continual protection.
      3. Studies have shown benzalkonium chloride in sufficient strength, i.e. 0.13%, is effective against viruses, even like viruses (adenovirus), as well as 99.9% germs.
      4. Given the results of preliminary studies, the FDA has just announced they are willing to review it.
      5. The product is now available to the public.

      Note: The CDC recommends washing your hands be your first choice of action. The use of alcohol-based products are to be used in those situations where washing your hands is not possible. You can get prolonged protection from this product even if you ALSO wash your hands, per CDC current recommendations.

      • Thomas Barker says

        Protection from the virus is one thing, but how about protection from the other shoppers? I made the mistake of taking the last four pack of unscented double rolls of AngelSoft and became a human magnet for every customer in Walmart. With a heavy cartload of bottled water I couldn’t outrun death, so I used a long mop handle to swashbuckle my way through the herd. Unnerving times indeed.

        • Michael Bauman says

          Hydrogen peroxide is useful if used in small amounts BUT it is an oxidizer easy to over use. Not a preventative IMO

      • Sage-Girl says

        So Gail… ordering these sanitizers you show here is definitely superior to Clorox wipes?

        • Gail Michalopulos says

          No, they’re different from Clorox wipes. Both kill germs on contact, but Clorox wipes don’t continue to provide protection. The second it dries, the germ killing component stops and you can pick the germs up again.

          The other technology offers protection for 24 to 48 hours because it adheres to your skin cells. But it has to have benzalkonium chloride 0.13% at that strength. If it’s not that strength you’ll see studies that it doesn’t work as well.

  4. Sage-Girl says

    I hear Hydrogen Peroxide is helpful – mix water & swoosh in mouth 

    • Please don’t do this.

      • Sage-Girl says

        Thanks Max D. –
        I haven’t, but hydrogen peroxide is safe…
        I just saw it on YouTube …
        but herbal tinctures like Oil of Oregano ? & Olive Leaf Extract & Elderberry have proven to be powerful anti virus remedies.
        P.S. heard from my NY cathedral :
        10 parishioners are in hospital for you know what!!

    • Since this blog is managed by two people with close connections to the health field, one of them a pharmacist, it might be a really really good idea to vet these kinds of claims before allowing them to be posted.  Otherwise, any “medical” advice that someone posts (or rebuts) could end up being attributed to those two, George and Gail.

      • Sage-Girl says

        blimbax :
        Dr Hoffman (who used to be on radio & was my personal doctor) long ago told me these herbs: ?Olive Leaf Extract & Oil of Oregano & Elderberry …they prevented me getting flu for 14 years. What can I say? Ask the experts Gail & George herein?
        Stay safe?

        • Gail Michalopulos says

          We’ve got a lot to learn about these oils. I know many people swear by them.

  5. Listen to this interview [1hr] with Ioan Ioannidis of Stanford University. He is a professor of medicine and professor of epidemiology and population health, as well as professor by courtesy of biomedical data science at Stanford University School of Medicine, professor by courtesy of statistics at Stanford University School of Humanities and Sciences, and co-director of the Meta-Research Innovation Center at Stanford (METRICS) at Stanford University. He is not a nutter.
    His message is ‘DON’T PANIC’.
    Meanwhile, take care.

    Perspectives on the Pandemic | Dr John Ioannidis of Stanford University | Interview

  6. Michael Bauman says

    In the midst of all the doom, death and destruction (real and imagined) some of it personal but non-COVID I have come across a vein of real Thanksgiving. It is an odd and unexpected feeling. Not unlike Rev 1:18 I think.  All mixed with sadness and tears too.  But, no fear and even temptation to anger is reduced.  
    God is good!

  7. Gail Michalopulos says

    The wipes are all that is left on-line that can be shipped within days with 24 hour protection:

  8. Lockdown in Wales: Life finds a way…