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FAQ - Handwash


Q. What is an antimicrobial handwash?

A. An antimicrobial handwash is an antiseptic liquid soap that is used to wash away dirt from physically dirty hands, at the same time as disinfecting by quickly killing, neutralising, or inhibiting the growth of pathogens on the hands, with the aim of avoiding transmission of pathogens.  Water is required to lather and then rinse the product off.

Q. What is the most effective handwashing technique?


  • Wet hands.
  • Apply soap.
  • Rub hands together for 20 seconds or more. Rub fingers, thumbs, around the nail bed, the backs of the hands, between the fingers and the palms of the hands.
  • Rinse well with clean running water.
  • Dry on a towel. (If outside of your home or in a healthcare setting, use disposable paper towels or a hand blow dryer).

Q. Why is the EcoHydra Antimicrobial Handwash so unique? 

A. EcoHydra’s Antimicrobial Handwash is a new hand cleanser with an antimicrobial agent that does not dry the skin. Its unique formula kills up to 99.9999% of known microbes instantly. It is formulated with the moisturising properties of Aloe Vera to add additional skin conditioning and healing.

Q. How does the EcoHydra® Antimicrobial Handwash kill pathogens?

A. The EcoHydra® Antimicrobial Handwash contains the active ingredient Benzalkonium chloride (BAC).  This ingredient has inherent antimicrobial properties and has a well-established safety record – for example, it has been approved by the FDA for use as an active ingredient in the oral cavity.  The concentration of BAC in this product (0.1%) is very low, decreasing the possibility of skin irritation.  Surfactants are another important component in this handwash.  They complement the BAC by penetrating the skin to deliver the BAC to attack the pathogens.  Aloe Vera and emollients are key in conditioning and soothing the skin to maintain its integrity with repeated use. 

Q. Why is EcoHydra’s Antimicrobial Handwash so gentle on the skin?

A. Other actives strip away your skin's own natural, protective oils, causing drying which may lead to open sores on the skin. These sores can attract bacteria, leaving your skin more vulnerable. EcoHydra’s Antimicrobial Handwash has cationic properties, which means it is positively-charged. These properties are more compatible with the essential oils of the skin than those of the negatively-charged (anionic) active ingredients found in most alternative soaps. The majority of the industrial hand cleansers currently available on the market rely on negatively-charged actives to clean in the presence of water. Such alternative actives tend to irritate and dry the skin. Damaging the skin can trigger the release of inflammatory agents from the cells, and can lead to an inflammatory response. These negatively-charged actives tend to destroy the skin's water-retaining oils and lipids, causing problems similar to those produced by alcohol-based instant hand sanitisers. Overall, the net result is that anionic soaps damage skin cells, and dry the skin.

Q. How effective is the EcoHydra® Antimicrobial Handwash against harmful microorganisms?

A. The handwash is effective against a wide range of common bacteria and yeast, killing up to 99.9999% of disease-causing pathogens in as little as 15-30 seconds.

Q. How much of the EcoHydra® Antimicrobial Handwash needs to be used?

A. An amount of 2-3ml (2-3 squirts) is sufficient to produce the desired effects.

Q. Can the EcoHydra Antimicrobial Handwash be used as part of a general handwashing protocol for hospital personnel?

A. Yes. The handwash meets the performance standards set by the FDA in the 21CFR 333.470: Effectiveness testing of a healthcare personnel handwash. This protocol requires these products to:

  1. Be fast acting,
  2. Kill a broad spectrum of microbes,
  3. Work under a heavy soil load, and
  4. Demonstrate a persistence of action (killing power is retained in the skin after the product has dried).

EcoHydra’s products were designed with the clinical environment in mind; however, they are gentle enough for daily use on the sensitive skin of children. Therefore, they have applications in all businesses, for example medical clinics, food preparation services, and schools.

Q. Under what conditions would the EcoHydra Antimicrobial Handwash not be used?

A. Whilst this product meets the performance criteria for healthcare personnel antiseptic handwashes, it is not intended to be used as a surgical scrub.

Q. What is the shelf life of the EcoHydra® Antimicrobial Handwash?

A. EcoHydra® Antimicrobial Handwash has a shelf life of three years.  We have a symbol on our label which denotes “Use within 18 months of opening”.

Q. What legislation and regulations apply to the EcoHydra® Antimicrobial Handwash?

A. The EcoHydra® Antimicrobial Handwash is governed by the Biocidal Products Directive (EU Regulation 98/8/EC), and thus we are able to make claims on its efficacy.

Q. What specific certification or EN standards does the EcoHydra® Antimicrobial Handwash meet?

A. The EcoHydra® Antimicrobial Handwash complies with the standard certification prEN 12054.