How Do Hand Sanitizers Work?

Many hand sanitizers claim to kill 99.9 percent of bacteria—is that true? Learners explore how hand sanitizer actually works and how effective it is in an interesting video. They learn how hand sanitizer works to break apart the membranes of bacteria and viruses and how they work differently than antibiotics. This leads to an introduction to the idea of bacterial resistance and how hand sanitizer relates. 

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CCSS: Adaptable
Additional Tags
Instructional Ideas
  • Use as a hook in introducing alcohols in a chemistry class
  • Show as an example for evaluating claims
Classroom Considerations
  • Uses some language that may be sensitive to some
  • Interesting and engaging topic
  • Real-life application
  • None
Common Core