1. I have heard that your hand sanitizer is less expensive than it’s alcohol based counterparts.  However, the prices appear to be the same, maybe even a bit more expensive.  Why are they touted as “less expensive” when they appear to be the same or more?

Alcohol-free foam hand sanitizers are less expensive than alcohol-based sanitizers. Although a gallon of each may cost the same, users typically will get 2,000-3,000 more applications out of foaming hand sanitizers because the dispensing mechanism adds air to the solution during application, making the product go much further (with no compromise to its effectiveness) before running out.

2. Is your foam actually a soap; i.e. that is used in the bathroom?  Or does it work like the spray, only that it comes out of the bottle as foam?

“my shield” Hand Sanitizer (hereafter HS) is not a soap, though it does contain a tiny amount of an ingredient to make the rich foam, but this foaming agent has nothing to do with its effectiveness against germs (viruses, bacteria and fungi).

3. Is “my-shield” HS a replacement for soap and water? 

The need for showers, baths and hand washing is really not affected by your use of our HS.  Hand washing is still important.  The big difference is that soap and water, alcohol hand sanitizers and other hand sanitizers all kill and help eliminate the dirt and germs that WERE or ARE on your hands.  “my-shield” is the only HS that has proven to also kill what is GOING to be on your hands for at least 4 full hours. For 4 to 6 hours it kills over 90% of all of the germs tested; and for some important skin bacteria, it is still killing over 50% of them at 24 hours.  All of this effectiveness lasts through 5 hand washings.

4. Does this sanitizer kill the stomach flu? ( NORO virus) 

Yes it does kill Norovirus and if you wish to read the studies, they are located on our Science Page.  There is also information on the “Hands” page before you select a study that has recent experiments done by microbiologist, Annie Pryor, PhD and a web address for even more information on killing  Norovirus.

5. What are the empty bottles that you sell used for – are they refilled from the larger foam bottles? (In other words, the  same product is used in both, but one produces foam and the other does not?)

The two sizes of the hand sanitizer foaming bottles are both a little large to fit into a pant pocket, so I looked and found these 20ml spray bottles.  They do not create a foam, but dispense a very effective, fine spray and fit easily into any pocket.  Until we market a smaller size for pockets, these bottles can be filled from any 8oz or larger bottle.  I am a full time clinician and carry one of these tiny bottles everywhere.  Any suggestions, comments or requests will be entertained.  I hope you enjoy this new product and feel as safe as I do while protecting myself from the pathogens that we contact every day.

6. What is the shelf life of the product?

There is an expiration date on every bottle. 

7. I recently purchased the “my-shield” hand sanitizer and would like to know the storage temperature range.

I have heard back from the chief scientist and Director of US Operations for “my-shield” about the tolerance of temperatures for the “my-shield” products, both the Hand Sanitizer and surface cleaners.

Back to the temperatures tolerated.  In review below are the reasons that we avoid freezing and this seems to only affect the appearance and not the effectiveness from low temperatures.  The “my-shield” Hand Sanitizer solution is actually heated to 104 degrees F during manufacture to allow the absolute maximum active ingredients to be driven into solution as they are mixed.  The liquid will remain stable up to the boiling point of water which is 212 degrees F.  At that point, water within the product will evaporate away more quickly, concentrating the “actives” within the product, changing its composition.

For a quick answer to your question, freezing will make it cloudy, but still effective.  Heating it over 212F degrees will speed up evaporation, concentrating it.  As long as you don’t boil it or allow it to evaporate before it is on your hands, anything in between is all good.  Thank you for nudging the increase in my knowledge base!  Please don’t hesitate to contact me for any future questions or problems.

I was also reminded during my research that if you do heat any of the ETHANOL containing “hand sanitizers” (which is NOT in ANY “my-shield” product), be careful not to warm it over 63 degrees F, which is it’s Flash Point…

8. Sounds like it’s ok to leave a bottle in the car without worrying about temperature compromising the effectiveness of the sanitizer. That’s great. I really love the product and plan on purchasing more. Are there any plans to sell in stores?  

It is absolutely OK to store in your car.  If it freezes, thaw and use it.  If it heats up, don’t burn yourself, but it will remain fully effective.  We will be working hard to place it in large stores in the future, but our competitors are huge and they are not going to go down easily without a fight.  Fortunately, the science and facts are all on our side and the products are safer, more effective, non-flammable, non-intoxicating and non-toxic.  For now, save all of your used foaming bottles and you can purchase a very economical gallon size for refill of our quality bottles.  The little 20ml bottles spray instead of foam, but are nice and small for any size purse or pants pocket.  Even though our website prices include some shipping and are a little higher than an equivalent volume of alcohol based liquid, remember that you don’t need to use it near as often for superior protection.  I find that when I pass a dispenser in our clinic, I’ll hit it on the way by, but too often I am wasting additional product long before the previous application is gone.

9. Hi, is your hand sanitizer safe for use on toddlers and pregnant women?

First, the disclaimer, no one really knows whether “my-shield” Hand Sanitizer is 100% safe for pregnant women or on toddlers.  The reason is that no one in their right mind is going to experiment and do a quality study on any pregnant woman and no expecting woman is likely to volunteer.  We find this in many studies done on medications and instead of studies, we have to rely on observations of those that have been exposed to the product and extrapolate to give any clues to the safety for kids and expecting moms.  So, here is the response directly from Michael Bralkowski, Director of US Operations for “my-shield”:

– Benzalkonium Chloride (BLK) has been studied extensively and is non-toxic.
– Children should be supervised when using “my-shield” HS.
– Alcohol=ethanol=Ethyl alcohol are all the same thing and it is toxic and
– Alcohol HS was reclassified from “safe” to “needs safety studies”.
(Basically he is saying alcohol is bad, non-alcohol is better.)

Let me see if I can further reassure you.  BLK is non-toxic to humans, even little humans.  BLK is one of the most common preservatives in prescription eye drops.  BLK has very little potential for skin irritation and even less likely to cause an allergic response.  You may ask how BLK can be so deadly to germs and yet non-toxic.  The answer is that the protective film that the components create on our skin has microscopic spikes that literally pierce the cell walls to kill the bacteria, viruses and fungi, but this film actually feels soft and smooth to us.  This is exactly why BLK does not contribute to organisms becoming resistant any more than I can become resistant to a flying arrow!  I have a very wise friend that probably knows more about kids, chemicals, hand sanitizers and what would be the safest use on delicate users.  Her name is Annie Pryor, PhD in Ohio and her website is www.stopthestomachflu.com .  Dr. Annie is a microbiologist who decided to be a full time Mom at home and has a passion for experimenting with all the available products to see what protects kids (and the rest of us) the best.

In medicine, which is my original focus of training, most decisions are made for and with patients by weighing out the risks and benefits of any potential medication treatment or even a hand sanitizer.  Few true benefits come without risks of some sort.  It is each of our responsibility to weigh out the risks and benefits of everything we do.  We think that when you realize all of the microbial risks that we face each day, you will agree that the benefits of our products outweigh those risks.  I have not given you a straight answer because their simply isn’t one.  I hope that you find yourself more knowledgeable as you weigh out the pros and cons of your options.

10. Does your hand sanitizer leave a film or a sticky feeling after use? How long is the shelf life for the product?

Our hand sanitizer intentionally leaves a film forming polymer bound to the outermost layer of skin which is how we accomplish the prolonged anti-pathogen activity.  Once the water from the hand sanitizer evaporates away this does NOT result in a sticky surface.  The hands actually feel softer and better moisturized, but not sticky in the slightest.  Remember that we are water based without alcohol so it will dry on your hands a little slower, but this is the price we pay for not creating a fire hazard.

I discussed longevity at length with the head scientist at “my-shield” who noted that “they have samples of HS (Hand Sanitizer) made in 2011 that has retained its effectiveness.  Comprehensive testing was done out to 2 full years, which is what the FDA requires for a lot number and expiration date on the bottles.  If the product is tested out to 5 years, an expiration date is not even required on the bottles.  They did not pursue this as they felt that a lack of an expiration date would confuse the general public.  The chemistry  of the HS does not diminish or react with sunlight or heat.  It does freeze as it is mainly water and will disrupt the chemistry as water forms ice crystals and pushes the film forming polymer to a higher concentrated level which then salts out.”  We do know from shipping product during last winter that the HS gets and stays cloudy, but even then it retains its effectiveness.

I hope that you find this information reassuring.  I personally would have no hesitation depending on HS for retaining its full effectiveness for years after its “expiration date”.  Please don’t hesitate to ask any further or follow up questions at any time.

11. For the wall dispensers, I was just wondering whether the foam packs would fit other types of dispensers that I get elsewhere?  Is there a size/spec requirement or will they ONLY fit the one sold on the website?

I have no way to know if our HS (Hand Sanitizer) bags will function in the dispensers that you currently have.  What I can do is photograph and measure our bags and you can compare that to the refill bags that you are currently using.  It also depends on how many units that you will eventually be needing.  With such a large order of the 50ml bottles, I am guessing that you are just stocking up or have a large number of users.  If you wish to share the scope of your future needs, I will try to match the volume with preferential pricing.  The dispensers and even the bags can be shipped directly from the manufacturer if the volume dictates.

New dispensers are a fraction of the cost of the refill liquid and you might be surprised how inexpensively you can completely replace the dispensers with our new ones.  The bags contain 1200ml of liquid.  Larger discounts are available in cases or even pallets of liquid product, or even a pallet of mixed 50ml, 250ml, gallon and 1200ml bag cases.  If you are outside an area that I can service as a website, we can even discuss product for you to resell.

12. I just ordered some of the hand sanitizer. I accidentally left my purse in the car overnight and the hand sanitizer was in my purse. We are already reaching freezing temperatures up here (right at 32 so far). Is the sanitizer still good to use or since it was left in the car did I compromise it’s efficacy? Thank you, Kristi

Your bottle of Hand Sanitizer is just fine.  During the manufacturing process the liquid is brought up to just short of boiling to drive as much of the active ingredient into the solution which is crystal clear with a slight bluish tint.  So in the tropics, no one needs to worry about their HS getting too warm in a closed car, even if left in the sun since sunlight does not degrade it’s effectiveness.  I live and practice in Florida and constantly have HS in my car.  The only issue that I have seen when the inside of my car gets to 130 to 140 degrees is that a small amount seeps from the nozzle as the liquid expands.  On the other end of the thermometer, we know that HS turns and remains cloudy if it freezes.  The cloudiness is the part of the mixture that has come out of the clear solution.  I have been assured by the “my-shield” chief scientist that frozen HS is every bit as effective as the clear solution, it is just not quite as attractive.  In other words, if you froze the solution to a solid block of ice, you might crack the bottle, but the melted solution would still be fully effective.

13. I was wondering if your hand sanitizer could be used on hard surfaces, such as a shopping cart handle?  Is it effective that way, either spraying or rubbing the foam on it? Just started using your product and have been pleased so far (though I would prefer if it didn’t have a scent…)

The short answer is YES, you can absolutely use the Hand Sanitizer on any hard surface such as a shopping cart handle, especially any part of the cart that a baby or baby mouth may come into contact. The killing effect is a property of the liquid (or foam) and it would eliminate living viruses, bacteria and fungi from the surface within seconds.

We have a surface cleaners  that are designed for use on practically any hard or even soft surface including cloth, upholstery and even carpet and flooring. To compare it to the HS, the active ingredients are very similar at a higher concentration. HS continues to protect your hands for 4-6hrs OR 5 hand washings with soap and water, killing added bacteria,V&F (virus & fungi) that you will pick up as you handle everything within the store. If you use the HS on the grocery cart handle, it will leave it almost pathogen free, providing redundant coverage for your hand contact with that handle. What I can’t tell you is how long it will keep killing on metal and plastic. If you or hopefully grocery stores in the future apply our surface sanitizer to all of the shopping cart handles those surfaces would keep killing pathogens for 21 days! That is exactly why our surface sanitizers is perfect around your home and business to keep pathogens off of door knobs, keyboards, mice, refrigerator handles, TV remotes, toilet flushers, faucet handles, and the list is endless. We just use a spray bottle of surface sanitizer and roam around our home with a clean rag, wiping anything that looks like it would collect a wide variety of pathogens.

Our surface sanitizer products are ideal, but not practical to carry with you. Remember that the Hand Sanitizer is bound to your skin for 4-6 hours and seconds after you touch even a non-cleaned cart handle, your hand will be clean again. The microbiologist that knows the product best actually told me that the surface where your fingers touched the cart handle will be cleaner than before you touched it. I hope this has given you a better understanding about how to protect yourself from pathogens in your environment. Please don’t hesitate to fire off additional questions or continue this discussion.

14. Hi .. I just ordered your hand sanitizer.. If we are out and go into a store and use it when we get back in to the car do we have to use it again if we go into another place right after that or does it work for that many hours without applying each time we go somewhere new? Sorry if this is not a clear question.

Your question is quite clear and a very good one.  That Hand Sanitizer is different than any that you have used before.  It kills all of the bacteria and viruses that any other HS does AND MORE.  The big difference is that when you apply ours it forms an electro-chemical bond to the outer layer of your skin that lasts a full 4 hours and continues to kill additional bacteria and viruses that you touch over that 4 hour time period.  When your old alcohol based HS had dried, it was completely DONE.  The moment you touch the next grocery kart handle or door knob, you are freshly re-contaminated.  The “my-shield” Hand Sanitizers remain effective for those 4 hours and up to 5 hand washings with soap and water!

Thanks for your great question and giving me a chance to explain how our product works.  There is much more information, science and studies under the “Home” tab on our website.  Go there to learn more or write back with any further questions that you may have in the future.

With your example, it would actually make more sense to apply the HS before you left your home or definitely your car and your hands are fully protected for the next 4 hours.  If you reapply before 4 hours go by, you are actually wasting product.  This is how we are much LESS expensive than the simple alcohol HS that you have to reapply every time you recontaminate your hands.

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