I'm finding in the non-touristy places in China where I'm spending my time in cheaper places etc that there's often no place to wash your hands, or it's dirty, or there's no soap.
I've been recommended to buy some hand sanitizer, but the Wikipedia page doesn't link to a Chinese equivalent and Wiktionary doesn't even include an entry for hand sanitizer.
I've never been one to use it before so I'm not an expert, but I think the key things about hand sanitizer that make it different to liquid soap is that 1) it is alcohol-based and does not require water, and 2) doesn't just clean but disinfects, so is better than soap for preventing spread of diseases such as the common cold.
Google Translate offers several alternatives though:
- 洗手液 xǐshǒu yè
- 免洗洗手液 miǎn xǐ xǐshǒu yè
- 消毒洗手液 xiāodú xǐshǒu yè
的洗手液 de xǐshǒu yè
Of these, I don't trust 2. and 5. - the first because it translated back as "wash your hands" and the second because starting with the character
的 doesn't seem right for a noun phrase.
So on the fact of it, 1. looks most versatile with 3. and 4. just being alternative long equivalents. But is it so simple in reality.
(For me right now the term most useful in Hebei province is probably what I want.)