Hand sanitizers are more important today than ever.
Shopping for hand sanitizers, however, can be confusing. All hand sanitizers promise to kill germs and clean your hands.
However, not all hand sanitizers are created equal. Some hand sanitizers have been proven to work in multiple scientific studies. Other hand sanitizers are no better than soap water – or worse, they damage your hands.
Today, we’re highlighting the best hand sanitizers you can buy in 2020, including the best budget hand sanitizers, premium hand sanitizers, and mid-range options.
Top Hand Sanitizers in 2020
Since the start of 2020 and the global health crisis involving the respiratory infection dubbed Covid-19, aka coronavirus, hand sanitizers and face masks have been two of the highest in-demand products on the market to start the new decade. While the following are the most popular hand cleaning products with the best reviews, no matter how heightened of a situation at-hand, using sanitizers is always a good idea to ensure cleanliness at all times.
- 1 Top Hand Sanitizers in 2020
- 1.1 Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer
- 1.2 Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes
- 1.3 Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes
- 1.4 Babyganics Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer
- 1.5 GelRite Instant Hand Sanitizer
- 1.6 Wet Ones Sensitive Skin Hand Wipes
- 1.7 Dettol Sanitizer
- 1.8 Amazon Brand Solimo Advanced Hand Sanitizer
- 1.9 Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Naturals
- 1.10 Purell Advanced Everywhere System
- 1.11 Mountain Falls Advanced Hand Sanitizer
- 1.12 Care Touch Alcohol-Free Sanitizing Wipes
- 1.13 Care Touch Sanitizing Hand Wipes
- 1.14 Germ-X Natural Hand Sanitizer Spray
- 1.15 CleanWell Natural Hand Sanitizer Spray
- 1.16 All Terrain Hand Sanz Hand Gel
- 1.17 ArtNaturals Natural Hand Sanitizer
- 2 How We Ranked
- 3 How to Use Hand Sanitizer
- 4 How Do Hand Sanitizers Work?
- 5 Scientific Evidence for Hand Sanitizer: Does Hand Sanitizer Actually Work?
- 6 FAQs About Hand Sanitizers
- 6.1 Q: What is a hand sanitizer?
- 6.2 Q: Where did hand sanitizers come from?
- 6.3 Q: When was hand sanitizer invented?
- 6.4 Q: How do I apply hand sanitizer?
- 6.5 Q: Do hand sanitizers protect me from viruses?
- 6.6 Q: Do hand sanitizers actually work?
- 6.7 Q: Does hand sanitizer kill germs?
- 6.8 Q: What’s the difference between a good and bad hand sanitizer?
- 6.9 Q: Does hand sanitizer expire?
- 6.10 Q: What’s the best hand sanitizer?
- 6.11 Q: Is hand sanitizer safe?
- 6.12 Q: Can someone be allergic to hand sanitizer?
- 6.13 Q: Are hand sanitizers bad for you?
- 6.14 Q: When should I avoid hand sanitizers?
- 6.15 Q: Is soap and water better than hand sanitizers?
- 6.16 Q: How do alcohol-free hand sanitizers work?
- 6.17 Q: Are alcohol-free hand sanitizers better than alcohol hand sanitizers?
- 6.18 Q: Are foam or liquid hand sanitizers better?
- 6.19 Q: Is hand sanitizer with 95% alcohol better than hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol?
- 6.20 Q: Can I apply hand sanitizer to my face?
- 6.21 Q: Is hand sanitizer toxic?
- 6.22 Q: What happens if I swallow alcohol-based hand sanitizer?
- 6.23 Q: Can hand sanitizer get you drunk?
- 6.24 Q: Can you get high off hand sanitizer?
- 6.25 Q: How does hand sanitizer kill viruses?
- 6.26 Q: Is the CDC recommending using hand sanitizer to kill the virus?
- 6.27 Q: What hand sanitizer kills norovirus?
- 6.28 Q: Why do hospitals use hand sanitizer?
- 6.29 Q: How long should I wash my hands?
- 6.30 Q: How should I wash my hands for maximum cleanliness?
- 6.31 Q: Can you bring hand sanitizer on a plane?
- 6.32 Q: Do doctors use hand sanitizer before surgery?
- 6.33 Q: Do hand sanitizers only fight colds and cases of flu?
- 6.34 Q: Does hand sanitizer kill sperm?
- 6.35 Q: Is alcohol-based hand sanitizer flammable?
- 6.36 Q: Does hand sanitizer stain clothes?
- 6.37 Q: How much alcohol is in hand sanitizer?
- 6.38 Q: How to remove nail polish with hand sanitizer?
- 6.39 Q: Can you put hand sanitizer on a cut?
- 6.40 Q: Does hand sanitizer kill E. coli?
- 6.41 Q: Does hand sanitizer kill herpes?
- 6.42 Q: Is hand sanitizer poisonous?
- 6.43 Q: Does hand sanitizer kill fungus?
- 6.44 Q: Does hand sanitizer kill salmonella?
- 6.45 Q: Does hand sanitizer kill pink eye?
- 6.46 Q: Does hand sanitizer kill ringworm?
- 6.47 Q: Can hand sanitizer affect a urine test?
- 6.48 Q: Can hand sanitizer be used as lube?
- 6.49 Q: Can hand sanitizer kill HIV?
- 6.50 Q: Can too much hand sanitizer cause a rash?
- 6.51 Q: Can we eat after using hand sanitizer?
- 6.52 Q: Does hand sanitizer freeze?
- 6.53 Q: Does hand sanitizer help armpit odor?
- 6.54 Q: Does hand sanitizer kill staph?
- 6.55 Q: Does hand sanitizer remove coffee stains?
- 6.56 Q: Does hand sanitizer weaken the immune system?
- 6.57 Q: Does hand sanitizer make your hair grow?
- 6.58 Q: Does hand sanitizer prevent bread mold?
- 6.59 Q: Is Purell hand sanitizer gluten free?
- 6.60 Q: Can babies use hand sanitizer?
- 6.61 Q: Can hand sanitizer cause cancer?
- 6.62 Q: Does hand sanitizer kill head lice?
- 6.63 Q: What happens if you inhale hand sanitizer?
- 7 Final Word
Here are the top 17 rated hand sanitizers of 2020 to get your hands on today.
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer
Purell’s tried-and-true hand sanitizer classic can be spotted in millions of car gloveboxes across the country.
Purell’s claim to fame is that just one squirt of its hand sanitizer kills as many germs as two squirts of any other national brand. The formula is also enhanced with four nourishing skin-conditioning agents, creating a formula that’s mild on hands and easy on the skin.
In recent years, Purell has also launched different versions of its hand sanitizer, including the ‘Green’ version that uses plant-based ethyl alcohol, or the ‘Refreshing Aloe’ option for additional moisture.
Some find the scent of Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer to be a little too clinical. After all, the formula consists of 70% ethyl alcohol for maximum microbial purposes. However, if you want an effective hand sanitizer, then you should be okay with the scent.
There’s a reason Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer is the number one brand used in hospitals.
Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes
Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes are among the most popular sanitizers on the market. Wet Ones doesn’t specifically make face wipes, although Wet Ones hand wipes are generally safe to use on the skin.
Wet Ones also specifically states that each wipe “cleans better than hand sanitizers”. Plus, you can choose from two options: antibacterial or for sensitive skin.
However you use them, Wet Ones Hand Wipes are known for their multiple convenient packaging options, pleasant scents, and ability to kill 99.99% of germs. We also appreciate that Wet Ones won’t leave you smelling like a hospital room: there isn’t a nasty, overpowering, alcohol or chemical scent with any of the wipes.
Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes
Not to be outdone, Wet Ones competitor Purell has launched its own hand sanitizing wipes. The wipes kill 99.99% of most illness-causing germs, have a clean and refreshing scent, and are dermatologist tested to be safe to use.
The wipes can be used to clean your hands or to wipe up messes. Each soft wipe should be tough enough to tackle small messes, although like Wet Ones, Purell’s wipes aren’t suitable for larger messes.
If you want maximum protection from viruses, bacteria, and other contaminants, then Amazon sells a six-pack of Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes. Each container has 40 wipes. You can also buy the wipes in portable packs with 15 wipes per package.
Babyganics Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer
Babyganics Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer is ideal for families and children. It doesn’t contain the irritants you typically find in hand sanitizers. The formula is alcohol-free, which means you don’t get the same scent you get with other hand sanitizers on this list.
The foaming action also makes this easier for children of all ages to use. Traditional hand sanitizers can run off a child’s hands, leaving a mess on the floor – and worse, leaving hands dirty. Babyganics Alcohol-Free Foaming Hand Sanitizer is not only easy to apply, but it also moisturizes the skin. Oh, and did we mention it’s made from plant-derived, non-allergenic ingredients?
GelRite Instant Hand Sanitizer
GelRite Instant Hand Sanitizer is a popular premium-priced hand sanitizer product that kills over 99% of germs while being gentle enough for frequent use.
Made by skin care company DermaRite, GelRite Instant Hand Sanitizer is enriched with vitamin E for added moisture.
Like most other effective hand sanitizers on this list, GelRite uses alcohol to keep viruses and bacteria at bay. There’s 65% alcohol content, which exceeds the CDC recommendations for hand sanitizer but is slightly lower than the 70% used by Purell and other leading brands.
GelRite’s Instant Hand Sanitizer can be used on the go, and there’s no sticky or tacky residue like other hand sanitizers.
Wet Ones Sensitive Skin Hand Wipes
Wet Ones sells two flagship hand wipe products, including Antibacterial hand wipes and Sensitive Skin hand wipes. The company’s Sensitive Skin hand wipes are formulated with natural moisturizers that make it easier for skin to handle, including hazel, cucumber, chamomile, and aloe.
The formula is also hypoallergenic, non-drying, and non-irritating. Wet Ones claims the formula has been clinically shown to be gentle enough for a baby’s skin.
The main drawback of Wet Ones Sensitive Skin Hand Wipes is that the wipes do not kill 99.99% of germs like Wet Ones Antibacterial Hand Wipes. In fact, Wet Ones doesn’t specifically mention the percentage of germs killed. However, if you want decent skin protection and better skin moisturization, then Wet Ones Sensitive Skin Hand Wipes may be the right choice.
Dettol offers decent germ-killing power at a reasonable price. The formula kills 99.9% of germs. You can apply it to your hands on-the-go without rinsing.
Dettol is a UK-based company founded 80 years ago. The company originally sold products that protected mothers from illness after child birth. Ever since, Dettol liquid has been trusted around the world to help clean wounds caused by cuts, bites, and more. Today, the hand sanitizer is a trusted way to kill germs.
It may not as well-known as Purell or Wet Ones, but Dettol has a proven ability to fight germs – and it’s been fighting germs for eight decades.
Amazon Brand Solimo Advanced Hand Sanitizer
Amazon Brand Solimo Advanced Hand Sanitizer kills more than 99.99% of common germs. Like other Amazon Brand products, you get decent quality at an extremely reasonable price.
The Solimo Advanced Hand Sanitizer even has vitamin E and aloe, both of which should help moisturize your hands and protect against the drying effects of alcohol.
Speaking of alcohol, Solimo Advanced Hand Sanitizer has 70% ethyl alcohol – the same amount as leading brands like Purell. You get effective germ-fighting power at a very reasonable price.
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Naturals
We hinted at Purell’s Advanced Hand Sanitizer Naturals above, but it deserves its own entry. Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer takes the same great formula, but derives the ethyl alcohol from plant-based sources instead.
Despite being plant-based, Purell’s Advanced Hand Sanitizer Naturals kills more than 99.99% of illness causing germs, the same percentage as the very best products on the market, thanks to its 70% ethyl alcohol content.
To be clear, this isn’t an all-natural product: however, with 93% naturally-derived ingredients, Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Naturals meets the qualifications as a USDA Certified Biobased Product. It’s also scented with ingredients like orange peel oil, lavandin oil, and other fruit oils – something we don’t see with all other hand sanitizers.
Purell Advanced Everywhere System
Purell offers a range of hand sanitizer dispenser systems. Each system dispenses Purell’s tried-and-true Advanced Hand Sanitizer formula in a convenient way.
The systems are generally designed to be installed on a wall – like the wall of an office, restaurant, or any other public place. You can buy refills from Amazon and other retailers.
Obviously, this is the least portable option on this list: you can’t stuff it in your purse or take it on an airplane. However, for businesses, offices, and even homes looking for added protection, the Purell Advanced Everywhere System Hand Sanitizer may be the right choice.
You can buy a Purell Everywhere System Starter Kit, which includes a base and refill cartridge, from Amazon and other major retailers.
Mountain Falls Advanced Hand Sanitizer
This list has been dominated by Purell and other leading hand sanitizer brands so far – and for good reason. You may not have heard of Mountain Falls, but it’s one of the best-rated hand sanitizer products on Amazon.
With over 1,400 reviews, Mountain Falls Advanced Hand Sanitizer has an average rating of 4.5 stars out of 5 for its flagship Advanced Hand Sanitizer product.
Mountain Falls claims their hand sanitizer will leave hands feeling soft and refreshed while still killing more than 99.99% of germs. Plus, there’s vitamin E for added moisturization. Overall, the formula is virtually identical to Purell in every way, although it’s often available at a cheaper price.
Care Touch Alcohol-Free Sanitizing Wipes
Care Touch Alcohol-Free Sanitizing Wipes are a fragrance-free, alcohol-free option. The wipes are designed to be safe for sensitive skin and safe for children. Like other leading wipes on this list, Care Touch Alcohol-Free Sanitizing Wipes contain vitamin E and aloe to prevent the alcohol from sucking crucial moisture from your skin.
The wipes come in a resealable, on-the-go package, making them ideal for traveling. They can fit comfortably in your luggage, glovebox, purse, or anywhere else they need to go. Each resealable pack contains 20 pre-soaked cloths.
Care Touch Sanitizing Hand Wipes
In addition to making alcohol-free hand wipes, Care Touch makes ordinary Sanitizing Hand Wipes that kill 99.99% of germs using an alcohol-based formula.
If germ-fighting power is more important to you than being alcohol-free, then Care Touch’s Sanitizing Hand Wipes may be the right choice. Both formulas are fragrance-free, which means you get more of a clean, alcohol scent with this formula.
Germ-X Natural Hand Sanitizer Spray
Germ-X’s Natural Hand Sanitizer Spray is the first spray option on our list. Unlike wipes and traditional hand sanitizers, Germ-X’s Natural Hand Sanitizer Spray claims to kill 99.99% of common harmful germs and bacteria in as little as 15 seconds.
Many people also appreciate Germ-X’s sweet citrus vanilla fragrance, which is derived from natural ingredients. Plus, the plant-based, alcohol formula contains aloe and vitamin E for additional moisture. In fact, Germ-X claims the formula is gentle enough for the hands or the face.
CleanWell Natural Hand Sanitizer Spray
CleanWell’s Natural Hand Sanitizer spray is an alcohol-free formula that kills germs naturally. The anti-bacterial, plant-based formula is non-toxic and kid-friendly. Each 1 fl oz container has 225+ sprays.
CleanWell markets this product primarily to parents, and the company recommends placing the products in a kid’s backpack or pencil bag for added protection. CleanWell also claims their formula is comparable to Purell, Babyganics, Wet Ones, and other leading hand sanitizer brands.
All Terrain Hand Sanz Hand Gel
All Terrain makes a popular hand sanitizer product called the Hand Sanz Hand Gel. Formulated with aloe and vitamin E, the gel promises to kill germs without excessively damaging the hands. All Terrain uses citrus oils (including grapefruit, orange, and lime seed oil) for scent and moisture, and they have even added vitamin C for extra hand support.
All Terrain is best-known for its outdoor protection gear, including insect repellant and sunscreen. However, All Terrain’s Hand Sanz hand sanitizer is a popular and well-rated sanitization option.
ArtNaturals Natural Hand Sanitizer
ArtNaturals Natural Hand Sanitizer Gel promises to kill germs naturally while shielding your hands from infection. A package of four hand sanitizer bottles is priced at just $15. That set of four includes pleasant varieties like Coconut, Tea Tree, and Lavender. There’s also a Scent-Free option.
The formulas are infused with jojoba oil, aloe, vitamin E, and tea tree oil for added moisture. Most other hand sanitizers on this list only offer one or two of those ingredients, while ArtNaturals has added all four.
The main drawback of the ArtNaturals Natural Hand Sanitizer is that the manufacturer does not list the alcohol percentage, nor does ArtNaturals mention which percentage of germs the formula can kill. However, if you want basic protection with great scent and moisturization capabilities, then the ArtNaturals Natural Hand Sanitizer lineup may be an ideal choice.
How We Ranked
Hand sanitizers all promise the same thing. However, the quality and effectiveness of hand sanitizers varies widely. Here’s how we ranked the hand sanitizers listed above:
Alcohol Percentage: The CDC recommends hand sanitizers contain between 60% and 95% alcohol for maximum effectiveness. We emphasized hand sanitizers that matched these amounts.
Non-Alcohol Options: We understand not everyone wants to dry out their hands with alcohol-containing hand sanitizers, which is why we added several non-alcohol options. Most studies show that non-alcohol hand sanitizers aren’t as effective, although they can still be part of an effective hand cleaning routine.
Application Method: We analyzed wipes, gels, liquids, and foams in our rankings. Most studies have not indicated that any particular application method is more effective, which is why we featured a range of options.
Budget and Pricing: Some people want budget hand sanitizers. Others are willing to pay more for added quality. We featured a range of hand sanitizers for all budgets.
Scent: We emphasized hand sanitizers that had a pleasant, natural scent or a clean, alcohol scent. We trended away from supplements with unusual, chemical-based scents.
Moisturization Agents: Many hand sanitizers above contained moisturization agents, including aloe vera, vitamin E, and others. Alcohol naturally dries out the skin, and moisturization agents can help.
Other Ingredients: Most hand sanitizers contain fillers and binders to turn the alcohol into a gel or solution. However, some use natural ingredients, while others use cheap chemicals.
Brand Reputation: Some of the best hand sanitizer brands have been making proven products since the 1980s. Other hand sanitizers are new, upstart brands with less of a reputation. Age isn’t everything, but some companies are more proven than others.
How to Use Hand Sanitizer
It’s crucial to use hand sanitizers properly for maximum effectiveness.
You should apply the hand sanitizer to the palm of one hand, then rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry.
Hand sanitizers are not as effective when your hands are covered with dirt and grime. If your hands are dirty, then you should wash with soap and water, dry your hands, then apply hand sanitizer.
How Do Hand Sanitizers Work?
The vast majority of hand sanitizers use alcohol to kill germs. Hand sanitizers use different types of alcohol, including ethanol (the same type of alcohol in wine, beer, and liquor) or isopropanol (the stuff found in rubbing alcohol).
Alcohol is the reason why hand sanitizers kill germs. Alcohol dissolves the outer coating of viruses and bacteria, which ultimately kills the bacteria.
The average hand sanitizer contains 60 to 70% alcohol content.
Most hand sanitizers contain 5 to 10 added ingredients beyond alcohol, including scents, gel-like thickeners, vitamins, minerals, herbal extracts, botanicals, essential oils, and more.
Some manufacturers actually add unpleasant-smelling ingredients to the formula to deter customers from taking a sip of the dangerous substance. It’s designed for your skin – not your mouth.
Most hand sanitizers specifically claim to kill 99.99% of germs. This claim is mostly made for marketing and legal reasons: in lab conditions, hand sanitizers often completely eradicate certain strains of bacteria. However, even the best hand sanitizers will not kill 100% of the bacteria found on your hands, which is why hand sanitizer companies make that claim.
You may have heard people worrying about hand sanitizers creating “super germs”. Do hand sanitizers really eliminate 99.99% of germs, leaving the strongest 0.01% of germs behind to repopulate?
Nope. Bacteria do not develop stronger proteins or membranes in response to being exposed to hand sanitizer.
However, there is some research that suggests a coming threat of microbial resistance, when certain bacteria no longer respond to drugs and have developed a tolerance to alcohol. It’s not totally clear how realistic this threat is, however, so you should be okay to use hand sanitizer today.
There are some drawbacks of hand sanitizer. The main drawback is that it won’t cleanse your hands of dirt and other physical contaminants. Most hand sanitizers are specifically designed to kill germs – not slough away dirt. For that, you need soap and water.
Scientific Evidence for Hand Sanitizer: Does Hand Sanitizer Actually Work?
Hand sanitizer seems to work as advertised to kill germs and reduce the spread of bacteria. Some hand sanitizer brands do a better job than others, but most hand sanitizers are backed by real science.
This study published in 2018 in Pediatrics, for example, found that children were less likely to get sick and miss daycare when they used hand sanitizer compared to water and soap to wash their hands.
The CDC recommends that your hand sanitizer contain at least 60% to 95% alcohol to be effective. Alcohol inactivates viruses. There are non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers, although they do not kill nearly the same percentage of germs as alcohol-based hand sanitizers.
You might assume that hand sanitizers work best when they have 90% or 100% alcohol content. However, that’s not the case: alcohol diluted with a little bit of water has better penetration than pure alcohol. That means a 70% or 90% alcohol formula may kill germs more effectively than a 100% alcohol formula.
We mentioned one drawback of hand sanitizers above: they don’t remove dirt and grime from your hands, which could pose its own risks. As the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) explains, hand sanitizers also don’t work as well when your hands are covered in dirt. Ideally, you’ll wash your hands with soap and water first, then wash them with hand sanitizer second.
A combination of soap and water and hand sanitizer (applied separately) is ideal for another reason: hand sanitizer doesn’t kill every microbe. However, soap and water can wash microbes away from your hands, reducing the risk of getting sick.
Another drawback with hand sanitizers is that they may not remove harmful chemicals, including pesticides and heavy metals, from your hands. In fact, as reported by the CDC in this study, people who reported using hand sanitizer to clean their hands had increased levels of pesticides in their bodies.
FAQs About Hand Sanitizers
Q: What is a hand sanitizer?
A: Hand sanitizer is a liquid that often contains some combination of isopropyl alcohol, ethanol (ethyl alcohol), or n-propanol to eliminate potential infectious agents on the skin. The most effective options contain 60% to 90% alcohol.
Q: Where did hand sanitizers come from?
A: Alcohol has been used as an antiseptic as far back as 1363. Using alcohol as an antiseptic has been widespread since the 1800s. Modern, alcohol-based hand sanitizers first became popular in Europe in the 1980s.
Q: When was hand sanitizer invented?
A: Lupe Hernandez, a registered nurse from Bakersfield, California, invented hand sanitizer in 1966.
Q: How do I apply hand sanitizer?
A: The CDC recommends a three-step hand sanitizer application process as part of its Clean Hands campaign: Apply hand sanitizer to the palm of one hand Rub hands together Rub the hand sanitizer over all surfaces of hands and fingers until hands are dry
Q: Do hand sanitizers protect me from viruses?
A: Hand sanitizers can kill germs, and a good hand sanitizer kills 99.99% of common illness-causing germs you might have on your hands. Applying hand sanitizer regularly can reduce germs on your hands, making it less likely to catch a virus after being in public. However, hand sanitizers will not protect against direct contact with people who have respiratory viruses.
Q: Do hand sanitizers actually work?
A: Yes, the usefulness of hand sanitizers has been demonstrated in numerous studies to date. Hand sanitizers help to remove the outermost layer of oil on the skin to remove most bacteria and viruses, and the effectiveness of the formula mostly depends on the concentration of alcohol. Hand sanitizers, however, may not work in all situations – say, if you have dirt on your hands or if you come into direct contact with someone with a respiratory virus.
Q: Does hand sanitizer kill germs?
A: Yes. Hand sanitizer was made for the purpose of destroying up to 99.999% of all bacteria, viruses, and other germs.
Q: What’s the difference between a good and bad hand sanitizer?
A: The CDC recommends that good hand sanitizers have alcohol content between 60 and 95%. Good hand sanitizers might also have aloe vera, vitamin C, and other moisturization compounds to reduce the ‘drying out’ effect that alcohol has on the skin.
Q: Does hand sanitizer expire?
A: Though every bottle of hand sanitizer shows an expiration date, it will continue to be effective beyond this date. However, after this date passes, the alcohol that is used to kill bacteria and viruses will slowly evaporate until it is no longer as concentrated. Using hand sanitizer after the expiration date may not offer the same results as before it.
Q: What’s the best hand sanitizer?
A: Purell is generally considered the best hand sanitizer brand on the market. It’s the brand used in most hospitals. However, most other leading hand sanitizer brands are very comparable to Purell.
Q: Is hand sanitizer safe?
A: Unless someone has an allergy to an ingredient in the formula, hand sanitizers are not considered to be harmful. However, some studies show that the lack of exposures to bacteria can reduce the individual’s natural antibacterial resistance over time.
Q: Can someone be allergic to hand sanitizer?
A: For a standard hand sanitizer, it is unlikely that anyone would be allergic to hand sanitizer, unless they are allergic to the natural presence of certain fragrances or natural botanicals. However, it can create a disruption in the pH that naturally exists in the skin, which can cause the user to experience itching and redness with exposure to possible allergens.
Q: Are hand sanitizers bad for you?
A: Not necessarily. Since most hand sanitizers contain alcohol, consumers with dry skin may experience more irritation than others. Some skeptics argue that hand sanitizers are bad for you because they reduce immune system efficiency or create ‘super germs’. There’s limited evidence behind this claim. No major studies have suggested that hand sanitizers pose a threat.
Q: When should I avoid hand sanitizers?
A: It’s recommended that you avoid hand sanitizers in two situations: if your hands are visibly dirty or if you have chemicals on your hands. Hand sanitizers are not as effective when your hands are covered in dirt and grime. Hand sanitizers have also not been proven to remove pesticides and other chemicals. A combination of soap and water followed by hand sanitizer may work best.
Q: Is soap and water better than hand sanitizers?
A: No. When choosing between washing the hands for sixty seconds and applying hand sanitizer, the greater cleanliness will be found in the hand wash instead. Soap and water is a proven effective way to remove certain types of germs from your hands. Soap and water may also do a better job of preserving the flora or “good” bacteria on your hands. Some studies have shown hand sanitizers are equal or worse than soap and water, while other studies have indicated the opposite. However, the CDC still recommends hand sanitizer due to its portability: it’s easier to carry hand sanitizer around than soap and water.
Q: How do alcohol-free hand sanitizers work?
A: Alcohol-free hand sanitizers typically contain less than a 0.1% concentration of Benzalkonium, a type of ammonium. The rest of the solution consists of water, vitamin E, and moisturization agents.
Q: Are alcohol-free hand sanitizers better than alcohol hand sanitizers?
A: Alcohol-free hand sanitizers do not typically advertise themselves as killing a certain percentage of germs. Most alcohol hand sanitizers claim to kill 99% to 99.99% of germs, for example, while non-alcohol hand sanitizers do not make this claim.
Q: Are foam or liquid hand sanitizers better?
A: Foam hand sanitizers may be better because they’re easier to spread across your hands and skin. However, hand sanitizers should all perform about equally when applied correctly.
Q: Is hand sanitizer with 95% alcohol better than hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol?
A: The CDC recommends using hand sanitizers with between 60 and 95% alcohol content. However, a higher number isn’t always better. In fact, alcohol needs a certain percentage of water to penetrate the bacteria, which is why 70% alcohol formulas may be better than 100% alcohol formulas.
Q: Can I apply hand sanitizer to my face?
A: It’s generally not recommended to apply ordinary hand sanitizer to your face. However, some hand sanitizer formulas are specifically marketed as “gentle” and “face friendly”, in which case they may be safe to apply to the face.
Q: Is hand sanitizer toxic?
A: Externally, hand sanitizer is only toxic to bacteria and viruses, as the use of triclosan was banned in 2016 from its in disinfecting products. However, if someone drinks hand sanitizer, there is a chance of alcohol poisoning, low blood sugar, coma, and/or seizures, but these side effects are uncommon.
Q: What happens if I swallow alcohol-based hand sanitizer?
A: Alcohol-based hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning when consumed directly. Drinking hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning since it contains a heavy concentration of isopropyl. Between 2011 and 2015, the United States poison control centers received over 85,000 calls about hand sanitizer exposure among children. Though it is possible to experience symptoms of drunkenness, consuming hand sanitizer can cause organ damage, nervous system damage, and even blindness.
Q: Can hand sanitizer get you drunk?
A: Technically, yes. However, the high concentration of alcohol can also cause many other damaging side effects in the body, and it should not be used as a substitute for an alcoholic drink.
Q: Can you get high off hand sanitizer?
A: It is possible to get a “high” from inhaling or ingesting hand sanitizer, though it is incredibly risky to the lungs and the digestive tract over time.
Q: How does hand sanitizer kill viruses?
A: Hand sanitizer kills germs by disrupting the outer coating of the bacteria. If the formula contains at least 70% alcohol, it can kill 99.999% of the bacteria on the user’s hands in a minute after being used. We know the virus has an envelope, which should make it susceptible to hand sanitizer.
Q: Is the CDC recommending using hand sanitizer to kill the virus?
A: The CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content to protect against the virus. Here’s the exact wording of the CDC website: “If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol. Always wash hands with soap and water if hands are visibly dirty.”
Q: What hand sanitizer kills norovirus?
A: While an alcohol-based sanitizer can help in the defense against norovirus, the only way to truly protect against norovirus is by both washing the hands and using a hand sanitizer.
Q: Why do hospitals use hand sanitizer?
A: Hospital staff typically lather their hands with sanitizer as an effort to reduce the likelihood of spreading disease. Most staff members’ hands do not become soiled or greasy without being washed, and the use of hand sanitizer is a safety precaution.
Q: How long should I wash my hands?
A: Some experts recommend singing happy birthday while washing your hands to ensure adequate coverage. Generally, you should wash your hands for 20 to 40 seconds to ensure they’re clean.
Q: How should I wash my hands for maximum cleanliness?
A: Experts recommend wetting your hands with water, applying sufficient soap to cover all hand surfaces, and then working that soap all over your hands, between your fingers, and on every surface, before rinsing with water.
Q: Can you bring hand sanitizer on a plane?
A: As long as the hand sanitizer is in a TSA-compliant container (no more than 3.4 ounces), it can be brought on a plane with the rest of the user’s luggage.
Q: Do doctors use hand sanitizer before surgery?
A: Medical professionals must disinfect their hands prior to surgery. Typically, doctors wash their hands with mild soap, then hand-rub with a sanitizer.
Q: Do hand sanitizers only fight colds and cases of flu?
A: Hand sanitizers work on a range of bacterial and viral illnesses. Some viruses are more susceptible to hand sanitizers than others. However, there’s a reason hand sanitizers claim to kill 99.99% of common illness-causing germs. They genuinely kill germs. Hand sanitizer may be effective against influenza with the use of ethyl alcohol. However, it doesn’t cleanse the hands as well as washing them will.
Q: Does hand sanitizer kill sperm?
A: Though the direct use of hand sanitizer against sperm has not technically been studies, the alcohol used would be able to kill sperm. However, hand sanitizer should exclusively be used externally, and it should never be used as a substitute for spermicide or any type of contraceptive.
Q: Is alcohol-based hand sanitizer flammable?
A: Yes, alcohol-based hand sanitizers are flammable. It is a Class I Flammable Liquid substance and must be kept away from fires and flames. It has a flashpoint of under 100 degrees Fahrenheit, and even the vapors from this treatment can be flammable. Non-alcohol hand sanitizers should not be flammable but check the label.
Q: Does hand sanitizer stain clothes?
A: Not only does hand sanitizer typically not stain, but it can actually be used to remove stains from other clothing. If the hand sanitizer contains any kind of dye, it is possible to discolor clothing. However, hand sanitizer may be able to function as a stain remover, even for ink with proper blotting.
Q: How much alcohol is in hand sanitizer?
A: It varies. A good hand sanitizer contains between 60% to 90% alcohol in the formula. However, the exact amount of alcohol depends on the particular brand, which should include this information on the label.
Q: How to remove nail polish with hand sanitizer?
A: Hand sanitizer can be used to remove nail polish in the same way that traditional nail polish remover works. However, as the composition is different, users may need to take a little longer to rub off all of the nail polish as the sanitizer works.
Q: Can you put hand sanitizer on a cut?
A: No. Alcohol-based hand sanitizer will damage the exposed tissue in a cut, and there’s a chance that the wound could get worse. Hand sanitizers are for external use only.
Q: Does hand sanitizer kill E. coli?
A: Even though hand sanitizer can get rid of the majority of germs, its use is not enough to get rid of E. coli, especially if the individual consistently works with raw food. The only way to fully protect the body is by washing the hands.
Q: Does hand sanitizer kill herpes?
A: The herpes virus doesn’t survive outside the body and can be killed with soap and water to avoid transfer. A study in the Journal of Clinical Microbiology states that the herpes simplex virus (types 1 and 2) was inactivated, though it showed resistance to these formulas. Consumers should never apply hand sanitizer to a current outbreak, as it could irritate the current lesion.
Q: Is hand sanitizer poisonous?
A: As we addressed above, a small amount of hand sanitizer (about the amount that would come from licking a hand) won’t necessarily hurt anyone, drinking it can cause alcohol poisoning. Any possible consumption should be treated quickly, and Poison Control should be contacted for what to do next.
Q: Does hand sanitizer kill fungus?
A: Hand sanitizer may kill most fungi if it contains at least 60% alcohol or an antiseptic. The only way that hand sanitizer may kill nail fungus is on the surface of the infection at its earliest stages. To truly get to the roots of the fungal infection, users may need to seek out a prescription regimen. The same can be said for the toenail fungus. Consumers will most likely need medication or prescribed treatment to effectively eliminate toenail fungus.
Q: Does hand sanitizer kill salmonella?
A: While research that was published five years ago states that there’s a possibility of reducing the salmonella population on the hands with sanitizer, there’s still a risk that it will be present. Washing the hands is a preferred method of eliminating potential salmonella.
Q: Does hand sanitizer kill pink eye?
A: No. In fact, most of the bacteria and viruses that are linked to the onset of pink eye are resistant to hand sanitizers with an alcohol base. Furthermore, even if sanitizer was a good treatment, it is only meant for external use.
Q: Does hand sanitizer kill ringworm?
A: Ringworm, a fungal infection on the skin, is safe to keep contained with hand sanitizer. However, to actually kill it, the user needs to get a fungicide that is specific to ringworm treatment.
Q: Can hand sanitizer affect a urine test?
A: While the frequent use of hand sanitizer won’t make the user feel drunk, it is possible to test positive for the consumption of alcohol. Consumers that clean their hands with a sanitizer could influence a false positive in screenings for alcohol use from physical contact.
Q: Can hand sanitizer be used as lube?
A: No. Hand sanitizer is made from alcohol, which has the opposite texture of lube, which is meant to soften and wet the skin. Furthermore, if the user has any scratch, cut, or overly sensitive skin, the sanitizer could cause significant discomfort.
Q: Can hand sanitizer kill HIV?
A: HIV is a very fragile virus, and it can be killed by exposure to oxygen. While hand sanitizer can technically deactivate it, the use of it against HIV is unnecessary, considering its short lifespan outside the human body.
Q: Can too much hand sanitizer cause a rash?
A: Yes. As alcohol is a drying agent, excessive use of hand sanitizer can cause the skin to be stripped of its natural oils and cause redness, itching, and other issues.
Q: Can we eat after using hand sanitizer?
A: Yes. However, since the outermost layer of oil has been removed, anyone eating a meal with their hands may be more prone to irritation. Still, consuming a meal after the use of hand sanitizer won’t put the user in any immediate danger.
Q: Does hand sanitizer freeze?
A: Technically, yes. However, considering that main ingredient in most hand sanitizers is ethyl alcohol, the only way that the hand sanitizer would freeze would be to reach -174 degrees Fahrenheit.
Q: Does hand sanitizer help armpit odor?
A: Hand sanitizer alone will not eliminate odor from the armpits, as it cannot destroy 100% of the bacteria that already exists by the time odor occurs. Consumers should wash their armpits to eliminate the odor, as this is the only way to remove the bacteria creating the problem.
Q: Does hand sanitizer kill staph?
A: While hand sanitizer may kill some of the germ associated with staph, it is not an adequate form of eradication.
Q: Does hand sanitizer remove coffee stains?
A: According to many sources, hand sanitizer is a helpful product when it comes to stain removal. It can remove coffee stains, though it can also remove stains from ink and other liquids.
Q: Does hand sanitizer weaken the immune system?
A: Hand sanitizer helps the hands to stay clean and protects the user from illness. However, it is possible to weaken the typical strength of the immune system, which is why it shouldn’t be used as the sole way of leaning the hands. Soap and water is usually the best option.
Q: Does hand sanitizer make your hair grow?
A: While there are not studies on how hand sanitizer specifically can impact the hair, the drying nature of the alcohol is not good for quality of hair. Hair needs moisture and protein to grow, and hand sanitizer has neither.
Q: Does hand sanitizer prevent bread mold?
A: Though hand sanitizer can prevent the maximum possible growth of mold on bread, the most effective defense is to wash the hands with soap and water.
Q: Is Purell hand sanitizer gluten free?
A: Any beauty product could potentially contain gluten. So far, Purell has not confirmed that their remedy doesn’t include gluten, which means it could negatively impact consumers with celiac disease.
Q: Can babies use hand sanitizer?
A: The skin of a baby is highly sensitive. While a hand sanitizer may be used, consumers should seek out formulas that are alcohol-free, which means they may not be as effective as their alcohol-based counterparts.
Q: Can hand sanitizer cause cancer?
A: Years ago, an ingredient in hand sanitizer called triclosan was found to potentially cause cancer. Since 2015, this ingredient has been banned from the health and beauty industry, and no other ingredient in this formula has been connected to cancer.
Q: Does hand sanitizer kill head lice?
A: No, but it does “stun” them, since it dissolves the texture that locks the nits into the scalp. By causing the lice to stop moving, it is possible to remove the lice and eggs quickly and effortlessly with a nit comb.
Q: What happens if you inhale hand sanitizer?
A: Inhalation of hand sanitizer can cause serious headaches, nausea, vomiting, difficulty breathing, and other side effects. Hand sanitizer is meant for external use only.
Hand sanitizers are a proven way to clean germs from your hands. They’re portable and effective at killing 99.99% of germs.
In times of pandemic, hand sanitizers become more important than ever. Buy one of the hand sanitizers listed above today to reduce the spread of potentially harmful bacteria.