Posted by: msmc4 | March 30, 2010

Hand Sanitizers, The Good and Bad.

I will be the first to admit that I am constantly putting on hand sanitizer. Regardless of its form, if it is available I will use it.  Once the sanitizer has dried, I feel safe enough to then eat and even rub my eyes. After all, is not the function of hand sanitizer to disinfect?

According to an article in the NY Times, the function of hand sanitizer is to disinfect, but it does not mean that all hand sanitizers actually do. A study conducted on hand sanitizers available at stores found that at least one brand did not kill the majority of harmful bacteria. When researchers looked at the sanitizer’s ingredients, they found that its alcohol concentration was less than 60%. In order for a hand sanitizer to be effective, it must have an alcohol concentration between 60 and 95%. Any less will not kill the microbes.

So before you buy your next hand sanitizer, be sure to check its alcohol concentration!



  1. I had no idea some sanitizers don’t really sanitize! This is good to know.

  2. Scary! I think that most of us tend to think we’re good to go if we’ve used the sanitizer, but this tells us otherwise. Thanks for the tip!

  3. I can’t believe there are some hand sanitizers that are not effective. How sad.

  4. I use sanitizers all the time. That’s scary that some don’t even work. I rely on these all the time at work.

  5. I am not a fan of hand-sanitizer. I makes my hands feel sticky and covered in alcohol. I want to use it and then wash my hands… which shouldn’t they feel clean afterward?? hmm… haha.

  6. i love anti-bacterial and use it regularly, so thanks for the info!

  7. Wow this is really interesting. Thanks for putting the proper requirements in order for it to really work.I too enjoy using it but I want to make sure that it is actually working!

  8. Thanks for this post–I am now more aware of hand sanitizer and the requirements it must meet in order to be effective.

  9. Seriously??? I had no idea!! I will be so picky from now on!!

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