Ingredients In Hand Sanitizer – Are They Safe?

Klean+ Hand Sanitizer

It’s the topic of conversation lately and I’ve tried many of them. But are they safe?  We can answer that question when we know what ingredients in hand sanitizer.  Hand sanitizer was first introduced in 1966 in medical settings such as hospitals and healthcare offices.  And then popularized in the early 1990’s.  According to Pharmacy Today, 91% of children 0-5 yrs have been exposed by drinking or inhaling the product by mistake.  This is due to the appealing scent like apple, vanilla or citrus.  And children 6-12 yrs had consumed the product intentionally.  These products should always be used with caution and under the supervison of an adult.

Ingredients In Hand Sanitizer - are they safe?



It’s best to wash hands with soap and water when possible

Recently there was an ingredient causing public health issues that was in the news. It’s methanol. According to, methanol was found in hand sanitizers and the FDA is saying it is not an acceptable ingredient due to toxic effects. The definition according to Wikipedia is: Methanol, also known as methyl alcohol amongst other names, is a chemical with the formula CH3OH (a methyl group linked to a hydroxyl group, often abbreviated MeOH). It is a light, volatile, colourless, flammable liquid with a distinctive alcoholic odor similar to that of ethanol. A polar solvent, methanol acquired the name wood alcohol because it was once produced chiefly by the destructive distillation of wood. Today, methanol is mainly produced industrially by hydrogenation of carbon monoxide. Do not use hand sanitizer with methanol in it.

Basically, Methanol is a toxic alcohol that when used excessively it can cause vomiting, nausea, headache and vision problems. If you have any of these types of symptoms, stop using the product and call the doctor.

Klean+ Hand Sanitizer Review – Amazing Scent

Ingredients in Hand Sanitizer

There are many types of ingredients in hand sanitizer. It’s important to understand all of the choices and purchase from a reliable source. I personally choose one that has a good scent and isn’t sticky. The ones I purchase are usually better quality from a reputable store.  They come in liquid flip top, foam pump, gel or spray. Obviously there needs to be some strong ingredients in order for this type of product to be effective. Typically the following ingredients (in no order) could be found in approved hand sanitizers:

  • 60%-95% alcohol
  • Glycerol
  • Benzalkonium chloride
  • Ethyl Alcohol 63% (ethanol)
  • Water
  • Aloe
  • Acrylates
  • Benzophenone
  • Tocopherol
  • Eucalyptus Oil
  • Rosemary Oil
  • Vegetable Glycerin

Preferred Hand Sanitizers

I have a couple favorite hand sanitizers like Purell, Klean+, McKesson (not currently available) or GermX. They all have a nice scent and don’t leave an alcohol or sticky feeling on my hands. There are still product availability issues today when purchasing select products so order early to insure delivery when you need it.

  • Klean+ Hand Sanitizer-my new favorite choice Klean+ Hand Sanitizer comes in a wonderful lavender scent and can be purchased by clicking the ad below. It has 67% ethanol and fights 99.99% of common germs. FDA OTC approved.  Available only in 1.69oz travel size spray.



  • Purell-Purell Hand Sanitizer can be purchased by clicking here.  It has 70% ethyl alcohol and fights 99.99% of common germs.  Comes in refreshing aloe, regular scent or natural plant based alcohol scent. Available in travel, 28oz and 1 liter.

Ingredients In Hand Sanitizer - are they safe?


  • GermX-Germ-X Hand Sanitizer can be purchased by clicking here.  It has 62% ethyl alcohol and also fights 99.99% of common germs.  Comes in original, aloe and new fragrance collection.  Available in travle, 8oz and 30oz sizes.

Ingredients In Hand Sanitizer - are they safe?



Look for hand sanitizer that is triclosan, paraben and preservative free.  This is usually found in natural or plant based selections that could be harder to find.

When using Hand Sanitizer follow these directions

  • Apply thoroughly to one or both hands
  • Rub Hands together
  • Rub all over both hands and fingers until hands are dry for about 30-60 seconds
  • Be aware that when a product contains alcohol, it is flammable so stay away from flame or gas burner
  • Hand sanitizer may not work well if hands are very dirty or greasy

Always clean your hands before eating, after using the bathroom, after touching dirty surfaces that could be contaminated and after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose.

It takes about 60 seconds to kill germs on hands


Check out this helpful video on how to properly apply hand sanitizer:


Benefits of Hand Sanitizer

  • More accessible than hand washing station
  • More convenient
  • Act quickly to kill germs
  • Quicker than washing hands
  • Reduce bacteria on hands
  • Less irritating than soap and water

ingredients in hand sanitizer - pump hand sanitizer phot

Hand Sanitizers to Avoid

According to it’s highly recommended avoiding these hand sanitizers:

  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • All-Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer

It is recommended to stop using any of these listed above and dispose in an appropriate hazardous waste container. Do not flush or pour down the drain.

Make your own Hand Sanitizer

If you want to make your own hand sanitizer then follow these directions below. But please note that it is only recommended making your own if you are unable to purchase any. The process is easy but needs to be an exact measurement so that its effective to protect you from germs. Improper proportions or ingredients can lead to: skin irritations or burn, exposure to hazardous chemicals by inhaling or lack of efficacy. Homemade hand sanitizer is not recommended for children.

First of all, you will need 2 parts ethanol or rubbing alcohol, 1 part aloe vera gel and for fragrance a few drops of an essential oil (I like peppermint) or lemon juice. This 2:1 proportion keeps the alcohol content at 60% which according to the CDC is the minimum amount needed to kill germs. Mix all the ingredients together until well blended.

So now that you have an idea of what ingredients in hand sanitizer you can choose if you want to continue using it. As always it’s best to use soap and water. I’m a huge fan of hand sanitizer due to its convenience and ability to instantly kill germs on hands when a sink isn’t available.

Please comment below your experience with hand sanitizer or let me know if you have any questions.


Go to Klean+ by clicking here


Ingredients In Hand Sanitizer - are they safe?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases. When you use the links on this page to make a purchase I may get a small commission and you may get a great bargain. It’s a win-win all around. Full disclosure. The information contained in this website is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a doctor.

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  1. GREAT ARTICLE!!! I especially love the home made recipe! In today’s world we need hand sanitizer and is so traumatic when there are products out there that are dangerous and being recalled. With your article and especially recipe I’ll know which one is safe. I’m making my own! Thank you and God Bless!

  2. So much good info here! Although I use hand sanitizer daily, I never really thought too much about it. This article is very eye opening and I appreciate all the great information. Thank you!

  3. Wow! I never thought anyone would eat sanitizer on purpose or otherwise!

    Thank you for explaining methanol and giving a list of the recalled products! I have been wondering what all these recalls have been about!

    I did not know it was so easy to make! I am going to keep it on file for emergencies!

  4. I love your explanations. Now I’m even more convinced I’m right to like DIY stuff, mostly because then I can be sure about anything inside it.
    At the beginning of the pandemic, all the sanitizers disappeared from the stores, so many were forced to make their own. I had nothing against it and have been making it since, almost by the same recipe. I do put a bit more alcohol into it and only two drops of tea tree essential oil. That way it’s not too fragranced, but there’s still lingering some when I spray it.
    Thanks for confirming I’m doing it right.

  5. I’ve read that an alcohol-based hand sanitizer is effective in killing bacteria, germs, and viruses as long as it has 60% alcohol or more in the ingredients.
    I have dry hands, is there a hand-sanitizer that is milder on the skin than alcohol-based sanitizers? Is there one that is non-alcohol based?

    1. @Bob some of the brands I talked about are for sensitive skin and if without alcohol they may not kill germs. You may want to try Klean+ and see how you like it.

  6. Hi Alyse. Thank you for sharing this informative article. The homemade hand sanitizer sound interesting. I’m just wondering how long can it last? In other word got expiry period?

    1. @Janet I would only recommend keeping homemade hand sanitizer for about 3 weeks and only if it’s stored correctly with the lid on tightly. Thanks for asking a great question and visiting today.

  7. I really like this hand sanitizer. I just ordered more bottles. Love the smell and so easy to use.
    Thanks, Norene

  8. Wow! As usual, your article has educated me to some things I am glad to learn. I am especially glad to learn about the dangers of methanol. I am going to go look at every bottle of hand sanitizer we have in the house and make sure none have that nasty stuff.

    I got kind of a chuckle with the video that teaches how to use hand sanitizer. It was the snappy guitar and stand up bass playing that seemed funny to me. So, I enjoyed it.

    Anyway, now I know what to look for in hand sanitizer and what to stay away from.

    1. @Glenn It’s great that you enjoyed the video so did I!

      Thanks for stopping by and reading my article on ingredients in hand sanitizer. Best wishes for good health.

  9. Hi there
    Love this detailed article. I was not aware that methanol is toxic. I’m a soap and water person but this is good to know as my son have to carry sanitizer in school, I can look out for this ingredient the next time when he have to get a new one.

  10. Hi,
    Thank you for this informative and helpful post.
    Because of the pandemic, there is often a lack of hand sanitizer in the stores.

    I like the DIY stuff and I appreciate the “make your own hand sanitizer” section, the tips you shared there helped me make one for myself.
    Thank you so much!

    1. @Sebastian You are correct there is a lack of hand sanitizer so this is a great option. My article ingredients in hand sanitizer makes it so easy to make an informed decision what to buy.

  11. I appreciate the detailed information on the hand sanitizer. You’ve made it easier for me to make a better choice thank you Alyse.

  12. Wow, interesting that there could be toxic ingredients!
    Thanks for enlightening me. Thanks to your article, I will be a hand sanitizer label reader now.

  13. Love the article Alyse and couldn’t come at a better time, maybe a little late in the virus, but there are always updates. For instance, I recently saw something on youtube that listed 77, yes 77 different brands that are toxic actually. My second point is that there are also alcohol free hand sanitizers for those who may be going to a detox program as the alcohol will be absorbed through the skin, obviously, but will also show up in a urine screen. Just thought I’d mention that. I know some people in programs that have failed drug screens due to this. Nice work!!

  14. Great article! I’ve never googled the good vs the bad about hand sanitizers now you’ve made me aware. Truly appreciate all your research! Thank you so much!

  15. Hi Alyse,
    This was very interesting. I had no idea that some sanitizers weren’t good for you.
    I’ll have to go check the ingredients in mine!
    I also found it interesting that you don’t recommend using homemade sanitizer if you can buy it. There have been many people saying that homemade is better. But I can totally understand your reasoning. Many may not have a high enough alcohol percentage.
    Thanks so much,

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