3 Things You Need To Know About Choosing Hand Sanitizers

by Kroger Health Staff

Last Updated: July 24, 2020

With the onset of COVID-19, handwashing became a crucial element in preventing the spread of the virus. While scrubbing your hands with soap and water is still the preferred method, hand sanitizer is a great solution when traditional soap and water is unavailable. As a result, hand sanitizer became a need-to-have item in every household, resulting in unprecedented levels of production. As more companies across the globe are bringing hand sanitizer to market, it is important to be aware certain compounds and ingredients are more effective than others, and that there are toxic ingredients that need to be avoided entirely. As you purchase hand sanitizer, keep these tips in mind to help you choose the best options available.
  1. Be aware of product recalls and advisories.
    The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recently released a statement advising consumers of the dangers of toxic hand sanitizers after alerts of the presence of methanol, also known as “wood alcohol,” in certain hand sanitizers. Methanol is toxic when applied to the skin or ingested. In light of this, be sure to review the FDA’s website to stay informed of any new recalls or alerts before purchasing hand sanitizer.
  2. Purchase ethanol-based hand sanitizers.
    The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using alcohol-based hand sanitizers, but the FDA recommends choosing hand sanitizers containing ethanol, which is also known as ethyl alcohol. A recent study published in Emerging Infectious Diseases found a common sanitizer formulation containing ethanol sufficiently inactivated the coronavirus. Recommendations on the percentage of alcohol by volume vary between 60% - 95%, and most commercially available hand sanitizers fall within that range.
  3. Stick with brands you know and trust.
    • Kroger offers Kroger brand hand sanitizer. When choosing a hand sanitizer, choose a brand that you are familiar with and whose products are high quality.
    • Avoid brands that use false advertising claims, as the FDA has uncovered hundreds of fraudulent products, including hand sanitizers, being sold to consumers.

When buying hand sanitizer, don’t just look for what’s available and what’s inexpensive. Do a little bit of research before you buy to ensure you are keeping yourself and your family safe and healthy. If you have questions about choosing a hand sanitizer, reach out to your Kroger Health pharmacist.

Disclaimer: The information in this story is accurate as of its publication. However, the situation surrounding COVID-19 is ever-evolving. We are working to keep our stories up-to-date as changes occur, but we also encourage everyone to check news and recommendations from the CDC, WHO, and their local authorities.