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Hand Sanitizer Ingredients

Hand Sanitizer Ingredients

Dilute alcohol and water are the two main ingredients of hand sanitizers. Read this article to gain more information about these sanitizer components.
Kundan Pandey
Last Updated: Dec 21, 2017
Prevention is better than cure. One of the best ways to avoid any sort of biological and chemical contamination is by adopting proper methods of hand washing, which is absolutely essential to prevent contagious diseases and illness. In hospitals, proper hand washing techniques become more crucial as the surgeons, doctors, and nurses come in frequent contact with various infected patients. With the frequent outbreaks of infections like swine flu and bird flu, hand washing has assumed a greater significance, and sanitizers have become a part of every household.

Liquid Hand Sanitizer Ingredients
Hand sanitizers are a liquid form of soap, and that are applied to the hands. They are mostly available with a distinct fragrance. Besides water, there are many other ingredients in varying content in these liquid soaps. The ingredients described below are the ones that are generally found in all the brands.

In its purest form, glycerin is nothing but alcohol called glycerol. When it is used as a component in various cosmetic and pharmaceutical products, it is modified in concentration, and is called glycerin. It is a colorless and sweet tasting liquid. It forms a thick paste on freezing. Glycerin easily dissolves in water or alcohol, but not in oils. It is hygroscopic in nature, i.e., it absorbs water from the air. It softens the skin when added in water. It also maintains or balances the moisture levels of the skin.

Ethyl Alcohol
It forms the major ingredient of the liquid soaps. It is also known as ethanol. This component has numerous uses as a solvent for various scents, flavors, colors, and medicines. Ethyl alcohol is a colorless and flammable liquid, and its use in disproportionate quantities is dangerous in any product. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends 60% to 95% alcohol content in hand sanitizers. This concentration depends on the amount of other inactive ingredients, and also on the particular brand. Other alcohol compounds may also be used in varying proportions by different manufacturers like:
  • Isopropyl Myristate
  • Propylene Glycol
  • Tocopheryl Acetate
  • Aminomethyl Propanol
  • Tocopheryl Acetate
Carbomer and Fragrance
This carbon compound is added in liquid hand sanitizers to increase the thickness of the liquid. Fragrances are the chemical compounds responsible for the imparting scent and odor to the liquid soap.

Nowadays, many people are opting for non alcohol based ingredients, that include herbal hand sanitizers, which are made by using natural products like aloe vera gel and different vegetable oils. Various brands also manufacture herbal sanitizers. The FDA has been occasionally reviewing the effectiveness of hand sanitizers on the health of people, as a few cases of alcohol ingestion were reported among kids in schools. Generally, these products are manufactured under the safety norms and regulations laid down by the FDA. However, as a customer, one should properly review the ingredients, consult the doctors, and only then proceed to purchase them. The warning and instructions written on these sanitizers must be followed strictly. Children should not be allowed to use them without adult supervision, and proper care must be taken while kids are using these products.