The Many uses of Hand Sanitizer


How many of you keep hand sanitizer around.  I have it in both vehicles and my wife has it in her purse.  I know people who keep it in their bug out bag.  There are several good uses for it.  The main one of course is as a sanitizer.

We keep extra in our storage.  If for some reason, we were confined to the house and had to depend on our water storage it would be very useful for hygiene.  In case of an epidemic and you had to be in contact with others, you can clean your hands without water.

When you go to buy yours check the label for active ingredients.  The label may list ethyl alcohol, ethanol, isopropanol or some other alcohol variation those are all fine.  But make sure the alcohol concentration is between 60 and 95 percent. Less than that is not reliable.

Other uses include

Permanent Marker Stains

  • Another great use for hand sanitizer is to aid in the removal of permanent marker stains, for example on white boards or clothing. Gently rub the stain with the solution to remove it.

Paint Stains

  • High-alcohol-content sanitizers can also help to break down pesky paint stains. They can work on just about any surface or fabric, even on paintbrushes.

Glue Residue

  • Hand sanitizers provide a quick way to remove glue and other adhesive residue. For example, a little bit of hand sanitizer can remove sticky labels on glass jars.

Fire Starting

  • This one of the best alternate uses of hand sanitizer.  The alcohol burns well.  A little bit will start a good fire.
See also  Improvised Autoclave, How to Make One to Sterilize Your Medical Equip.

I am sure that there are more uses that I have not thought off.  If you know any share them with the rest of us.



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22 thoughts on “The Many uses of Hand Sanitizer”

  1. I agree about its usefulness and find myself turning to it on the go a lot. It’s a big hassle to march a line of children to a public bathroom to wash hands (and then not touch anything in there to re-contaminate them!). It’s in the side pockets of both car doors, plus the diaper bag, my purse,…

    But, in regular situations, I think we would be better off actually using regular soap and water. Those sanitizers have down sides- one is that resistant bacteria is developing. Another is that our immune systems (especially those of children) are not being allowed to get stronger by the typical contact with minor germs. Recent studies have shown that people who use antibacterials regularly tend to actually be sicker than people who don’t, especially if they have a chronic condition like asthma or diabetes. Good hand washing practices with regular soap (not antibacterials with chemicals like Triclosan) seem to be the better way to go.

    Having said that, you won’t see me pitch my hand sanitizer, especially in flu season!

    1. Hi Ms Laura,

      I go with your words.. As you pointed out, immune system of children gets low when you’re not exposing them to low level pathogens (normal flora). If you kill normal flora normally present in your body, our body gets less immunized than they do normally.
      As a biomed student, i advise you guys to limit the usage of hand sanitisers as they have no effect on viral flu’s.

      Cheers.. 🙂

    2. “resistant bacteria” is not developing due to hand sanitizers, it’s just an assumption you guy make based on the “99.99% effective” not realizing they CAN’T say it’s 100% effective on the off chance something does survive, it operates differently from antibiotics. It actually DESTROYS the “germs”, and doesn’t allow them time to become resistant.

  2. Bacteria is not becoming resistant to the alcohol in hand sanitizer. Alcohol kills bacteria by dehydrating the bacterial cells as it evaporates. You are thinking of antimicrobial soap. Bacteria can become resistant to certain forms of antimicrobial soap. Studies have revealed that regular soap is equally effective in reducing bacteria related illnesses.The Food and Drug Administration, in regards to regulations concerning proper procedures for food services, recommends that hand sanitizers not be used in place of soap and water but only as an adjunct.

    1. Forgot to mention that I often use hand sanitizer to start my pellet stove when I run out of fire starters. As a side note I’d like to mention that if you save lint from your clothes drier, melt down old candles and even broken crayons then combine the hot wax with the lint, you can stuff balls of the mixture into empty egg cartons to use as amazing fire starters. I know it’s not related but hopefully someone will find that useful.

  3. I have tried to get a marker stain off my shirt yet it is still there!!! I put more and got a wet shirt with a black stain on it. I am disapoint.

  4. Pickup a bottle of 91% alcohol from Walmart and permanent marker will come right out. Not the regular 70% alcohol. You have to look for it. It will even remove a finish off of furniture plus a whole lot more. I always have it and peroxide for cleaning and stain removal.

  5. You can also use after cleansing your face and before moisturizing to prevent breakouts, remove soap residue, and even skin tone. The aloe in it makes it easier to apply than regular rubbing alcohol (you don’t even need to use a cotton ball) and it is less intense on the skin.

    If you are out in public and your deodorant has for some reason failed you, go to the washroom and put some hand sanitizer on a paper towel and wipe in armpits. The alcohol kills the odor causing bacteria, helps for sweat to evaporate, and the aloe soothes.

    Use it to disinfect cuts and scrapes when soap and water is not available. There will be a sting, but it is very short lived and worth it.

    Disinfect earings and other body jewlery as well as the pierced body part itself.

    Use as aftershave on any body part to prevent red bumps and ingrown hairs.

    Use a little drop on a paper towel to clean grine off of your cell phone screen (only use on untreated glass)

    Sooth bug bites – again, there might be a little stinging for a second but its worth it to rid the bite of itchyness and bacteria.

    1. Oh, one more – If you have a tickle/cough in your throat, dip a cotton swab in a little bit of hand sanitizer and gently wipe it around the outer part of the ear canal, or where you feel most comfortable. Some coughs and throat irritations are caused by disturbances such as bacteria, fungus, or other irritants in the ear. The hand sanitizer cleans, soothes, and disinfects the area without leaving excess moisture which may further irritate. The ear and throat are directly linked via the eustachian tube, which is used to equalize pressure within the middle ear and drain mucus. Irritants regarding the upper end of this tube may have an effect on the throat.

      Doctors advise against inserting cotton swabs in your ear due to the risks of injuring the eardrum. But at the same time, a doctor will insert a sterile electric thermometer into the visible part of the ear canal – – this is the area you should clean. Its personal choice whether or not you decide to insert swabs into your ear, and I only advise it when gargling saline solution doesn’t help relieve the symptons of an itchy throat.

  6. Self defense tool- pepper spray isn’t legal everywhere – liquid Sanitizer in a small spray bottle is 70% alcohol. Its an irritant to eyes & mucus membranes & changes skin temp. Easily carried, deployed without suspicion, never questioned.

  7. Can hand sanitizer (Purell, etc.) be effective for preventing
    car doors/windows frm freezing shut in a bitterly
    Cold winter?

  8. How do you get ride of hand sanitizer stains on a windshield?i tried cleaning my windshield with hand sanitizer and now you still can see the hand sanitizer on it

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