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15 Best Hand Sanitizers to Fight the Coronavirus

best hand sanitizers

123rf.com (Elizaveta Galitckaia)

You can’t be too careful when it comes to protecting yourself from germs and with Coronavirus spreading throughout the United States, it’s more important than ever take precautions. Washing your hands is always best, but when you don’t have access to soap and water, you need hand sanitizer.

Stock is constantly changing but we’ll keep this updated so you can find the best deals. You can also consider sneeze guards for counters to double up on your protection.

These are the 15 best hand sanitizers to help keep those germs at bay:

What Are the Best Hand Sanitizers to Fight the Coronavirus

Three bottles of NxN sanitizer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Made in America
  • Three 12-ounce pump bottles
  • 70 percent ethyl alcohol
Price: $24.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
R & R sanitizer lotion Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Moisturizing shea butter and botanicals
  • Convenient pump
  • Alcohol-free benzalkonum chloride
Price: $8.77 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Purell bottles Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Made in America
  • Available in pocket and industrial sizes
  • 70 percent ethyl alcohol
Price: $20.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
TonyMoly aloe gel Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Three tubes
  • Aloe and witch hazel
  • 62 percent ethanol
Price: $10.00 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Wildersense sanitizer gel Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Aloe and tea tree
  • Made in America
  • 62.5 percent alcohol
Price: $5.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
18 pocket sized sanitizer bottles Amazon Customer Reviews
  • 18 pocket-sized bottles
  • Medical brand
  • 70 percent alcohol
Price: $20.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Diva Stuff hand cream Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Good size for purse or bag
  • Scents to choose from
  • 62 percent alcohol
Price: $6.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Three pocket sized sanitizer bottles Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Three pack of pocket-sized bottles
  • Made in America
  • 77 percent alcohol
Price: $6.73 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
The Naked Bee sanitizer bottle Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Soothing honey, aloe, witch hazel, and green tea
  • Made in America
  • 62 percent ethyl alcohol
Price: $15.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Antibacterial wipes Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Alcohol-free and medical-grade
  • Good choice for parents
  • Sanitizes with benzalkonium chloride
Price: $5.22 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Blue pump bottle of sanitizer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Good desk size
  • Made in America
  • 65 percent alcohol
Price: $17.04 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Two bottles of Babyganics sanitizer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Lots of product for the price
  • Won't dry out your skin
  • Sanitizes with benzalkonium chloride
Price: $29.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Hempz lotion Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Moisturizing hemp seed and botanicals
  • Vegan, gluten-free, and paraben-free
  • 63 percent ethyl alcohol
Price: $14.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
touchland aloe sanitizer Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Shaped to sit in your pocket
  • Moisturizing
  • 62 percent ethyl alcohol
Price: $15.99 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Artnaturals sanitizer bottles Amazon Customer Reviews
  • Deeply moisurizing jojoba and aloe
  • Often available in many different sizes
  • 62.5 percent plant-based ethyl alcohol
Price: $9.95 Shop at Amazon Shop now Read our review
Our Unbiased Reviews
  1. 1. NxN Nurture by Nature Santizier 12 Ounces (3-Pack)

    • Made in America
    • Effective ethyl alcohol
    • 12-ounce pump bottles good for desks
    • Three-pack
    • Fragrance-free
    • No fun fragrances
    • Not pocket-sized
    • May be drying on skin

    This bundle of three 12-ounce pump bottles of NxN Sanitizer Gel uses effective ethyl alcohol which is approved by the CDC. These large bottles a great size to keep on your desk at the office or at home by the door for everyone to use as they come home. 

    I like that they’re made right here in the United States and that they’re fragrance-free.

    While you’re at it, I also recommend picking up something like the Kooty Key which is a lightweight little tool that allows you to open doors and use keypads without needing to touch them. I got a media sample a little while back and it’s been a real help in reducing the number of things I touch.

  2. 2. R&R Lotion Hand Sanitizer w/ 14 Botanicals (2 Ounces)

    • Alchohol-free
    • Moisturizes with jojoba and aloe vera
    • Sanitizes with benzalkonium chloride
    • Nourishes skin with botanicals like green coffee
    • Not as stinging on cuts
    • Fragrance free
    • Not everyone loves the smell
    • Doesn't sanitize with alcohol
    • Pumps aren't great for travel

    One of the worst things about hand sanitizer is how much it dries out your skin which is why R & R’s Lotion and Hand Sanitizer combination is so great. It’s alcohol-free, kills 99.99 percent of germs, and contains nourishing oils and botanicals to re-moisturize skin.

    This sanitizer uses benzalkonium chloride to eliminate nearly all germs in lab tests without the stinging, drying, nasty-smelling alcohol normally used in sanitizers.

    All you do is rub it into your hands until absorbed and then the bottle claims it will continue fighting germs for up to four hours. I love the idea of extended protection because it keeps me safer and means I have to use less product.

    To remoisturize skin, R & R contains sunflower butter, aloe vera, and jojoba oil as well as the nourishing botanicals blue agave, strawberry, raspberry, cranberry, pomegranate, green tea, green coffee, grape seed, acai berry, and vitamins A, D, and E.

  3. 3. Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer (Many Sizes)

    • Trusted brand in santizers
    • Available in pocket or bulk sizes
    • Need less per use
    • 70 precent Germ-killing ethyl alcohol
    • Made in America
    • Some versions have moisturizing aloe or fragrances
    • Thin gel can be harder to handle
    • Can dry out skin with heavy use
    • Stings if you have a cut

    Purell Advanced is a trusted name in the sanitizing game and an American-made product that uses 70 percent ethyl alcohol to kill 99.99 percent of germs. Purell products are selling out fast so don’t wait.

    Alcohol-based gel sanitizers are the types you’ll find in hospitals and doctors’ offices and there’s a good reason for that. They’re effective as well as affordable. This classic Purell doesn’t have any fancy moisturizers but as far as practicality goes, Purell Advanced gets the job done and gets it done well.

    This Four-Pack of Eight-Ounce Purell Pumps has cute patterned bottles perfect for counters and desks. For purses and pockets, Purell has Individual Sanitizing Hand Wipes in 100 wipes per box.

  4. 4. TONYMOLY Chok Chok Alcohol Gel (3-Pack)

    • Three pocket-sized tubes
    • Trusted K-Beauty brand
    • Aloe and witch hazel
    • Effective alcohol sanitizer
    • Still not cheap
    • Slow shipping
    • Limited stock

    If you’re looking for something nice and pocket-sized, consider this three-set of TonyMoly Chok Chok Alcohol Gel

    It’s 62 percent alcohol, above the CDC recommendation, as well as moisturizing aloe and botanical witch hazel. TonyMoly is a trusted Korean Beauty brand and I use their Chok Chok Green Tea Cream every day. 

  5. 5. Wildersense Alcohol Gel Sanitizer (Many Sizes)

    • Effective ethanol alcohol
    • Aloe vera and tea tree
    • Cruelty-free and eco-friendly
    • Several pack sizes
    • Made in America
    • Not unscented
    • May sting cuts
    • Too big for pockets and bags

    If you’re looking for a sanitizer gel made in the United States, check out Wildersense. It’s a cruelty-free, vegan, eco-friendly sanitizer that’s also free of parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and triclosan.

    It sanitized with 62.5 percent ethyl alcohol and includes skin-nourishing botanicals like moisturizing aloe vera and antibacterial tea tree oil. Wildersense sanitizer is available in eight-ounce bottles in sets of one, four or six.

  6. 6. DermaGlove Medical Sanitizer Travel Kit (18-Pack)

    • Soothing lanolin
    • High concentration of alcohol
    • Set of 18 pocket-sized bottles
    • Unscented and dye-free
    • Gluten-free
    • Nourishing vitamins
    • Sanitizes hands and surfaces
    • Not vegan (lanolin)
    • Can still burn cuts
    • No lovely scents

    This DermaGlove Medical Skin-Improving Sanitizer might not have tons of fragrance options, but it’s a straight-forward, medical-setting hand sanitizer and that’s really what’s important right now. 

    This set is a great deal with 18 pocket-sized sanitizer bottles of two different types of sanitizer. You get nine bottles of Hand Science which is a hand sanitizer that also is pH balanced to help protect your hands from the effects of frequent sanitizer use. It’s formulated to leave a barrier of sanitizer to kill germs you come in contact with.

    The other nine bottles are Surface Spray, a sanitizer spray for frequently used surfaces that helps to prevent microbes from surviving on surfaces. 

    They have a slim profile that makes them easy to slip into pockets or bags. I like that this has an alcohol content well above the 60 percent minimum and lanolin to help offset the drying factor.

  7. 7. Diva Stuff Alcohol-Based Antibacterial Cream in Raspberry Lime

    • Effective alcohol
    • Three scents to choose from
    • Good size for travel
    • Soothing aloe vera and vitamin E
    • Not a lot of product for the price
    • Not unscented
    • May sting cuts

    If you’re obsessed with nice-smelling things like I am, check out Diva Stuff’s Antibacterial Hand Cream. It’s made with 62 percent alcohol and comes in scents like Raspberry Lime, Coconut Breeze, and Tangerine-Vanilla.

  8. 8. AllSan Alcohol-Based Sanitizer 3 Ounces (3-Pack)

    • Effective, high-concentration alcohol base
    • Made in America
    • Affordable
    • Pocket-sized
    • Three bottles
    • Fragrance-free
    • No moisturizers
    • Small bottles
    • May sting cuts

    If you’re looking for something made locally that you can carry with you, check out AllSan’s three-pack of three-ounce sanitizer bottles

    AllSan is made in America and uses effective 77 percent ethyl alcohol. You get three pocket-sized bottles of sanitizer gel.

  9. 9. The Naked Bee Alcohol-Based Sanitizer (8-Ounces)

    • Effective alcohol
    • Made in America
    • Soothing aloe, honey, seaweed, and green tea extract
    • Made with essential oils
    • Antibacterial witch hazel
    • Free from gluten, dyes, parabens, and fragrances
    • Cruelty-free
    • Pocket-sized
    • Not a lot of product
    • Can still be drying
    • May sting cuts

    The Naked Bee Sanitizer uses 62 percent alcohol along with orange blossom, aloe vera, seaweed extract, green tea extract, and witch hazel to kill germs while soothing skin.

    I like that The Naked Bee is made in America and is cruelty-free, gluten-free, paraben-free, and free from dyes and fragrances. This listing is for one eight-ounce pump bottle perfect for a counter or desk.

  10. 10. First Aid Antiseptic Wipes (10 Individual Towelettes)

    • Alcohol-free
    • Uses benzalkonium chloride
    • Perfect for parents
    • Great for sticky hands and hard surfaces
    • Individualy wrapped
    • 10 wipes
    • Medical-grade
    • Wipes aren't for everyone
    • No lovely fragrances
    • Doesn't sanitize with alcohol
    • Only 10 wipes per box

    Parents know that kids get into everything and gel sanitizers won’t cut it when their hands are sticky and covered in who-knows-what. That’s where these Antiseptic Wipes come in.

    They’re 99.99 percent effective against germs and are ideal for wiping off grimy hands, and arms, and even faces when needed. They’re soft to apply, won’t dry out your skin like alcohol-based sanitizers will, and you don’t have to coach kids on how to run them in like you would a gel.

    Each container comes with 10 wipes each so you can toss some in your car, your office, purse, diaper bag, and anywhere else you may need it.

  11. 11. GelRite 16-Ounce Hand Sanitizer Pump

    • Made in America
    • Moisturizes with vitamin E
    • Safe for kids
    • Trusted brand
    • Not cheap
    • Not everyone loves the fragrance
    • Too big for TSA

    GelRite uses 65 percent alcohol to eliminate 99.99 percent of germs.

    It contains vitamin E to moisturize skin and won’t leave your hands feeling tacky. I like that it’s made right here in America.

  12. 12. Babyganics Foaming Hand Sanitizer 16-Ounces (2-Pack)

    • Uses benzalkonium chloride
    • Won't dry out skin
    • Citrus essential oils
    • Good size for the money
    • Trusted brand
    • Scented and unscented
    • Not everyone loves foam
    • Not pocket sized
    • Doesn't contain alcohol

    This set comes two 16-ounce bottles of Babyganics Foaming Sanitizer available in unscented or mandarin orange. This is a great option if you have small children.

    The sanitizer uses kid-friendly benzalkonium chloride which won’t dry out skin.

  13. 13. Hempz Triple Moisture Hand Sanitizer

    • Effective ethyl alcohol
    • Moisturizes with hemp, mango, sunflower, and shea oils
    • Nourishing botanicals aloe and cucumber extract
    • Vegan
    • Gluten, paraben, and THC free
    • Some find it slightly sticky
    • Not everyone loves the smell
    • Pumps aren't easy to travel with

    For die-hard Hempz fans and people looking to keep their hands from drying out, try Hempz Triple Moisture Herbal Sanitizer

    It combines 63 percent ethyl alcohol (useful for killing 99.99 percent of germs) with a long list of moisturizers including shea butter, mango seed butter, aloe vera, sunflower seed oil, coconut oil, and (of course) hemp seed oil. This amount of moisture is going to give the gel a slightly different consistency than straight alcohol gels so if you feel a residue, that’s the moisturizing part. 

    To further nourish skin, they’ve also added botanicals like cucumber, avocado fruit, calendula flower, apple, milk thistle, and kelp extract.

    This is an 8.5-ounce pump bottle, similar to the size of a liquid soap bottle. 

  14. 14. Touchland Pocket-Sized Mist w/ Botanicals

    • Flat shape is comfortable in your pocket
    • Moisturizing
    • Many scents to choose from
    • Radish root ferment
    • Effective ethyl alcohol
    • Sprays are easier to apply
    • Lasts a long time
    • Nots as much product in total
    • Not refillable
    • Pricier than some
    • Selling out

    Sanitizers only work if you use them so I love the shape of Touchland’s Power Mist Pocket Sanitizer because it’s easy and comfortable to take with you anywhere. This is the sanitizer I carry around because the thin, almost hip-flask shape is perfect to slip into my jeans, coat, or bag.

    They smell amazing, are never sticky, and don’t leave my hands feeling dry.

    These containers have a recessed pump head that’s quite hard to accidentally set off in your pocket. I’ve been using this style for half a year now and I’ve never had it go off in my pocket or laptop bag–and I’m extremely clumsy so if I haven’t had an issue, chances are you’ll be fine. Sprays are nice because they cover a wider surface area and are easier to rub in.

    It uses 67 percent ethyl alcohol to kill 99.99 percent of germs on contact. Because alcohol is drying to the skin, it also contains aloe vera gel to return some soothing moisture as well as lime oil, lemon oil, and radish root ferment which is both antimicrobial and moisturizing.

    Touchland has eight scents though many are selling out right now. The ones that are currently available are: Aloe Vera, Lavender, and an unscented Neutral. I like that they’re different colors as well so if you’re passing them out to family members, everyone knows which one is theirs. 

    The misting spray means you need less product for better coverage.

    I was sent Touchland media samples last year with a guarantee of a positive review or a review at all, but I can honestly say I love these and they seem to last forever.

  15. 15. ArtNaturals Alcohol-Based Sanitizer Gel 7.4 Ounces (4-Pack)

    • Sanitizes with 62.5 percent plant-based alcohol
    • Unscented
    • Moisturizing jojoba, aloe, and vitamin E
    • Nourishing botanical extracts
    • Cruelty-free and vegan
    • Paraben and sulfate-free
    • Available in many size sets
    • Can still sting cuts
    • No lovely fragrances
    • Too big for pockets

    If you’re looking to avoid dry hands try ArtNaturals Alcohol-Based Sanitizer Gel which counters the drying effects of alcohol with aloe vera, jojoba oil, sunflower oil, and vitamin E.

    It also works to renourish skin with botanical extracts of kiwi, cranberry, strawberry, and pomegranate.

    This listing is for a pack of four bottles but it’s available in a wide range of sizes from individual to cases of eight to bulk gallon jugs.

Clean hands keep you healthier

List most illnesses, according to the CDC, it's very possible that the Coronavirus (COVID-19) can be spread through touching a contaminated surface and then touching your mouth, nose, or eyes. 

Regularly washing your hands is your first line of defense but it's not always possible to get to a sink when you need it. 

Instant hand sanitizers are a godsend for keeping your hands and the hands of your loved ones germ-free.

What is the best hand sanitizer for Coronavirus? 

Coronavirus (COVID-19) is likely just like any other virus or bacteria and can be inactivated with the anti-bacterial agents you'd use to prevent the spread of the common cold or flu.

The CDC's page on hand washing recommends a sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol when you aren't able to wash your hands. 

Hand sanitizer effectiveness

The ingredients you'll find in most sanitizers are shown to be 99.99 percent effective in lab tests against common germs. Tricky microbes like norovirus and C-diff are the most likely to sneak by and require soap and water to get rid of, but many bacteria and viruses aren't making it out of a sanitizer battle alive.

Particularly for enveloped viruses like this coronavirus, soap and water are always going to be your best bet to break down its protective lipid barrier so reserve hand sanitizer for when you don't have access to soap and water.

If your hands are filthy, like toddler-levels of sticky, hand sanitizer is better than nothing but for it to be as effective as possible, you want to be working with skin that is free of debris.

Keep in mind, it can take between 15 to 30 seconds for the sanitizer to kill germs and is most active when wet. After you've applied your sanitizer of choice, keep rubbing it in until it's completely dry. Wiping your hands off while the gel is still damp will affect how well it works. Also remember than non-alcohol sanitizers may take longer to work.

What is in sanitizer?

You're going to find two major active ingredients in hand sanitizer. 

Alcohol is the most popular choice and the one recommended by the CDC. The standard is no less than a 60 percent concentration in order to be 99.99 percent effective against germs. 

Pros: it's effective, affordable, you can feel it working, and is recommended by the CDC.

Cons: bad smell, stings if you have cuts, dries out skin, it can cause alcohol poisoning if ingested.

The type of alcohol is important as well. Ethyl alcohol is the most common. The FDA released an advisory on June 19th, 2020 about certain hand sanitizer brands using methanol, also known as wood alcohol, in their sanitizers which is toxic. Needless to say, those brands are not featured in this list.

Benzalkonium chloride and benzethonium chloride are less common but effective anti-bacterial. It's a synthetic chemical that is 99.99 percent effective on illnesses-causing germs and is less harsh on the skin.

There have been a lot of panicky news articles coming out saying that benzalkonium chloride is useless, but it's been shown to inactivate influenza and other viruses as well as be effective against enveloped viruses (the same structure as the virus that causes COVID-19) in lab testing. Benzethonium chloride has also been shown to be effective when battling viruses.

Pros: effective, less of a smell, easier on skin, alcohol-free.

Cons: may cost more, harder to find, not the CDC's top recommendation.

Natural alternatives: Some more natural-centric bands may use a derivative of thyme called thymol which has also been shown to be highly antibacterial, but if you're in a high-risk group, you may just want to bite the bullet and go chemical right now.

Keep in mind: no hand sanitizer can guarantee it's 100 percent effective against the virus that causes COVID-19. It's simply too new of a virus and the data isn't there. The best we can do right now is make note of the CDC's recommendations and go off of what traditionally works on enveloped and other coronaviruses.

Your best course of action, as always, is handwashing with soap and water. 

Other hand sanitizer uses

While you're stocking up, remember that alcohol sanitizers that aren't packed with moisturizers are also great for removing Sharpee stains, cleaning hard surfaces, removing glue and hairspray residue, drying out zits, and cleaning your glasses.

Some folks are doing a DIY sanitizer gel with rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel because supplies are low so if that's the route you're taking make sure you're using a reliable recipe because too weak a concentration won't help and too high can cause burns.