If you had told Americans just a few months ago that one of their most prized possession would be their bottle of hand sanitizer, they would have thought you were crazy.  However, here we are in the middle of a pandemic, when hand sanitizer has easily become one of our absolute best weapons for reducing the risk of catching the coronavirus.  Hand sanitizer has been proven to be effective against viruses such as this one, which is why sales have gone up tremendously. 

There is a downside to the sudden widespread use of hand sanitizer, however.  One is that many people are stockpiling it, which makes it harder for others to access it.  Another problem is that there are companies out there who are simply trying to profit off of this crisis and are therefore producing knockoff hand sanitizers that aren’t nearly as effective as they claim.

Therefore, the general public must be more vigilant than ever when shopping for this essential product.  They must know what to look for in order to feel certain that the hand sanitizer they’re purchasing is legitimate and up to CDC standards.  Purchasing an ineffective or illegitimate one can end up giving us a false sense of security that ultimately increases our risk of infection.

What Should You Look for in a Hand Sanitizer?

Read on to find out.

#1: At Least 60 Percent Alcohol

The CDC recommends that a hand sanitizer has at least 60 percent alcohol in order to be effective.  Most name brand sanitizers have even more of that, with some having almost 95 percent alcohol.  A hand sanitizer product should clearly state the alcohol percentage on the packaging.

#2: A Legitimate Brand

Lots of companies are popping up with their own hand sanitizers so that they can make some money off of this pandemic.  Avoid going with a brand that looks unfamiliar to you, because there’s a chance they’re not legitimate, and are sidestepping some important industry regulations in order to make some money fast.

#3: The Right Price

As people are stockpiling hand sanitizer, the market is getting the message that this product is high in demand right now.  Therefore, some companies are overcharging for it knowing that people will pay whatever it takes, while other brands are undercutting more established ones with prices that seem too good to be true.  How much a hand sanitizer costs can give you a good indication as to whether or not it’s worth your money.  Never pay too much or too little, because overpaying is simply a rip-off, while underpaying may leave you with a low-quality product.

#4: A Fairly Large Size

You’re likely going to be going through way more hand sanitizer than you ever have in your life.  That’s why we suggest opting for a larger size than usual.  The last thing that you want to happen is that you frequently run out and have to go a day or two before getting more.  Larger sizes will ensure consistent use, which is urgent in times like these.

#5: List of Ingredients

A hand sanitizer label should have a clear list of ingredients.  Look through these ingredients always, because they can give you clues into the overall quality of the product.  Cheap filler ingredients, for instance, can indicate that the product was not mad with the highest standards in mind.  And, a brand can make grandiose claims on the front of the packaging, but the list of ingredients has to back those claims up.

#6: An FDA-Approved Facility

A hand sanitizer product should come from an FDA-approved facility.  The FDA only approves manufacturing facilities that adhere to high standards and strict guidelines that are intended to keep the general public safe.  If a hand sanitizer company has not been approved by the FDA, this can indicate that the product is not being produced with your health and safety in mind.  If you must, look for the company’s website or look at the packaging in order to find an FDA certification number.  Then, cross-reference this on the FDA’s online database just to verify that the number is legitimate.  In times like these, you want to play it safe as much as possible, especially considering the growing number of illegitimate brands popping up during this crisis.

#7: A Trusted Source

We have all been hearing reports of bootleg hand sanitizers popping up on third-party vendor websites, because once again, lots of people are trying to make money off of this pandemic.  Only buy your hand sanitizer from a legitimate distributor that has been in the business for a while, or straight from the manufacturer, or from your trusted food store or pharmacy.  This is not a time to experiment with new brands and vendors in order to find something new.  And, never underestimate how many people will perfectly replicate a popular brand’s label in order to dupe the general public.

Keep These Hand Sanitizer Tips in Mind

When shopping for a hand sanitizer, you absolutely must keep these seven things in mind.  They will ensure that all of your bases are covered so that you end up with the most effective and legitimate product that is available to you.  Following each guideline above can have a huge impact on your risk of infection, so read it thoroughly.