• Top 10 Best Hand Sanitizers in 2021 (Purell, Wet Ones, and More) 1
  • Top 10 Best Hand Sanitizers in 2021 (Purell, Wet Ones, and More) 2
  • Top 10 Best Hand Sanitizers in 2021 (Purell, Wet Ones, and More) 3
  • Top 10 Best Hand Sanitizers in 2021 (Purell, Wet Ones, and More) 4
  • Top 10 Best Hand Sanitizers in 2021 (Purell, Wet Ones, and More) 5

Top 10 Best Hand Sanitizers in 2021 (Purell, Wet Ones, and More)

Germs and contaminants exist everywhere, from your household goods to your desktop. Hand sanitizers have become increasingly common to reduce the risk of infection and to protect your health from harmful bacteria. Due to high demand during COVID-19, there are many hand sanitizers available in varying forms that contain different ingredients which can seem overwhelming. 


To help you choose one, we browsed reviews and research to compile a list of our top 10 favorites. Germ-X sanitizer came in at the number one spot with its strong disinfectant power and moisturizing ingredients. Don't forget to read the buying guide at the end to help you figure out what you need in your preferred hand sanitizer!

Experts featured in this article

Erica Baron
  • Last updated: 05-09-2021
  • 1,489 views
Table of Contents

Why Should I Use Hand Sanitizer?

Hand sanitizer is a familiar product that helps you stay hygienic and keeps harmful germs away. However, many people still wonder about the differences between hand sanitizer and soap or about the right way to use sanitizers.

Hand Sanitizer vs. Soap

Hand Sanitizer vs. Soap

So what makes hand sanitizer a formidable enemy for stubborn germs? According to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, hand sanitizers often contain active ingredients with strong antibacterial properties such as ethanol and deionized and sodium lactate that can kill stubborn germs instead of just washing them away. 


Yet, there are some bacteria such as cryptosporidium, salmonella, and norovirus which soap and water can remove but hand sanitizer cannot. Also, when your hands are visibly soiled or greasy, hand sanitizers may not be as effective as hand soaps. 


However, unlike hand soaps which require you to wash with water, you can just dispense some sanitizer on your hands and rub for 30 seconds. It's very convenient and can be used anytime, anywhere! 

Top 10 Best Hand Sanitizers

Below are the top 10 hand sanitizers that we recommend! Each product is based on the amount, type, fragrance, active ingredients, and other information that may be beneficial to you. 

1

Germ-XMoisturizing Original Hand Sanitizer

12 pack

$15.32

Amount8 oz. per bottle
Moisturizing ingredientsGlycerin
FragranceFresh and clean scent
Skin-friendlinessParaben and cruelty free
TypeGel
Active ingredientEthyl alcohol 63%
2

EveryoneCoconut & Lemon Hand Sanitizer Spray

6 pack

$17.99

Amount2 oz. per bottle
Moisturizing ingredientsAloe vera, vegetable glycerin
FragranceCoconut and lemon
Skin-friendlinessParaben-free, no artificial fragrances, dye-free
TypeSpray
Active ingredientEthanol 62% (derived from sugar cane)
3

Dr. Bronner's Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray

6 pack

$29.94

Amount2 oz. per bottle
Moisturizing ingredientsOrganic glycerin, lavender oil
FragranceLavender
Skin-friendlinessOrganic, non-GMO, no harsh chemicals
TypeSpray
Active ingredientOrganic ethyl alcohol 62%
4

Avagard D3M Health Care Sanitizer Hand Gel with Moisturizer

$16.31

Amount16.9 oz.
Moisturizing ingredientsGlycerin, squalane
FragranceUnscented
Skin-friendlinessParaben and sulfate-free
TypeGel
Active ingredientEthyl alcohol 61%
5

SuaveHand Sanitizer

6 pack

$26.94

Amount10 oz. per bottle
Moisturizing ingredientsGlycerin
FragranceScent-free
Skin-friendlinessNo fragrance
TypeSpray
Active ingredientsEthyl alcohol 65%
6

Wet Ones70% Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Wipes

5 pack

$13.56

Amount20 count
Moisturizing ingredientsAloe vera
FragranceScent-free
Skin-friendliness-
TypeWet wipe
Active ingredientEthyl alcohol 70%
7

Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel

$2.99

Amount8 oz.
Moisturizing ingredientsGlycerin
FragranceRefreshing
Skin-friendliness-
TypeGel
Active ingredientEthyl alcohol 70%
8

BabyganicsFoaming Hand Sanitizer

3 pack

$19.71

Amount8.45 oz. per bottle
Moisturizing ingredientsCitrus fruits
FragranceUnscented
Skin-friendlinessParaben-free, sulfate-free, no artificial fragrances, dye-free
TypeFoam
Active ingredientBenzethonium chloride 0.1%
9
Amount2 oz.
Moisturizing ingredientsMonoi coconut oil, aloe vera
FragranceCoconut
Skin-friendlinessHypoallergenic
TypeSpray
Active ingredientEthyl alcohol 62% (derived from sugar cane)
10

ArtnaturalsScent Free Hand Sanitizer

$6.55

Amount8 oz.
Moisturizing ingredientsAloe vera, jojoba oil, vitamin E
FragranceScent-free
Skin-friendlinessSulfate-free, paraben-free, vegan
TypeGel
Active ingredientEthyl alcohol 62.5%

Compare the Best Hand Sanitizers

Image
1
Germ-X Moisturizing Original Hand Sanitizer 1

Germ-X

2
Everyone Coconut & Lemon Hand Sanitizer Spray 1

Everyone

3
Dr. Bronner's  Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray 1

Dr. Bronner's

4
Avagard D 3M Health Care Sanitizer Hand Gel with Moisturizer 1

Avagard D

5
Suave Hand Sanitizer 1

Suave

6
Wet Ones 70% Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Wipes 1

Wet Ones

7
Purell  Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel 1

Purell

8
Babyganics Foaming Hand Sanitizer 1

Babyganics

9
Sun Bum  Baby Bum Hand Sanitizer 1

Sun Bum

10
Artnaturals Scent Free Hand Sanitizer  1

Artnaturals

Name

Moisturizing Original Hand Sanitizer

Coconut & Lemon Hand Sanitizer Spray

Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray

3M Health Care Sanitizer Hand Gel with Moisturizer

Hand Sanitizer

70% Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Wipes

Advanced Hand Sanitizer Refreshing Gel

Foaming Hand Sanitizer

Baby Bum Hand Sanitizer

Scent Free Hand Sanitizer

Features

Kills Germs in as Little as 15 Seconds

62 Percent Ethanol from Non-GMO Sugar Cane and Vegetable Glycerin

Organic and Fair Trade Ingredients With an Enticing Lavender Aroma

Effective Sanitizer That Meets WHO Guidelines

Portable, Alcohol-Based, and Simple Spray Hand Sanitizer

Powerful Disinfectant Wipes for Quick Cleanups and Travel

One Squirt to Stay Hygienic and Eliminate 99.99 Percent of Germs

An Alcohol-Free, Kid-Friendly Hand Sanitizer

Pediatrician and Dermatologist Tested Hand Sanitizer for Babies and Kids

Strong Antibacterial Power With Added Moisturizers

Price$15.32$17.99$29.94$16.31$26.94$13.56$2.99$19.71$3.99$6.55
Amount8 oz. per bottle2 oz. per bottle 2 oz. per bottle16.9 oz. 10 oz. per bottle20 count8 oz. 8.45 oz. per bottle2 oz. 8 oz.
Moisturizing ingredientsGlycerinAloe vera, vegetable glycerinOrganic glycerin, lavender oil Glycerin, squalaneGlycerinAloe vera GlycerinCitrus fruits Monoi coconut oil, aloe veraAloe vera, jojoba oil, vitamin E
FragranceFresh and clean scent Coconut and lemonLavender Unscented Scent-freeScent-freeRefreshingUnscented CoconutScent-free
Skin-friendlinessParaben and cruelty free Paraben-free, no artificial fragrances, dye-freeOrganic, non-GMO, no harsh chemicalsParaben and sulfate-freeNo fragrance--Paraben-free, sulfate-free, no artificial fragrances, dye-freeHypoallergenic Sulfate-free, paraben-free, vegan
TypeGelSpray SprayGel SprayWet wipeGelFoamSpray Gel
Active ingredientEthyl alcohol 63% Ethanol 62% (derived from sugar cane)Organic ethyl alcohol 62%Ethyl alcohol 61%Ethyl alcohol 65%Ethyl alcohol 70% Ethyl alcohol 70%Benzethonium chloride 0.1%Ethyl alcohol 62% (derived from sugar cane)Ethyl alcohol 62.5%
Link

How to Choose a Hand Sanitizer - Buying Guide

When choosing hand sanitizer, there are some factors you'll want to remember before making a purchase. These include its ingredients, the types of hand sanitizer, the fragrance, and the purpose behind using it.

Check the Ingredient List to Protect Your Skin's Health

There are some ingredients that a hand sanitizer needs in order to effectively kill harmful germs while there are others you should be aware of that may pose a risk to your skin's health. As a result, carefully examine the ingredient list to make the best decision and consult a professional if you need further guidance. 

Pay Attention to the Active Ingredients

Pay Attention to the Active Ingredients

Active ingredients such as alcohol and benzethonium chloride decide the antiseptic power of a hand sanitizer. Most products are alcohol-based since alcohol is highly soluble in water, and most germs don't develop a resistance to it. 


The type of alcohol and amount used in hand sanitizer is extremely important to pay attention to. Most brands will label the ingredient as "ethanol," "ethyl alcohol," or "isopropyl alcohol" and should come in a concentration ranging from 60 to 95 percent to be considered effective as suggested by the CDC. 

Pay Attention to the Active Ingredients

Be aware that alcohol may trigger irritation which could lead to major damage to the outer layer of your skin if used too much over time. If this is a concern for you, go with an alcohol-free hand sanitizer with benzalkonium chloride, a more mild ingredient. 


Alcohol-free hand sanitizers contain less than 0.1 percent of benzalkonium chloride while the rest of the solution is typically made of water and other skin conditioners. The CDC states that alcohol-free sanitizers might not kill germs as effectively, but it still serves as an alternative for those with sensitive skin.  

Protect Your Skin With Moisturizing Ingredients

Protect Your Skin With Moisturizing Ingredients

Because alcohol-based hand sanitizer can dry your skin out, consider a hand sanitizer enriched with humectants, emollients, and moisturizers to prevent your skin from further breaking down


Humectants "hold" water to attract moisture. Common humectants to look for include glycerin and propylene glycol. Emollients like isopropyl myristate, made from nutmeg and coconut oil, seal the moisture in your skin to make the surface smooth. As for moisturizers, aloe vera, and vitamin E are great additions to help soften the skin. 

Be Aware of Certain Chemicals

Be Aware of Certain Chemicals

Some hand sanitizers contain chemicals such as triclosan, phthalates, and parabens which have been researched and studied for their possible health risks you should take note of. 


Triclosan is used in sanitizing products because of its strong antiseptic properties. However, studies have associated it with animal hormone disruption and possibly making bacteria resistant to antibiotics. It is still under review and monitored by the FDA; while it may be safe in low doses, you should be aware of its growing concerns. 


Parabens and phthalates are preservatives associated with endocrine disruption, cancer, and skin irritation. However, products containing those chemicals can still be safe if used in small amounts. It is best to proceed with caution if these are a concern for you. 

Consider the Different Types of Hand Sanitizers

Hand sanitizers can be divided into five categories: foam, gel, liquid, spray, or wet wipes. Each type has its own pros and cons, so you should consider them carefully before purchasing. 

Gel and Liquid Sanitizer Offer an Even Spread

Gel and Liquid Sanitizer Offer an Even Spread

Gel sanitizer has been around for decades and is, in fact, the most commonly-used type of hand sanitizer. It has a jelly-like consistency that may make it harder to spill when dispensed, so it can be used in classrooms or on the go in the car. With gel, it typically takes 30 seconds to evenly spread and kill bacteria across your hands. 


Liquid hand sanitizer is quite similar to gel except for its obvious aspect: its consistency. Unlike gel, it can be runny and make for a messy experience. However, its thin substance makes it quick to spread all over your hands. Really, you can't go wrong with a gel or liquid hand sanitizer; it simply depends on your preference. 

Foam Sanitizer Stays on the Hands

Foam Sanitizer Stays on the Hands

A great perk about foam hand sanitizer is that it sticks to your hands throughout the application and does not drip easily, so you don't have to worry about it making a mess at home or work. This is a great option if you use it in a facility that has waxed floors as sanitizer may leave stains if not cleaned properly. 


Kids typically love bubbly things as well, so you may get them to use this sanitizer much more easily. Something else to consider is that foam tends to run higher in price because of the ingredients and pump that is used to create the foamy texture. If price isn't a concern for you, you should definitely give a foam hand sanitizer a try!

Spray Sanitizers Are Easy to Apply but Can Be Wasteful

Spray Sanitizers Are Easy to Apply but Can Be Wasteful

Spray sanitizers have more watery formulas that are dispersed through a spray pump on the top. It is easy to apply with one press and can be a great way to uniformly disinfect your hands without any worry of it dripping. 


One aspect that can't be helped is that it will more than likely disperse in the air, which could seem wasteful; however, it is still a great option that is perfect to travel with if you decide on a pocket-sized bottle

Wet Wipes Remove Heavy Duty Dirt While Eliminating Germs

Wet Wipes Remove Heavy Duty Dirt While Eliminating Germs

If your hands are greasy or dirty, unfortunately, gel or foam sanitizers will not be able to clean your hands effectively. As a great alternative, wet wipes can help you remove dirt and kill germs at the same time! Because of its wipe form, these can be used on multiple surfaces and get in the cracks and crevices of most areas. 


The one concern is that these are not an environmental-friendly choice since each wipe creates more waste. However, they are still convenient if you travel a lot or need something more heavy-duty for kids with sticky hands. You have zero worries about making an even bigger mess with these. 

Choose a Fragrance or Choose None

Choose a Fragrance or Choose None

Since hand sanitizer contains a high percentage of alcohol or other active ingredients, its natural scent tends to be strong. That's why many brands have started to infuse their products with fragrances. However, artificial fragrances may trigger allergic reactions, so if you have sensitive skin, you should definitely skip them. 


Instead, you can choose products that are naturally scented with lavender or fruit extracts. You can always opt for unscented products as well. 

How to Use Hand Sanitizer Correctly

How to Use Hand Sanitizer Correctly

It is recommended to use a sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent of alcohol to be considered effective. Whether you use a gel, liquid, or foam hand sanitizer, be sure to cover the entire surface of your hands and rub it in thoroughly until it is completely dry. This will ensure the substance is absorbed and is not wasted. 


Do keep in mind there are cases when you should absolutely try to find soap and water instead of relying on hand sanitizer, including when your hands are visibly dirty, when you have been in touch with chemicals, or when your hands are greasy from touching oil or raw meat.

How to Use Hand Sanitizer Correctly

Hand sanitizer also has the potential to kill the microbiome or good bacteria living on our bodies. Therefore, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention suggests that you should only use hand sanitizer if you do not have access to soap and water


However, for those who travel, have jobs where you are in contact with multiple people or are in a classroom setting, hand sanitizers are convenient to use in between for basic hygienic care. Be aware that some hand sanitizers can only last for a couple of minutes, so whenever recontamination occurs, make sure to re-apply.

Stay Hygienic and Healthy With Our Suggestions!

Stay Hygienic and Healthy With Our Suggestions!

If you are looking for some products that can help you stay hygienic and healthy beyond just your hands, look no further! Check out our other articles by clicking the links below. 

Summary

Hand sanitizer is extremely important to have for convenience and basic hygiene when you can't get to water and soap. The plethora of products available on the market may seem daunting, which is why we hope our Top 10 list and buying guide proved helpful in making the right decision for you.

Author: Thuy Nguyen

Keep All Your Surfaces Clean, Not Just Your Hands

As you've explored the many types of hand sanitizers, go even further to look at products that will disinfect your space as well. Here is the Humblesuds All Purpose Cleaner recommended by Clean Living Blogger Erica Baron that will keep your home and office fresh and clean without harmful ingredients. 

Expert's
pick

HumblesudsAll Purpose Cleaner

16 oz.

$14.95

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    Are you struggling to get the last bit of toothpaste out of the tube? Do your children have a hard time putting the right amount of toothpaste on their toothbrush? Or are you looking to have a more effective teeth-cleaning routine? A toothpaste dispenser may be the solution to your problems!The market offers so many different types of these dispensers that it can be confusing to choose the best one for you. Luckily, we already did the research to help you find your match. We fell in love with the Weketi Toothbrush and Toothpaste Squeezer Kit because of its versatility and functionality. If you want to learn about the other nine great options for toothpaste dispensers, keep reading, and check out our buying guide further down!
    Household goods
    4,781 views
  • Top 8 Best Retractable Clotheslines in 2021 (Household Essentials and More)
    Top 8 Best Retractable Clotheslines in 2021 (Household Essentials and More)
    Hang drying your clothes saves money and energy, and causes less wear and tear on the fabric. But gone are the days of digging poles into the ground to string a clothesline or preparing a makeshift one out of rope for your small dorm room. With a retractable clothesline, you can let your laundry dry under the sun for that fresh, clean smell. Or hang one in your bathroom or balcony if you're tight on space. There are various types of retractable clotheslines available today that will turn laundry day into a breeze! We've cut down your search time by going ahead and finding the most practical, functional, and durable clotheslines on the market. Minky Homecare's Outdoor Retractable Clothesline took the top spot because it comes in a single or double cable option with over 98 feet of drying space available. Care to see what other products made it to our top 8 list? We also included a buying guide at the end of this article to further assist you with your purchase! 
    Household goods
    283 views
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