hand sanitizer

One of the best ways to prevent the spread of COVID-19 is to wash your hands with soap and water. If soap and water are not available, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol). 

The FDA regulates hand sanitizer as an over-the-counter drug, available without a prescription. FDA tests hand sanitizers for quality. They discovered serious safety concerns with some hand sanitizers during recent testing over the summer including:

  • Contamination with potentially toxic types of alcohol
  • Not enough active ingredient (ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol)
  • Labels with false, misleading, or unproven claims 

Some hand sanitizers have been recalled and there are more than 150 hand sanitizers the FDA recommends you stop using right away.

Check the FDA’s Do-Not-Use List

Before you buy hand sanitizer or use hand sanitizer you have at home, the FDA recommends checking the do-not-use list at www.fda.gov/handsanitizerlist. They update the list regularly as new test results are released. Bookmark the list in your web browser so that you can check each hand sanitizer before using it.

How to Search FDA’s Hand Sanitizer Do-Not-Use List

Step-by-step Search Guide (PDF)

  1. Go to www.fda.gov/handsanitizerlist.
  2. Click or tap on the red button that says, “Hand sanitizers consumers should not use.”
  3. Scroll down the page to the search box at the top of the do-not-use list.
  4. Using the information on the hand sanitizer label, type one of the following in the search box:
    • Product or brand name
    • Manufacturer, or the company that produced the product (may not be included on the product label)
    • Distributor, the company that brings the product to market
    • NDC or National Drug Code number (may not be included on the product label)
  5. Do not use any hand sanitizer made by manufacturers on the list.

If the manufacturer is not listed on the label, contact the distributor to find out who manufactured the product. If the distributor refuses to clarify this information when you contact them, the FDA recommends not using the product.

If Your Hand Sanitizer Is on the Do-Not-Use List

If you have a hand sanitizer on the do-not-use list, or one made by a manufacturer on the list, stop using it immediately. Throw it away in a hazardous waste container, if you can. Do not flush or pour the product down the drain or mix it with other liquids. If you do not have hazardous waste disposal where you live, contact your trash or recycling company or your local government to ask where you can get rid of hazardous waste.

Methanol and 1-Propanol Are Toxic

There are many types of alcohol. Only ethyl alcohol and isopropyl alcohol (also known as 2-propanol) are acceptable alcohols in hand sanitizer. Other types of alcohol, including methanol and 1-propanol, are not acceptable in hand sanitizer because they can be toxic to humans. Recent FDA safety testing discovered some hand sanitizers contaminated with these potentially toxic types of alcohol.

As of August 13, the FDA's recall list includes the following 149 variations

The full list can be found below:

  • Blumen Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol
  • Blumen Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear Ethyl Alcohol 70%
  • BLUMEN Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear
  • BLUMEN Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Clear
  • KLAR AND DANVER Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • MODESA Instant Hand Sanitizer Moisturizers and Vitamin E
  • BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe
  • BLUMEN Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender
  • BLUMEN Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • BLUMEN Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • BLUMEN Clear LEAR Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • BLUMEN Clear LEAR Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • BLUMEN Advanced Hand Sanitizer Clear
  • BLUMEN Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • BLUMEN Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe
  • BLUMEN Clear Advanced Instant Hand Sanitizer Lavender
  • BLUMEN Aloe Advanced Hand Sanitizer, with 70 Alcohol
  • BLUMEN Aloe Advanced Hand Sanitizer, with 70 Alcohol
  • Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Lavender, with 70% alcohol
  • Blumen Advanced Hand Sanitizer Aloe, with 70% alcohol
  • Blumen Antibacterial Fresh Citrus Hand Sanitizer
  • Blumen Hand Sanitizer Fresh Citrus
  • KLAR and DANVER Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • The Honeykeeper Hand Sanitizer
  • Hello Kitty Hand Sanitizer
  • Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Vitamin E and Aloe)
  • Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer (Aloe and Moisturizers)
  • Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Vitamin E and Aloe
  • Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe and Moisturizers
  • BLUMEN Instant Hand Sanitizer Fragrance Free
  • BLUMEN Instant Hand Sanitizer Aloe Vera
  • 4E Global SAPI de CV's Assured Aloe
  • bio aaa Advance Hand Sanitizer
  • LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 4 oz
  • LumiSkin Advance Hand Sanitizer 16 oz
  • QualitaMed Hand Sanitizer
  • NEXT Hand Sanitizer
  • Clear Advanced Hand Sanitizer with 70% Alcohol extra soft with glycerin and aloe
  • NuuxSan Instant Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • NuuxSan Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Assured Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Aloe and Moisturizers
  • Assured Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Vitamin E and Aloe
  • Modesa Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizers and Aloe Vera
  • Modesa Instant Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer with Moisturizers and Vitamin E
  • Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70% Alcohol
  • Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70% Alcohol
  • Herbacil Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer 70% Alcohol
  • Earths Amenities Instant Unscented Hand Sanitizer with Aloe Vera Advanced
  • Agavespa Skincare's Hand Sanitizer
  • Vidanos Easy Cleaning Rentals Hand Sanitizer Agavespa Skincare
  • Eskobiochem's All-Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • Esk Biochem Hand Sanitizer
  • Lavar 70 Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • The Good Gel Antibacterial Gel Hand Sanitizer
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 80% Alcohol (multiple sizes)
  • CleanCare NoGerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer 75% Alcohol
  • Saniderm Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • Grupo Insoma's Hand Sanitizer Gel Unscented 70% Alcohol
  • Medicare Alcohol Antiseptic Topical Solution
  • GelBact Hand Sanitizer
  • Hand Sanitizer
  • TriCleanz
  • Sayab Antisepctic Hand Sanitizer 100
  • Jaloma Antiseptic Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 62% with Vitamin E
  • Leiper's Fork Distillery Bulk Disinfectant per 5 gallon and Leiper's Fork Distillery 16 oz bottle
  • Andy's Best
  • Andy's
  • NeoNatural
  • Plus Advanced
  • Optimus Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Optimus Lubricants Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Optimus Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • Selecto Hand Sanitizer
  • Shine and Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol
  • Hand Sanitizer Disinfectant Gel 70% Ethyl Alcohol Rinse Free Hand Rub
  • Mystic Shield Protection hand sanitizer
  • Born Basic. Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer 70% alcohol
  • Born Basic. Anti-Bac Hand Sanitizer 65% Alcohol
  • Scent Theory — Keep It Clean — Pure Clean Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • Cavalry
  • ENLIVEN Hand Sanitizing Gel
  • Lux Eoi Hand Sanitizing Gel
  • Scent Theory -- Keep It Clean -- Pure Clean Anti-bacterial Hand Sanitizer
  • Bersih Hand Sanitizer Gel Fragrance Free
  • Bersih Antiseptic Alcohol 70% Topical Solution hand sanitizer
  • Purity Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • Hand Sanitizer Gel Alcohol 70%
  • TriCleanz Tritanium Labs Hand Sanitizer
  • Britz Hand Sanitizer Ethyl Alcohol 70%
  • Parabola Hand Sanitizer
  • Urbane Bath and Body Hand Sanitizer
  • Cleaner Hand Sanitizer Rinse Free 70%
  • Handzer Hand Sanitizer Rinse Free
  • Kleanz Antibacterial Hand Sanitizer Advanced
  • Be Safe Hand Sanitizer
  • Wave Hand Sanitizer Gel
  • DAESI Hand Sanitizer
  • Alcohol Antiseptic 75% Topical Solution Hand Sanitizer
  • M Hand Sanitizer Alcohol Antiseptic
  • Jalisco Paper Inc Restaurant Supplies Hand Sanitizer
  • O.K. Pharmacy Hand Sanitizer
  • Hand Sanitizer Alcohol Antiseptic Topical Solution 80%
  • Open Book Extracts' Always Be Clean Hand Sanitizer and Just Hand Sanitizer Single Use Packs
  • In Good Hands Hand Sanitizer Gel
  • BV BYE Virus 99
  • UltraCruz Antimicrobial Hand Sanitizing Gel
  • SkinGuard24 All-Day Hand Sanitizer
  • Volu-Sol Handrub Sanitizing Solution
  • Leafree Instant Hand Sanitizer
  • CleanCare Nogerm Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • V-KLEAN Hand Sanitizer Gel
  • Derma70 Hand Sanitizer

The FDA shared that methanol "is not an acceptable active ingredient for hand sanitizers, and must not be used due to its toxic effects." The FDA is asking customers to safely dispose of the sanitizer in question (view full lists here and here). Additionally, the FDA says its working to correct "false and misleading" claims on hand sanitizers being sold during the COVID-19 pandemic — primarily, on those that promise 24-hour protection against viruses like COVID-19.