- 1 Top 5 Best Hand Sanitizers in 2020
- 2 Best Hand Sanitizer Buyer’s Guide
After more than 7 hours of research and testing, the best hand sanitizer that you can buy today is Amazon brand Solimo Hand Sanitizer. It is tied for first with the highest alcohol concentration (70% ethyl alcohol) and is infused with Aloe Vera and Vitamin E to moisturize the skin.
Choosing the best hand sanitizer could mean the difference between getting sick with a virus and a reliable substitute for hand washing, especially in this new age of COVID 19. Our evaluation focused on alcohol content (%), scent, dispensing method (e.g. gels vs. sprays), contents (e.g. vitamins), safety, and size. Keep reading to learn more about the Amazon brand Solimo Hand Sanitizer and four others that met our strict grading criteria.
Top 5 Best Hand Sanitizers in 2020
#1 Amazon Brand Solimo Hand Sanitizer
Award: TOP PICK
WHY WE LIKE IT: Thanks to 70% ethyl alcohol content and an Aloe Vera/Vitamin E formula, this hand sanitizer kills 99.99% of common germs (e.g. common cold) and works well as a moisturizer ensuring your hands don’t dry out from excessive use.
We really like this 8-ounce bottle of hand sanitizer’s 70% ethyl alcohol content, which is above the CDC (Center for Disease Control and Prevention) recommendation of 60%, proven to kill 99.99% of germs. Its gel base is thick enough to apply evenly and dries quickly. An Aloe Vera and Vitamin E formula also helps moisturize and provide your skin with a soothing feeling.
Aside from the Amazon name (this is an Amazon-branded product), we really like this hand sanitizer’s effectiveness, promising to kill 99.99% of germs in 15 seconds or less. Though it sanitizes effectively, we wish its strong floral/antiseptic hybrid scent could be a bit less floral, overwhelming the nostrils at first squirt. Consider this hand sanitizer nearly perfect minus this small detail. If you’re worried about bacteria in your bathroom in general, take a look at the best bathroom cleaner to make sure your space is germ-free!
#2 Pro Sanitize Waterless Hand Sanitizer
Award: HONORABLE MENTION
WHY WE LIKE IT: This hand sanitizer contains 70% alcohol and comes in a two-pack of 8-ounce bottles, great for people who prefer to stock up and kill common germs and respiratory viruses, including COVID 19.
Our favorite feature on this hand sanitizer is its 70% alcohol content, which is above the CDC’s guidelines for effective germ-killing, including COVID 19. Thickness is a bit on the watery side, covering a larger surface area a lot quicker than our #1 pick Solimo Hand Sanitizer. Its smell is also on the weak side, more of a tinge of alcohol than anything else.
Dispensing this hand sanitizer is very easy, using a cap nozzle for a generous application. As it uses a cap nozzle, there is a slight learning curve in applying it evenly, not as intuitive as trigger dispensers. Kudos for being sulfate and parabens free. A high concentration of sulfate and parabens have been known to cause cellular damage and clog pores/ cause acne in some people. For your mirror and window cleaning needs, take a look at the best glass cleaner.
#3 Durisan Alcohol-Free Travel Hand Sanitizer
Award: MOST PORTABLE
WHY WE LIKE IT: This is the best hand sanitizer for travel, killing 99.9% of illness causing germs with a six-pack of 18ml (0.60 fl ounce) packets, small enough to fit in a wallet, bags, and purse.
Unlike our #1 pick Solimo Hand Sanitizer and #2 pick Pro Sanitize Wireless hand sanitizer, this hand sanitizer spray does not contain any alcohol. Instead, it contains a mix of five essential oils, including active ingredient benzalkonium chloride which is an effective disinfectant. Each packet is only 18ml, easily fitting in a front or back pocket. A small spray nozzle dispenses, creating more of a mist for a uniform application.
Note, it does not meet the CDCs guidelines for more effective killing of bacteria and viruses (minimum of 60% alcohol). It is a great choice for people who prefer no odor or who are skin sensitive to alcohol, such as small children. While you’re at it, grab a couple of the best cleaning cloths for cleaning the rest of your house.
#4 PURELL Advanced Hand Sanitizer
Award: BEST SPRAY
WHY WE LIKE IT: This gel hand sanitizer contains 70% alcohol for killing viruses and uses a push-down trigger, great for people who want a generous but controlled amount with each squirt.
Thanks to this hand sanitizer gel’s 70% alcohol content, it can kill 99.99% of common household germs and bacteria in less than 20 seconds. This is tied for first with the highest alcohol concentration of our picks. Kudos for being triclosan-free (known for hormonal effects) and a USDA-certified formula, which vouches for its germ-killing ability.
This hand sanitizer gel is very easy to apply. Simply add to your palm using the included pump trigger and rub it until dry. While testing, we did not sense a sticky feel, drying out quickly with no lingering smell after five minutes. A two-pack of 8 fl ounce bottles can also be carried easily in a bag or purse. To keep your kitchen and living room germ-free, grab some of the best countertop cleaner too.
#5 4F Wellness Hand Sanitizer
Award: BEST FOR KIDS
WHY WE LIKE IT: This mist hand sanitizer contains an alcohol-free, non-toxic benzalkonium chloride-based formula to kill illness-causing microbes like the common flu, great for young children who place their hands in mouths frequently.
Arguably this hand sanitizer’s biggest selling point is its alcohol-free and list of excluded harmful chemicals. It is fully lab tested for FDA compliant and triclosan, synthetic formula, and paraben-free, which have been known to cause skin and hormonal issues. This hand sanitizer has no odor, which can overwhelm smaller nostrils, especially with repeated use.
We like this hand sanitizer’s push nozzle, which creates a uniform spray. Unlike our #1 pick Solimo Hand Sanitizer or any gel-based formula, this one spreads more evenly upon contact, reducing in less waste if applied correctly. Kudos for being manufactured in the U.S.A. Keep this in your arsenal with your best floor cleaner to keep your house germ free.
How We Decided
In determining the best hand sanitizer to buy, we explored alcohol content (%), scent, dispensing method (e.g. gels vs. sprays), contents (e.g. vitamins), safety, and size. The CDC recommends hand sanitizers should have at least 60% alcohol content to effectively kill off most germs. However, several non-alcoholic hand sanitizers have also been proven effective against antimicrobial activity. These sanitizers will keep you germ-free on the go. For your home, consider picking up the best all purpose cleaner too.
Scents on hand sanitizers should not be too overpowering. At worst, its a strong antiseptic smell, and at best, we have no odor or a light floral scent as our #1 pick Solimo Hand Sanitizer has been described as. If it does not linger after five minutes and dries quickly, even better.
Bonus points go to hand sanitizers that are not strictly alcohol but contain Aloe Vera and Vitamin E, which are known for their skin moisturizing and rejuvenating effects. We also want to avoid toxic additives such as parabens, sulfates, phthalates, and others that are known to cause health defects. If you are learning how to make hand sanitizer, Aloe Vera jellies are very easy to find.
As for the size and dispensing method, most hand sanitizers come in 8-ounce bottles. We are big fans of pump dispensers, followed by mist, and lastly nozzle caps. Ease of application and covering a larger surface area with as little formula as possible should be the goal.
Best Hand Sanitizer Buyer’s Guide
The Most Important Features to Consider
- Alcohol Content (%)
Per CDC guidelines, alcohol based hand sanitizers should contain at least 60% alcohol, which should be enough to kill all types of germs. However, non-alcohol alternatives like the 4F Wellness Hand Sanitizer and the Dursin Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer are effective choices with benzalkonium chloride-based formulas that work well with children’s sensitivities.
Most hand sanitizers smell like antiseptic. Our favorite scent on the list belongs to the #1 pick Solimi Hand Sanitizer for its soothing Aloe Vera and minty scent. However, other discerning noses may not tell it immediately. We also look for hand sanitizers that do not have lingering smells. As they can be applied frequently (up to several times an hour), this is very important.
- Size & Dispensing Method
We like 8 fl ounce bottles, which are small enough to carry in a purchase or bag without blocking the rest of your stuff. Our #4 pick Durison Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer is the most compact option, coming in a pack of six.
- Safety & Contents
Some hand sanitizers, like the #1 pick Solimo Hand Sanitizer, contain aloe Vera and Vitamin which are great for moisturizing, and not simply sanitizing hands. Although not a replacement for an actual lotion, it can get the job done.
Hand Sanitizer FAQs
What is the most effective hand sanitizer?
In our opinion, the Solimo Hand Sanitizer is the most effective hand sanitizer with its 70% ethyl alcohol content and moisturizing ingredients like Aloe Vera and Vitamin E. It has been proven to kill germs in as little as 15 seconds, which works wonders with your fast-paced, everyday life.
Which hand sanitizers have the most alcohol?
70 percent of ethyl alcohol is one of the highest concentrations you can find in a hand sanitizer. We do not recommend more than this, as an excessive amount is known to dry and irritate hands. Remember, opt for a minimum of 60 percent alcohol for the most effective germ killing.
How do I choose hand sanitizer?
If you have children who are prone to stick their hands in their mouths, opt for a non-alcohol based formula like the 4F Wellness Hand Sanitizer and the Dursin Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer. Its FDA approved benzalkonium chloride-based formula works in killing up to 99.99% of germs. It is also fragrance free for sensitive nostrils.
Is Purell the best hand sanitizer?
Purell is one of the better known and sold hand sanitizers in the country. We wholeheartedly recommend it as our #4 pick.