5 Best Hand Sanitizers to Buy (AND 1 So Bad We Had to Warn Ya!)

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hand holding bottle of hand sanitizer

Cleaner hands are just a good sanitizer away.

Hand sanitizer has been hard to come by lately, but in light of the Coronavirus, it has led us to discover some of the absolute best hand sanitizers (and some that are not so awesome!). Today I’m sharing 5 of the best hand sanitizers you can buy and one you should definitely pass on.

*Note that due to the shortage of hand sanitizer as well as inventory, and prices fluctuating on a daily basis, we provided all of the retailers that carry our favorite hand sanitizers rather than just one best of web price. This way all of you readers have the best chance to scoop some up before they sell out!

1. This Grove Collaborative hand sanitizer could be ordered with a free Mrs. Meyer’s gift.

hand holding an amber colored bottle of hand sanitizer

This hand sanitizer not only smells incredible, but it also contains 62% alcohol and kills 99.9% of germs in seconds. To top it off, it even has coconut oil in it so it’s hydrating, anti-microbial, and anti-fungal.

If you’ll be scooping up one of these up before they sell out again, just note that this product may arrive in a packaging slightly different than pictured. According to their website, due to a global pump shortage, some bottles may come with a flip cap however, the sanitizing gel is unaffected and unchanged.

Hip Tip: Find out how you can score a FREE Mrs. Meyer’s cleaning kit when you place a Grove order.

hand squeezing bottle of hand sanitizer onto other hand

“In one of my Grove orders, I got the Blood Orange Hand Sanitizer gel. Our whole house loves it because it smells so amazing. The coconut oil is also really refreshing so it doesn’t dry out your hands. Looking at the bottle there isn’t a ton of ingredients in my opinion. – Alana ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

2. Mrs. Meyer’s lavender spray hand sanitizer scent makes cleaning hands easy.

hand holding a purple bottle of mrs meyers hand sanitizer

Another tried and true clean product that your entire family will love – this sanitizer is even available in Mrs. Meyers’s most popular scent – lavender! Made with essential oils, moisturizers, aloe vera extract, 60% alcohol, and other thoughtfully chosen ingredients, you can be sure it will smell incredible while also killing 99.9% of bacteria to work effectively.

“This product is now a staple in my purse, backpack, and car. I LOVE this hand sanitizer. It doesn’t wreak of alcohol, it doesn’t dry out my hands, and it smells fresh and amazing. I work two different jobs in healthcare, so I am constantly washing/sanitizing my hands.

This product is so easy to grab out of my scrub pocket, spray, and rub. No gross after-feeling, no excessive drying, and no overwhelming scent. Love it!” – Shelby ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

3. Hello Bello spray hand sanitizer is great for babies and on-the-go parents.

hand holding a bottle of hello bello hand sanitizer

Formulated with 62.5% alcohol & a delicious Apple Blossom scent, this hand sanitizer works just as well as it is safe for you and your little one. It’s no wonder it’s taking over the Internet and has quickly become a popular choice for parents across the country. Named one of the “Best Products for Traveling with Baby” by Insider.com and a ”Top Ten Diaper Bag Essential” by Babylist, this one had to make our top 5 list.

You can also find another hand sanitizer directly on Hello Bello’s website, packed with 80% alcohol – just look for the blue label instead of green.

hand holding a bottle of hello bello hand sanitizer from black zipper bag

“I love this one because it doesn’t have a strong alcohol scent at all. In fact, the scent is apple but it’s very subtle and pleasant. I have sensitive skin and some sanitizers can sting, but this one does not sting or feel dry at all!

I also like that it’s a spray and very convenient to use on the go. I love the size to keep in my purse. If you’re picky about hand sanitizers, this is a must-have!” – Lina ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

4. The Honest Company that makes diapers now makes incredible & safe hand sanitizers.

bottles of hand sanitizer in a row on counter

Have sensitive skin? Then this hand sanitizer will be a dream come true since it’s dermatologist-tested and hypoallergenic. Plus, it’s formulated with naturally-derived glycerin and aloe so it won’t dry out your hands like many other brands.

You’ll also be buying in confidence because all Honest Company products are made in the USA and this particular hand sanitizer is plant-based, contains 62% of alcohol, and effectively kills 99.9% of germs and bacteria upon spraying!

“I really love this spray on hand sanitizer – it’s easier to do and goes on even faster. This works great for being a new mom as I need the time, and I don’t want my daughter to get all the harsh chemicals that your standard hand sanitizers have. I would definitely recommend this to anyone!” – Megan ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

5. This Solimo hand sanitizer on Amazon is a cheap bulk buy.

2 bottles of hand sanitizer

If you haven’t already heard, Amazon has a new brand called Solimo featuring generic versions of your favorite products, but at a super affordable price! If you’re just looking for a basic product and to get the most bang for your buck, you can score a massive 67.6 fluid ounce bottle of their Solimo hand sanitizer for just under $12!

Plus, it kills more than 99.9% of germs in 15 seconds and contains 62% of alcohol. If you need any more peace of mind on its effectiveness, Amazon even offers a satisfaction guarantee where they’ll refund you up to a year after your purchase. How sweet is that?!

“The price and quantity are almost too good to be true during COVID-19. I have already put them in smaller pump bottles to give out to colleagues who have yet had any luck in finding hand sanitizers in the stores.

The quality is just as good as other name brands I have purchased (such as GermX) and much better than a lot of the smaller brands that either smells funny or just have a very watery consistency. I highly recommend it!” – Penny ⭐⭐⭐⭐⭐

Hip Tip: Check out these other Solimo products that I tried and see how they compared to their identical name brand counterpart.

Here’s a hand sanitizer we would definitely NOT recommend spending your money on:

Next antibacterial hand sanitizer is one of the worst hand sanitizers money can buy.

hand holding Next Advanced Antibacterial Gand Sanitizer

Available at Walgreens

While this hand sanitizer has the recommended percentage of alcohol according to the CDC, it’s totally flunking in the fragrance department in a BIG way. 🤢And according to Walgreens.com, hundreds of other reviewers agree… this stuff gives us a whole new reason to need a face mask.

“I’m not sure if this smells so bad because it has no added fragrance or if something is seriously wrong with it. Either way, it’s getting thrown out.” – Chad 

“I was seriously worried I would die from this on my skin! Smelled like diesel oil and took numerous washings to remove the smell from my hands. Threw away 2 bottles.” – Matt

“This hand sanitizer has by far the most deadly smell ever. As soon as it came out of the bottle, my eyes were watering and I had to roll down the car windows to dry heave. If I had even the littlest bit of food in my stomach, I would have projectile vomited all over the place.

Not to mention, the smell took approximately 24 hours to wear off. First, I washed my hands with regular soap three times, then I washed with dish soap with no luck. Then, I soaked my hands in lemon juice and then finally soaked my hands in alcohol. Nothing worked. I had to wear gloves on my hands for the rest of the day and could still smell everything through my gloves. I really did think that my life was coming to an end. I wouldn’t wish this hand sanitizer on my worst enemy.”  – Monique

“First thing that comes to mind is spoiled Jose Cuervo Tequila meets Gear Oil. As many have stated, the smell of this product is terrible. I’m not really sure how this product got past the QC or design team at “NEXT” because this has to be the worst smelling product I’ve ever used. Not sure if I can return the product or not, so might just end up throwing it away.” – Gilly

“Do NOT buy this unless you are desperate. It is the worst smelling hand sanitizer I have ever tried. This new bottle is going in the garbage – it literally makes me gag. I even tried drops of peppermint oil and it did nothing!” – Debbie

On another important note: You might want to check your current bottle of hand sanitizer, because all of these have a lethal ingredient and should be trashed ASAP! 😱

Here are the latest deals on face masks that you won’t want to miss.

About the writer:

Sara is a self-taught blogger & photographer and brings 9+ years of experience to her craft. Her work has been featured in numerous esteemed publications, spanning building, travel, and fashion. Beyond her creative pursuits, Sara’s primary mission is to empower others to embrace a toxic-free & sustainable lifestyle.

Join The Discussion

Comments 37

  1. HBee

    Global pump shortage? Who knew.

  2. Evie

    I think it is overused and the chemicals smell awful! All of this for an airborne disease. I will use the one with lavender! It is good for so many things! Even as an insect repellent!

    • Sara

      I’m glad you found a hand sanitizer that you truly love using, Evie!

  3. bluecrewgirl

    Hello bello label says 62.5%.

    • bluecrewgirl

      Looking at Walmart website

    • Sara

      Thank you for pointing that out, bluecrewgirl! We confirmed that you’re correct so we went ahead and updated the post accordingly. Additionally, we realized the other Hello Bello sanitizer offered on their site is slightly different and does contain 80% alcohol so we linked to as well. Have a great day!

  4. Mary

    I purchased tons from the Honest Co. back in March and I absolutely love it. I keep them in my car, purse and at work.

    • Sara

      That’s so great to hear, Mary! Thanks for sharing your great feedback.

  5. huertac1

    The next brand was the only one available at meijer when they started finally getting stock back. I bought one for my kids bathroom and oh my gosh, it is AWFUL. It’s a weird smell. Not like any other sanitizers. For me it smelled like old, wet towels that have been sitting forever. Soooo gross.

    • Sara

      I’m sorry you had such a bad experience too, huertac1! I hope you were able to find something much better since then!

      • huertac1

        I was able to get germ-x via amazon. The shipping was slow but got 6 large bottles. Much happier now 😂

  6. Nicole

    We’ve used the honest company one for years it smells great and doesn’t feel sticky.

    • Barbara

      I went to Amazon to get their brand but it said it’s not delivering to my zip code

      • Urvi

        Keep looking. It cycles in and out if stock.

  7. Heather

    I’ve been using the blood orange hand sanitizer from Grove for a few years, it’s my absolute favorite. Smells so good!

    • Micki

      It smells amazing! It’s definitely my favorite.

  8. Nanners

    😫Bummer… Solimo brand not available now.

    • Amber (Hip Sidekick)

      DARN! We’re bummed too! Hoping it is back in stock soon! 🤞

  9. Patty22jaam

    Agree Next smells like poop 🤢

  10. SW

    I work for the government and we were given a bunch that smells like a sweaty raccoon fresh out of a dumpster. It’s terrible.

    • shop4mybabies

      a store at the mall has this one, we described it as a dirty animal and garbage, lol you were more specific

  11. Pcosta0913

    I have alcohol in a spray bottle. Works just as good and not expensive 👍

    • C

      You can also use vodka (unflavored, preferably no added sugar)… it can be cheap too as you’re not drinking but using for santitizing

      • Urvi

        I thought they said the alcohol content in vodka was not high enough?

  12. iamkris10

    the brand at Five Below – it’s 80% alcohol and has palm trees on it. It is very runny. It STINKS

  13. tia in boise

    My husband picked up some smallish bottles of Suave hand sanitizer from Walgreens back at the beginning of May. We didn’t get around to using them until June–not a deal breaker, but once you’ve rubbed it in for several seconds, it smells like dry dog food!

  14. Gina

    A lot of the problem is that the hand sanitizers are not being made (for the general public) with regular alcohol. They are being made with the alcohol byproduct of distilling liquor. So, they stink. Maybe try putting some drops of essential oils into the bottle?

  15. lindak

    Art Naturals is another horribly smelly brand. I returned all the bottles I bought from sams Club. I cannot even describe the smell. I’ve had luck with large bottles of Equate from Walmart for just over $5. I have found Germ x there too.

  16. fly2sky

    The travel size bottle by smart care at walgreens also smells realy bad.

  17. Pooh

    I didn’t like the Aldi brand either. Felt like my hands were sticky after using it.

  18. Judy

    My favorite is actually the Raw Sugar coconut and lemon verbana hand sanitizer at Target, which is available online right now. It smells like coconut, is very moisturizing, and uses organic and plant based ingredients. It’s a bit pricey, but I believe they also donate their product for every product purchased. I know a few people who can’t stand the smell, but I love it more than the alcohol smell. I forgot the alcohol content, but I believe it’s 60% which is enough to kill germs and Covid-19. Their hand soaps smell really nice and isn’t moisturizing too. I really love their products and mission! 🙂

    • Judy

      Typo*** sorry, I meant to say their hand soap soap smell really nice and is VERY moisturizing, too!

  19. Chel

    Raw sugar from Target smells like drinking alcohol and not the good kind 😝

    • Judy

      @ Chel, really? I don’t smell drinking alcohol, but that’s also because I don’t drink any type of alcohol, so I’m not too familiar with that kind of smell, but I do smell more of coconut. I find that it works well for me and doesn’t dry out my hands or cause any sticky residue. I’m sure there are other brands out there that are really good too, but I have yet to try the recommendations.

    • Cheryl

      Raw Sugar Coconut/Lemon is the worst smelling stuff ever! i can’t even describe it. Bought some at Meijer last week, put on my hands and had to wash them MULTIPLE times throughout the day before the awful smell finally went away. Big Nope!

  20. Jaime

    Equate at Walmart. It’s like putting foul smelling garbage slime on your hands. It’s terrible.

  21. Sparky Wheezle

    As it turns out, NEXT Advanced Hand Sanitizer was recalled by Albek (https://www.fda.gov/safety/recalls-market-withdrawals-safety-alerts/albek-de-mexico-sa-de-cv-issues-voluntary-nationwide-recall-all-hand-sanitizers-within-expiry-due) due to the presence of methanol. Not the cause of the stink, but not good because of methanol’s toxic effects on the human body, including blindness and death. The stink was apparently caused by whatever they distilled the ethanol from…which could have been any fermentable biological material. My guess…the leftover pulp from making sugar or tequila.

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