The History of Hand Sanitizer

Hand sanitizer has had quite a year. You’ve probably seen and heard about hand sanitizer in the past year and a bit more than you’ve ever even thought about it in your life. But in reality, hand sanitizer has a long, interesting history that started way before the pandemic of 2020. 

It’s said that the first ‘hand sanitizer’ dates back more than 5,000 years. It was known that alcohol was a good sterilizer, so the ancient Egyptians used it to treat eye infections (ouch!).

In 1875, scientific evidence for hand sanitizer killing bacteria was found. This sparked some debate because it was argued that although it kills bacteria, it doesn’t kill spores. Just over 10 years later, in 1888, alcohol started to be used to sterilize surfaces and people’s hands before surgical procedures.

Then, in the 1930s, alcohol was known to be the preferred method of sanitizing hands in hospitals. These days, of course, hand sanitizer is placed all over hospitals for patients, visitors, and medical practitioners to keep themselves clean and stop the spread of infectious diseases. 

Hand sanitizer as we know it today hasn’t been pinned down to one specific origin. Some people say that it was first invented by a nursing student in California in 1966. The student was named Lupe Hernandez and she combined alcohol and gel so that medical practitioners could quickly and easily clean their hands before seeing patients. This was a revolutionary step.

Others say that the first marketable hand sanitizer came from a German company in 1965. It was sold in Europe only and was made up of glycerin and 75% alcohol. There are numerous theories about who first invented hand sanitizer, but all we know for sure is that it’s now seen as an essential product to keep us hygienic.

In 2002, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) updated it’s guidance, recommending alcohol-based sanitizing gel as an alternative for people (both personally and professionally) to use to clean their hands when soap and water isn’t readily available.

In 2009, the World Health Organization also began to recommend hand sanitizer for healthcare workers. Today, hand sanitizer is a multi-million dollar industry and is used all over the world to keep people safe from bacteria and infectious diseases.

We know that there’s always room for improvement, which is why we’ve dedicated ourselves to creating premium hand sanitizers. We’ve created top-quality hand sanitizer that smells so good you could wear it.

Our hand sanitizing gels come in the scents original, lavender, white tea, and citrus (for now… we’re adding more to the roster, so watch this space!). They’re moisturizing, fast-drying, and kill 99% of harmful bacteria.

You can get them in spray bottles, hand pump bottles, and flip cap bottles - great for keeping yourself clean and safe when you’re on the go. Find out more about our scented hand sanitizer by clicking here.

We also offer hand sanitizer dispensers for commercial use. Click here to check out our floor stand, table top stand, and 1000 ml automatic hand sanitizer dispenser.

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