Why Hand Sanitizer (Sometimes!) Smells Bad

Hand sanitizer is so important for keeping us clean, especially at the moment when having clean hands is a priority.

It’s a quick and effective way to stay hygienic throughout the day and can be used conveniently around the house, at work, or in bars, restaurants, and cafes. 

As helpful as they are, some hand sanitizers can have a really bad smell, which is putting some people off using them. These bad smells have often been likened to the smell of trash and the smell of tequila, so it’s no surprise that people are reluctant to use them!

Today, we’re going to be looking at why some hand sanitizers smell so bad… and there’s actually some pretty solid science behind it.

Why does hand sanitizer smell bad?

In short, some hand sanitizing gels smell bad because of the ethanol or ethyl alcohol used to make them. These ingredients are one of the most important parts of hand sanitizers as these are what actually kill the bacteria.

If you’ve noticed an increase in bad smelling hand sanitizer, you’re not alone. Many people have been talking about how the bad smell of some hand sanitizer is becoming increasingly common. 

The reason for this is said to be that, to meet the increasing demand for hand sanitizer, a number of distillers have swapped making liquor for making sanitizer gel, but they’re using denatured ethanol. 

The foul smell comes from the natural ingredients in the denatured ethanol: corn, beets, sugar cane, and more. Denatured ethanol stinks for a good reason: to stop people drinking it before it’s mixed with other ingredients to become the alcoholic drinks we’re used to.  

So, that’s why some hand sanitizers have a really foul smelling odor, especially during recent times.

Is there a solution?

Hand sanitizers that smell bad because they’re made with denatured alcohol are still going to be effective, but it’s not pleasant to use them.

On-The-Spot has created a scentsational range of amazing smelling hand sanitizers that are also safe and effective. Our quality hand sanitizers come in the scents Original, Citrus, Lavender, and White Tea.

Our hand sanitizing gel kills 99% of harmful bacteria and dries really quickly so you don’t get an unpleasant sticky residue on your hands after use. Plus, our hand sanitizers are moisturizing, helping keep your skin soft.

They come in spray bottles, hand pump bottles, flip cap bottles, and 1.3 gallon bottles which are perfect for refilling hand sanitizer dispensers in commercial settings.


Shop our range our scented hand sanitizers and hand sanitizer dispensers online by clicking here.
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