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The coronavirus pandemic isn’t over just yet, and with many people needing to go outside and run essential errands, there comes a higher-than-usual demand for hand sanitizer—one of the most essential items of all—to keep germs at bay. The limited supply has led to price gouging, sold-out shelves and major headaches for even online shoppers.
While the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) maintains that good old-fashioned hand-washing for at least 20 seconds is the most effective way to protect yourself against COVID-19, using hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol when there’s no soap and water around can also be an effective way to eliminate germs. Many distilleries, such as the Vermont-based Caledonia Spirits, are stepping up their efforts to make hand sanitizer for emergency first responders and local communities, but regular Americans are still searching for a way to grab their own supplies, too.
For those eager to skip the big in-store crowds but feel overwhelmed because every retailer also seems to be sold out, we’ve tracked down the best places online where you can still buy hand sanitizer, plus key things to keep in mind as you look for alternative options.
Where to buy hand sanitizer
Shopping for hand sanitizer is a serious hassle right now, but fortunately, there are a few places where you can still buy sanitizer, including:
While we’ll be updating this list daily, keep in mind that supplies are dwindling, so you may want to grab what you can before a product sells out.
Does hand sanitizer expire?
Have an old bottle of hand sanitizer that’s been tucked away in you purse or backpack for a while? With supplies selling out so fast, you might be tempted to just use the old one you already have. However, it’s important to give the label on that bottle a good once-over before you do. The reason? That hand sanitizer might be expired.
While hand sanitizer and wipes seem like one of those things that last forever, that’s not the case at all. Because the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulates them, hand sanitizers are subject to the same requirements as other FDA-regulated products, meaning they do come with expiration dates. Also, the main ingredient in most over-the-counter options is ethyl alcohol, which may lose its efficiency over time, making it less effective against germs.
Most hand sanitizers expire within a year to three years, and while they may still be safe to use, we’d recommend grabbing a fresh bottle or two, just to be on the safe side.
Prices were accurate at the time this article was published but may change over time.
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