How to Select and Use Hand Sanitizer

How to Select and Use Hand Sanitizer


  • Choose hand sanitizers that contain at least 60% alcohol.
  • Avoid alcohol-based hand sanitizers that are not approved by Food and Drug Administration (FDA)external icon.
  • Properly apply alcohol-based sanitizer by rubbing the gel over all surfaces of your hands and fingers until your hands are dry.
  • Swallowing alcohol-based hand sanitizers can cause alcohol poisoning. Keep them out of reach of young children and supervise their use.

How to Select

Alcohol-based hand sanitizers come in all shapes and sizes with different ingredients. Which alcohol-based hand sanitizer do you choose? Check the product label and follow these do’s and don’ts.

When choosing an alcohol-based hand sanitizer


  • Choose hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol (often listed on the label as ethanol, ethyl alcohol, isopropanol, or 2-propanol).
  • Follow label directions for use.


  • Choose hand sanitizers that contain less than 60% alcohol.
  • Choose alcohol-based hand sanitizers on FDA’s Hand Sanitizer Do-Not-Use Listexternal iconexternal icon.
  • Choose hand sanitizers labeled as “alcohol-free.”
  • Choose alcohol-based hand sanitizers packaged in a container that resembles a food or beverage container.