Is it Safe to Keep Hand Sanitizer in Your Car?

keep hand sanitizer in your car

Did you know that on a hot summer day, the temperature inside your car can reach a scorching 160°F (71°C)? With germs lurking everywhere, hand sanitizer has become indispensable. But the burning question is: Is it safe to keep hand sanitizer in your car under the scorching sun?

In New Jersey, this isn’t just a concern during the summer months. Researchers at Stanford say that “even on a relatively cool day, the temperature inside a parked car can quickly spike to life-threatening levels if the sun is out.” The fact is, when it’s 70 degrees outside it can get to 89 degrees inside after 10 minutes and 104 after 30 minutes.

So what’s the impact of heat on hand sanitizer efficacy? What are proper storage practices, and which is the ideal hand sanitizer for your vehicle? Safeguard your health and that of your loved ones while ensuring your hand sanitizer stays both effective and safe.

Key Takeaways

  • High temperatures can reduce the efficacy of hand sanitizer by causing alcohol evaporation, making storing it in a car unfavorable.
  • Hand sanitizers should be stored in cool and shaded areas away from direct sunlight with an ideal temperature range of 59 to 86°F for optimal germ-killing results.
  • To ensure effectiveness, choose one with at least 60% ethanol or isopropanol content and watch out for changes that may indicate loss of potency before the expiration date.

The Impact of Heat on Hand Sanitizer Efficacy

High temperatures can significantly impact hand sanitizer’s efficacy by causing alcohol evaporation, making storage in your car during hot weather a potential risk.

An open hand sanitizer container left in a hot car might experience accelerated alcohol evaporation, which reduces the sanitizer’s efficacy. It is not recommended to use hand sanitizer that has been left in a hot car for an extended period of time, as its effectiveness may be compromised due to the hot vehicle environment.

Alcohol Evaporation in Hot Cars

Direct sunlight could degrade the alcohol content of hand sanitizer stored in hot cars, leading to decreased germ-eliminating effectiveness. Long-term heat and sunlight exposure can reduce the alcohol content in alcohol-based hand sanitizers, thereby diminishing their efficacy.

Hence, storing hand sanitizers in hot cars or under high temperatures is best avoided.

Storing Hand Sanitizer Safely in Your Vehicle

To safely store hand sanitizer in your car, follow these tips:

  • Keep it out of direct sunlight or extreme heat
  • Place it in a cool and shaded area
  • Secure the bottle tightly
  • Consider using a travel-sized bottle

Following these guidelines will help maintain the sanitizer’s ability to kill germs effectively, ensuring a thorough process of killing germs.

store hand sanitizer in your car

A location not exposed to direct sunlight, like the car door compartment or console of a vehicle, is ideal for storing hand sanitizer. Hand sanitizer bottles should be tightly sealed to prevent evaporation.

How to Choose the Right Hand Sanitizer for Your Car

Hand sanitizers should have at least 60% Ethyl alcohol or 70% Isopropyl alcohol which can be verified by examining the label. It is recommended to select a hand sanitizer with a minimum of 60% Ethyl alcohol content.

To best preserve it, store the hand sanitizer in a cool, dry place, away from direct sunlight and heat.

Why Common Sense Long Lasting Hand Sanitizer is Ideal for Your Car

When it comes to selecting a hand sanitizer to keep in your car, there are several important factors to consider, including alcohol content and packaging. Common Sense Long Lasting Hand Sanitizer, available in a convenient 2oz, opaque, white, spray bottle, stands out as an excellent choice for car storage for several reasons.

High Alcohol Content: Common Sense Long Lasting Hand Sanitizer contains over 60% ethyl alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol. This high alcohol content is essential for effective germ-killing. The CDC recommends hand sanitizers with at least 60% ethyl alcohol to ensure optimal protection. With Common Sense, you can trust that you’re using a product that meets this critical criterion.

Reduced Heat Absorption: Car interiors can become extremely hot, especially during the summer months. Excessive heat can affect the effectiveness of hand sanitizers by causing alcohol evaporation. Common Sense’s opaque, white spray bottle is designed to minimize heat absorption, helping to preserve the sanitizer’s potency. By choosing this product, you reduce the risk of your hand sanitizer being compromised by the temperature inside your car.

Sunlight Protection: Exposure to direct sunlight can lead to the degradation of the alcohol content in hand sanitizers. Common Sense’s opaque packaging helps shield the sanitizer from harmful UV rays, maintaining its efficacy over time.

Common Sense Long Lasting Hand Sanitizer in its 2oz, opaque, white, spray bottle not only meets the recommended alcohol content but also provides practical solutions for car storage. By opting for this product, you can ensure that your hand sanitizer remains effective, even in the challenging environment of your car. It’s a reliable and convenient choice to keep you and your loved ones protected while on the go.

Importance of High Alcohol Content

Hand sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60-95% are proven to be more germ-effective than those with a lower alcohol content. It is advised that hand sanitizers contain a minimum of 60% ethyl alcohol, ethanol, or 70% isopropyl alcohol to guarantee their efficacy.

Hand sanitizers with lower alcohol content are comparatively less effective at eliminating germs and microorganisms that may cause disease. Before purchasing an alcohol-based hand sanitizer, check the label to ensure it contains the recommended alcohol concentration of at least 60% ethyl alcohol or 70% isopropyl alcohol.

Ideal Temperature Range

To maintain optimal efficacy and prevent alcohol evaporation, store hand sanitizer between temperatures of 59 to 86°F, particularly in hot weather. Exposure to heat and direct sunlight may reduce the efficacy of some of the ingredients in the hand sanitizer, especially in alcohol-based hand sanitizers.

Protecting Hand Sanitizer from Direct Sunlight

Exposure to direct sunlight can lower hand sanitizers’ alcohol content, thereby reducing their germ-killing efficacy. Prolonged exposure to direct sunlight can reduce the efficacy of hand sanitizer, as alcohol can degrade and consequently reduce its ability to eliminate germs.

Storing hand sanitizer in a cool, dry location, away from direct sunlight or heat sources, is advisable. Following these guidelines can help prevent potential fire hazards, as suggested by some fire department warnings.

Hand Sanitizer Combustion and Fire Safety

Although unlikely, high temperatures can increase the risk of combustion or explosion. To ensure proper storage and avoid open containers, the National Fire Protection Association recommends storing hand sanitizer in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight and heat sources.

Flashpoint is a technical term used to describe the tendency of a liquid to ignite, while ignition temperature is the temperature at which a substance self-heats and combusts without an external ignition source.

Signs Your Hand Sanitizer Has Lost Its Effectiveness

Assess changes in smell, consistency, and thickness to judge if your hand sanitizer has lost its effectiveness. The expiration date is commonly displayed on the bottle or packaging.

If the hand sanitizer thickens or discolors, it may have lost its effectiveness.

 hand sanitizer readily available in your car

Alternatives to Car Storage

While the convenience of having hand sanitizer readily available in your car is appealing, it’s important to consider alternative storage options to ensure its effectiveness and safety. Here are some practical solutions:

Portable Hand Sanitizer Bottles: Consider using smaller, travel-sized hand sanitizer bottles that you can easily carry with you. These compact containers can be kept in your bag, pocket, or glove compartment. By having a portable supply, you can avoid exposing a larger, heat-sensitive bottle to extreme temperatures.

Entryway Storage: Designate a spot near your home’s entryway for your hand sanitizer. This way, you can apply it just before leaving and immediately upon returning. Keeping a bottle by the front door or on a hallway table can serve as a convenient and accessible storage option.

Office and Workplace: If you spend a significant amount of time at your workplace or office, it’s a good idea to keep hand sanitizer at your desk or in your work bag. This ensures you have easy access throughout the day.

Backpacks and Purses: For students or individuals who regularly carry backpacks or purses, storing a hand sanitizer bottle in one of the compartments can be an effective solution. It’s readily available without the risks associated with car storage.

Travel-Sized Dispensers: Some hand sanitizer brands, including Common Sense, offer travel-sized dispensers designed for on-the-go use. Make sure these compact containers are leak-proof!

Remember that while portable storage options are convenient, you should still follow storage guidelines for hand sanitizers to maintain their effectiveness. Keep them in a cool and shaded area, and ensure the container is tightly sealed to prevent evaporation. By choosing these alternative storage methods, you can safeguard the efficacy of your hand sanitizer while on the move.

The Safety of Storing Hand Sanitizers In Your Car

Understand the impact of heat on hand sanitizer efficacy, proper storage techniques, and how to choose the right hand sanitizer for your car. Follow these guidelines to effectively protect yourself and your loved ones from germs, while ensuring your hand sanitizer remains both safe and effective.


  • Kathy Lenox

    Kathy Lenox is the President of Microbe Solutions, LLC, a 100% women-owned company she established in 2017. With a diverse career, she managed offices for renowned establishments like Caesars Atlantic City and Trump Plaza Atlantic City. For over 25 years, she excelled as an Administrative Manager in the Warehouse Distribution industry, overseeing multimillion-dollar operations. Kathy's company, Microbe Solutions, specializes in manufacturing a highly effective, persistent hand sanitizer. She is committed to expanding its presence in both wholesale and retail markets. Her dedication extends to supplying the military with essential hygiene products. Kathy's vision for Microbe Solutions revolves around exceptional customer service and the continued exploration of innovative antimicrobial technology in new avenues.

    View all posts
  • Michael Hammer

    Michael Hammer is the Vice President of Operations at Microbe Solutions, a company specializing in antimicrobial products. With an extensive background in business and management, Michael co-founded Microbe Solutions with a commitment to promoting these products and achieving operational excellence. Having honed his expertise in various roles, from automotive management to medical billing and antimicrobial distribution, Michael brings a wealth of experience in product development and promotion. His vision for Microbe Solutions centers on expanding the reach of antimicrobial products in health and beauty sectors, all while prioritizing top-notch customer service. Over a relatively short period, he has achieved significant milestones, including securing EPA labels and establishing manufacturing processes. Michael's ultimate goal is to make Microbe Solutions' products accessible in major retail outlets, emphasizing their presence in big-box stores.

    View all posts