How Long Does Hand Sanitizer Last? And Other Questions You Might Have

Chris Ching

If you’re not able to use warm water and soap to wash your hands, you should always have hand sanitizer readily available when you’re on the go, and you’ve probably recently shopped for some. We’ve heard a lot of questions about hand sanitizer: Why should I use it? What is it made of? How should I use it? Below, we have complied a list of answers to those questions, and more.

What is hand sanitizer made of?

Hand sanitizer can be made of many different formulas, but the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) recommends that sanitizers contain at least 60% alcohol. Ranger Ready Hand Sanitizer contains 80% ethanol alcohol, making it one of the most effective formulas for killing microbes.

While our sanitizer contains ethanol alcohol, other alcohol-based hand sanitizer formulas use isopropyl alcohol. Both are very effective in killing microbes on the skin. Unlike many other hand sanitizers, our fragrance-free hand sanitizer avoids unnecessary ingredients and additives and only uses the most effective protection: alcohol, water, glycerin, and hydrogen peroxide.

When should I use hand sanitizer, and how do I properly use it?

We suggest following the CDC’s recommendation and wash hands with soap and warm water when possible as it is the most effective way to remove most germs. Hand sanitizer is very effective in reducing the amount of illness-causing microbes on your hands and should be used when soap and water is not present, like in the car or when you’re on the go.

In the case of an injury where you need to disinfect your skin before applying a bandage, use soap and water or resort to your first aid kit, as hand sanitizer should not be used on broken skin.

When using hand sanitizer, make sure that you use enough to cover the entire surface and rub it in until it feels dry. Hand sanitizer that is in squeeze bottles can be difficult to get the perfect amount for use, which is why we recommend a hand sanitizer spray, like Ranger Ready Hand Sanitizer. Our fine-mist spray bottles make it easy to cover the entire surface of your hand without wasting excess product.

How long does hand sanitizer last?

When hand sanitizer is made with the industry-standard formula, it can last approximately three years and remain effective. When it includes additives like gels and fragrances, this expiration date could be much sooner. Ranger Ready Hand Sanitizer is made with the simplest of ingredients, so expect a long shelf life.

Does hand sanitizer protect against illness?

The best way to stop the spread of any infection is to avoid people and public places when sick, practice washing your hands regularly with soap and water, and using hand sanitizer when soap is not available. Please refer to the CDC on how to prevent the spread of infectious diseases.

Ranger Ready is in the business of protecting our consumers with the most effective products made with the simplest ingredients. Whether it’s protection from vector-borne illnesses or germs and bacteria, we have the premium products you look for, including our FDA-approved Ranger Ready Hand Sanitizer in addition to our EPA-registered and FDA-recommended picaridin insect repellent.