The best hand sanitizers to buy when Purell is out of stock

What else we considered

Of the hand sanitizers we tested, there were several that we didn’t consider to be among the best due to a variety of reasons — limited availability, limited sizes, and more. Here are the items we tested that didn’t make the cut. 

Bravo Sierra Hand Sanitizer: This meets all of the CDC hand sanitizer standards for an effective sanitizer and comes in a squeeze bottle. The gel dries in 15 seconds and leaves hands somewhat moisturized. It has been field-tested by 1,000 US service members and 5% of the proceeds go toward the military’s Morale, Welfare, and Recreation program. The company was founded in 2018 and is known for military-inspired unisex grooming products, you can read our review of its products here. Wider availability would have moved it into a contender for the best hand sanitizer overall. 

Baby Bum Hand Sanitizer Spray: This spray delivers a fine mist of effective hand sanitizer with 62% ethyl alcohol and a light coconut scent. The product is tested by pediatricians for use by children, contains additional plant-based ingredients for hydration, and is hypoallergenic. Baby Bum is a sister-brand of Sun Bum, the popular sunscreen brand. This would have been a top contender for the best spray if there were more variety in sizes, a lower price point, and wider distribution.

Olika Hydrating Hand Sanitizer: The first thing that you’ll notice about Olika Hydrating Hand Sanitizer is the dispenser — it’s shaped like a bird. Once you get past the cute packaging, the hand sanitizing mist kills germs with 65% ethyl alcohol and moisturizes with aloe. It also comes in a travel version with a carabiner for purse or backpack straps, and a large refill bag. While refills are available for the cute dispenser, the higher price point took it out of the running for best hand sanitizer spray or best travel hand sanitizer. We tested the brand back in 2017 when its hand sanitizer included dry wipes in the base so you could make your own wipes with the spray.

NudeStix Antibacterial Hand Gel: Many skin-care and beauty companies have started developing hand sanitizer because it contains ingredients you’d normally find in cosmetics — alcohol. Among them is NudeStix, a brand best known for makeup products that come in convenient pencil form. In addition to the 62% ethanol alcohol for an effective sanitizer, NudeStix Hand Gel also provides soothing moisturizers from natural plant extracts and oils. The gel is offered in a pump bottle or in a travel pouch complete with a keychain to attach to straps. Unfortunately, the hand sanitizer is only available on its own site or at Sephora, a specialized beauty store.

Green Goo Hand Sanitizer: It may not have the most appealing name but the product has 70% ethyl alcohol content to kill germs. It’s available in scents like aloe and lavender. The brand is a women-owned business that makes plant-based first aid and body care products. This was another strong contender for the best hand sanitizer for dry skin, but stock is limited to its own site or Amazon through its own storefront, and not via Prime. 

Earth to Skin Hand Sanitizer Gel: This is affordable and effective with 72% ethyl alcohol content. It doesn’t contain sulfates or parabens and is never tested on animals. Earth to Skin is one of Walmart’s in-house brands, and it usually makes beauty products. Since it’s only found at Walmart, it’s a little more limiting than others we’ve tested, and it’s only available as 2-ounce bottles or 1-gallon jars.  

Grove Collaborative Hand Sanitizer Gel: Online retailer Grove Collaborative has started to make its own products, and one of them is hand sanitizer with 62% ethyl alcohol. It comes in several scents including blood orange, pear, and watermelon in two sizes. A separate holder can be ordered to hold the travel size securely to straps. It’s available only when you join Grove Collaborative, so there was a barrier to entry.

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