Hand santizer is perhaps the most in-demand item in the world right now, as a result of the global coronavirus outbreak. With the UK going into lockdown today, it looks like the situation is going to be continuing for a while If you've been struggling to get hold of some, we've done the legwork for you.
Read on for a guide to where to buy hand sanitizer (hand sanitiser) right now – we've focused on online retailers so you can order from home. Stocks are looking seriously depleted, but we're monitoring the situation and constantly updating this page with any new supplies as soon as they become available. Please don't purchase more than you need.
People have been advised to wash their hands or use alcohol gel regularly, as a preventative measure against the spread of COVID-19. Remember that while hand sanitizer is an easy option, medical bodies say that using soap and water and following the correct hand washing steps is just as effective against coronavirus.
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Here's where to buy hand sanitizer right now. If you can't get hold of any right now, check back later, because we're updating this page regularly.
Where to buy hand sanitizer in the US
- Jump to where in the UK to buy hand sanitizer
Purell Hand Sanitizer | Various prices at Sears
There are a few sellers offering Purell Hand Sanitizer gel via Sears marketplace. The prices in many places have been hiked right up, so proceed with caution.
Germ-X Original Hand Sanitizer | $4.18 at Lowes Gel
This 30oz hand sanitizer gel is in stock at Lowes right now. Note that it's only 60% alcohol, which is below the recommended ratio defined by medical authorities (70%).
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer (33.8 fl oz): $5.49 at Target
Note: Available for pickup only, and we're not sure which (if any) stores actually have it in stock. This 1L tun of hand sanitizer promises to kill 99.99% of illness-causing germs.
- Browse Purell products at Target
- Shop all available hand sanitizer and soap at Staples
- Browse hand sanitizer at Lowe's
Purell Hand Sanitizing Wipes | $1.49 at Target
Grab a pack of 15 hand sanitzer wipes at Target. These are dye-free and pre-moistened to keep hands soft. This is a good little pack to have with you if you do need to go out (although you should be avoiding this wherever possible).
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer | $2.99 at Target
This 8 fl oz pump bottle of Purell Naturals hand sanitizer is in stock at Target. It contains 'plant-based alcohol', but it still contains 70% ethanol which is what you're looking for in a hand sanitizer. There's also a 2oz pump bottle available for $1.99.
OUT OF STOCK
Purell Cottony Soft Hand sanitizing wipes | $23.56 at Staples
Pick up a box of 120 hand sanitizing wipes from Staples right now. These are dermatologist-tested, and designed to be gentle on skin thanks to moisturizers, aloe and vitamin E. There's a warning for delayed delivery on the site.
OUT OF STOCK
Purell foaming hand sanitizer refill | $93.99 at Staples
This 3-pack of Purell Advanced Instant Foaming Hand Sanitizer (1200 ml) is available to buy at Staples. It's a refill for FMX Dispenser. Delivery of this item could potentially be delayed, though.
OUT OF STOCK
Dial Professional Foaming Hand Sanitizer: $17.57 at Staples
This 15.2oz pump-top hand santizer is in stock at Staples right now. It has a foaming consistency rather than a gel, but should be just as effective against germs. We're not sure when you'll actually receive this though – it's only available to backorder, and there's a note about delayed delivery due to increased demand.
Where to buy hand sanitizer in the UK
Alcohol hand sanitizer 3-pack | £19.95 at ebay
This 3-pack of 75ml tubs of hand sanitiser is in stock on ebay right now. It promises same-day dispatch and delivery within 24-48 hours in the UK.
Mylee antibacterial hand santizer 500ml | £24.99 at ebay
This Mylee hand sanitizer gel is available, with free UK delivery, at ebay. It contains 70% alcohol to effectively kill germs.
Purell Advanced Hygienic hand sanitiser | £13.99 at ebay
Okay, it's expensive – just under 14 quid for 118ml – but if you want a trusted brand of hand sanitizer, there's Purell alcohol gel available at ebay.
Hand sanitizer (60ml) | £6.99 at ebay
This no-rinse, foaming alcohol gel is available to buy right now at ebay. It's a 60ml tub.
- Shop all hand sanitizers at ebay
- Hand wash and soap at Waitrose
- Hand sanitizer gel at Boots
- Hand sanitizer gel at Superdrug
- Hand santizer at Tesco
Click and collect at Superdrug
While Superdrug has no hand sanitizer to be delivered via online order, it does offer the option to ‘Order & Collect’ from your local store. Naturally, this is subject to availability at said shop.
Anti Bac+ hand sanitizer | £7.79 at Staples
Pick up this 500ml bottle of AF Cleaning Anti Bac+ Sanitizing Hand Rub is on sale at Staples right now, for delivery in 10-13 days.
How to make homemade hand sanitizer
Let's say you know you're going to be out an about without ready access to soap and water, but you haven't been able to get your hands on any ready-made hand sanitiser. According to experts including Dr Anne Marie Helmenstine (who holds a PhD in biomedial sciences), it is possible to make your own 'hand sanitiser' at home, using Isopropyl alcohol (known as rubbing alcohol) and aloe vera gel.
- Buy rubbing alcohol at Amazon US
- Aloe vera gel at Amazon US
To make your own, simply mix together 2/3 cup of 99% rubbing alcohol with 1/3 cup aloe vera gel. You can add 5-10 drops of essential oil to mask the smell of alcohol if you want, but this isn't essential. Then use a funnel to decant the mixture into a spray bottle or liquid soap container. Clearly label the bottle.
For your homemade hand sanitizer to work effectively, it needs to include at least 60% alcohol by volume. But if you don't include the aloe vera gel, it's going to dry your hands out pretty severely, pretty quickly.
Get 5 issues of T3 magazine for just £5/$5 – digital edition
To help you get through self-isolation, we're offering 5 issues of T3 magazine for just £5/$5 when you subscribe to our digital edition – it's available to read on Android, iPhone and iPad. You'll get in-depth features about the best gadgets you've never heard of, news of the greatest tech coming this year, and real-world reviews of the latest releases.
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Does hand sanitizer protect against coronavirus?
Because coronavirus is a new illness, the official medical line on this isn't clear-cut. The NHS website says, "we do not know exactly how coronavirus spreads from person to person" and that "similar viruses are spread in cough droplets".
The NHS advises using hand sanitizer gel only if soap and water are unavailable. Other recommendations include using your sleeve or a tissue to cover your mouth when sneezing, putting used tissues straight into a bin and washing your hands afterwards.
Also bear in mind that while hand sanitizer gels seem like the foolproof way to get your hands as clean as possible, they're not the magic solution you might assume. First up, for the hand sanitizer gel to effectively kill germs, it needs to be at least 60% alcohol – to be safe, look for a 60-95% alcohol concentration, and avoid alcohol-free options.
There are also other things that can make the alcohol gel, or vodka, less effective than you'd hope. The CDC warns that if your hands are very dirty or greasy, this can stop hand sanitizers from working properly. You also need to make sure you're using enough gel, and that you're not wiping off the gel before it's properly dry. Seriously, washing your hands is easier.
While hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands, they don't eliminate all types of germs. For certain types of germ – including norovirus – soap and water is more effective, according to the CDC.
What should I do if I can't find hand sanitizer?
So you haven't been able to get hold of any hand sanitizer. Don't worry. It's time to turn to good old-fashioned soap and water. To help guard against catching or spreading coronavirus, the NHS recommends washing your hands with soap and water regularly, following the official hand washing steps, including when you get home or arrive at work.
You can pick up hand soap at your local supermarket, but if that's not possible you can also order online – head to Waitrose, Boots, Superdrug or any number of other online stores.
Once you've got your soap, it's time to brush up on your hand-washing technique. It's recommended you wash your hands for at least 20 seconds. Above is the official NHS video showing you how to wash your hands properly.
How can I deal with self-isolation?
The UK has implemented a lockdown period, and in general everyone is advised to socially distance themselves right now. Thankfully in today's connected world, movies and TV can come to you, from all over the world.
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