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Surprising Uses For Hand Sanitizer: Household Hacks You’ll Love

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Ever find yourself throwing away bottles of hand sanitizer because you didn’t use them up before they expired? You’re not alone. But today, I’m going to help you get your money’s worth from those bottles of gel by sharing some alternative uses for hand sanitizer.

So, read on for cleaning, personal care, and household hacks that are bound to surprise you.

Use Hand Sanitizer to Clean things

  • Phone screens: Smudged and sticky phone screen? A dab of hand sanitizer on a soft cloth can make it crystal clear in no time.
  • Yoga mat refresh: A spritz and a wipe-down with hand sanitizer can both deodorize and sanitize your yoga mat.
  • Clean messy candles: Get that black soot film off your favorite (unlit) candles by wiping them with a paper towel and a dollop of hand sanitizer gel.

Treat Stains

  • Ink stains: Whether it’s permanent marker on a whiteboard or an ink stain on your clothes, a dab of hand sanitizer can get rid of it.
  • Greasy spills and stains: Dropped fried chicken on your clothes or some other greasy food? No worries. Dab some hand sanitizer on the spot to keep the grease from setting in.
  • Freshen your microfiber furniture: Use hand sanitizer on a cleaning rag to wipe up food and beverage spills.
  • Spills on your tennis shoes: Use hand sanitizer to get coffee spills and scuffs off of your favorite tennis shoes.

Did You Know?

A popular urban legend attributes the invention of hand sanitizer to Lupe Hernandez, a nursing student who realized in 1966 that alcohol, when gelled, could clean hands in situations where access to soap and water was limited. Despite repeated efforts, including by The Smithsonian, no one has been able to verify this claim.

Use it for Personal Care

  • Emergency deodorant: Forgot your deodorant? Use a small dab of hand sanitizer to kill odor-causing bacteria, making it a lifesaver in a pinch.
  • Taming flyaways: A tiny amount of hand sanitizer can help tame those unruly flyaways when you’re out and about.
  • Wound disinfection: If you don’t have antiseptic wipes handy, use hand sanitizer to disinfect small wounds on the go.
  • Mosquito bite relief: A dab on a mosquito bite can relieve itching and sanitize the area.
  • Disinfect makeup brushes: Once you’ve washed your favorite makeup brush, give the bristles a quick swipe of sanitizing gel.

Hand Sanitizer Uses Around the Home

  • Clean up dried paint: Use hand sanitizer to dissolve dried paint on floors, clothes, and brushes you forgot to clean.
  • Sticky substance remover: From Band-Aids to product labels and even Christmas tree sap, hand sanitizer removes sticky residues effortlessly.
  • Car care: In a pinch, hand sanitizer can clean and defog your car’s mirrors and windows.
  • Clean your glasses: From hairspray specks to fingerprints, your eyeglasses and sunglasses can get so messy. Reach for a soft lint-free cloth and some hand sanitizer to clean them.

Public and Travel Uses

  • Public toilet seat sanitizer: No seat covers in a public restroom? A few spritzes of hand sanitizer can sanitize the seat.
  • Travel-friendly cleaner: Hand sanitizer is a convenient option for cleaning surfaces like airplane trays or hotel remotes.

Hand sanitizer’s active ingredient is alcohol. Because alcohol evaporates, it loses potency over time and expires after around two years. But that’s plenty of time to try out these alternate uses for hand sanitizer, so be sure you’ve always got some on, er, hand.

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  1. Thebusymama says:

    Thanks – my daughter gets nosebleeds often so I always have extra hand sanitizer and this article taught me some more things I could do with it!

    1. Katie Berry says:

      Glad to be of help!

  2. Just tried the candle dusting tip. Honestly, amazing. Changed my life! You should see my candle collection now. Like the day they were brought home from the store. Thanks a million 🙂

    1. Katie Berry says:

      I’m glad to hear it, Willy! Be sure to let them dry completely before lighting, and enjoy. 🙂

  3. This is awesome. I always forget to bring my hand sanitisers and ended up buying new ones. I now have too many bottles laying around the house. Good to know I can put it to so many good use beside cleaning hands. Thanks!

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