Sustainability made simple

5 Best Eco-Friendly Sanitizers for Daily Use

Eco-friendly sanitizer.
Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / slavoljubovski

Eco-friendly sanitizers can kill germs, smell good, and have the added bonus of not being harmful to us. We’ll take a look at five of the best hand sanitizers.

Washing our hands with soap and water is essential to kill germs and bacteria on our skin, but when soap and water are unavailable it’s convenient to turn to a hand sanitizer. Conventional hand sanitizer contains ethanol or isopropanol (alcohol) which kills bacteria and germs, but there are other ingredients that may be harmful to us:

  • Artificial fragrances in hand sanitizers and other products are often made using phthalates which can affect reproduction and pregnancies.
  • Triclosan is often used for its antimicrobial properties but may be linked to hormone problems.

Many hand sanitizers come in small plastic spray or gel bottles which may or not be recyclable — so packaging needs to be considered when discussing eco-friendly sanitizers. Let’s take a look at some of the best on the market. 

1. Paume Hand Sanitizer

Aloe vera acts as a moisturizer so your hands won't feel too dry.
Aloe vera acts as a moisturizer so your hands won’t feel too dry.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Rosina-Sch)

This Canadian brand offers a hand sanitizer (available on Amazon**) that also acts as a moisturizer. It is made from plant-based ingredients including essential oils and organic aloe vera powder and is also vegan. The bottle is made from 65% recycled plastic and Paume also sells a refill hand sanitizer.

This hand sanitizer is available in a travel-size bottle and a larger family-sized bottle, both of which can be refilled. Some customers commented that the product was a little sticky on the hands, so this could be a downside.

2. 100% Pure

100% Pure bottles are recycled or recyclable.
100% Pure bottles are recycled or recyclable.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / sweetlouise)

Made from FDA-recommended 62% ethyl alcohol (meaning that it meets safety and efficacy standards) and organic aloe vera juice. 100% Pure hand sanitizer is moisturizing, fragrant-free, vegan, and non-sticky. It comes in a travel-sized spray, gel, and larger family bottle and is made in the United States. All 100% Pure packaging is recycled or recyclable and the hand sanitizer formula is biodegradable.

There is also a 2ml sample sachet of hand sanitizer available, but it is unclear if the packaging for this is recyclable or recycled. Another disadvantage is that some customers reported the product leaked when sent through the mail and also when carrying it in their bags, so not a good travel hand sanitizer.

3. Plaine Products Eco-Friendly Hand Sanitizer

Peppermint oil helps to give the eco-friendly sanitizer its lovely scent.
Peppermint oil helps to give the eco-friendly sanitizer its lovely scent.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / silviarita)

Plaine Products aims for zero waste – they have a system where customers can return empty bottles for a refill at no extra cost. Customers retain the pump on their bottle so there is no need to throw it away. Plaine Products hand sanitizer is made from ethyl alcohol and peppermint oil. This eco-friendly sanitizer is both biodegradable and Leaping Bunny certified.

It comes in an 18 oz. bottle and a travel-sized bottle as well. Plaine’s bottles are made from aluminum, which helps to reduce plastic waste and uses less energy when recycled. Some customers mentioned that the price was a little high, but the product was worth it.

4. By Humankind Sanitizer

Grapefruit oil provides a citrus scent.
Grapefruit oil provides a citrus scent.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / Couleur)

By Humankind hand sanitizer comes in aluminum bottles that can be recycled easily. This company requires you to pay $1 for the plastic pump with the hope that you will retain it to use in your next bottle. It is made of ethyl alcohol and is available with eucalyptus essential oil, grapefruit essential oil, or unscented. By Humankind is carbon neutral and invests in forest preservation projects. Some customers mentioned it would be handy if By Humankind was available in stores too, not just online.

5. Attitude Living Eco-Friendly Hand Sanitizer

Attitude Living hand sanitizer comes in 3 fragrances.
Attitude Living hand sanitizer comes in 3 fragrances.
(Foto: CC0 / Pixabay / soumen82hazra)

Attitude Living hand sanitizer spray (available on Amazon**) is full of natural ingredients such as watercress, lemon, and Indian cress. The 100ml bottle can be recycled or refilled using the 475ml hand sanitizer bottle, and it also comes in a larger spray bottle. This biodegradable and vegan hand sanitizer comes in three fragrances: lemon, orange, and olive. The bottles of this eco-friendly sanitizer are fully recyclable. Some customers reported that the customer service on the website was not good when they wanted to make complaints about faulty products.

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** Links to retailers marked with ** or underlined orange are partially partner links: If you buy here, you actively support, because we will receive a small part of the sales proceeds. More info.

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