These days it’s more important than ever to keep your hands clean and germ-free. While soap and water are the best way to wash your hands, a hand sanitizer will do the trick when you’re out and about. However, many products have lots of added chemicals that might dry out your hands and can even irritate your skin and strip it of its natural oils and microbiomes.
Therefore, we’ve looked at the best natural & organic hand sanitizers that will get rid of bacteria and viruses without hurting your hands. We’ll guide you through picking the best sanitizers and review the following six products:
- Best Overall: EO Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray
- Best Fair Trade: Dr. Bronner’s Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray
- Best Wipes: Babyganics Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer Wipes
- Best Value: Lone Star Botanicals All-Natural Hand Sanitizer
- Most Budget-Friendly: Artnaturals Hand Sanitizer Gel
- Best Scent: Everyone Hand Sanitizer Spray
Best Natural & Organic Hand Sanitizers: Our Top 6 Picks
Let’s jump into the fun part first: choosing the best hand sanitizer!
1. Best Overall: EO Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray
This is a six-pack of calming lavender-scented hand sanitizers stored in post-consumer plastic spray bottles, meaning that the plastic is recycled. EO Products is a zero-waste and certified B-corporation that creates products that are good for the environment as well as consumers.
The design of the bottles is easy to use when you’re out and about, and the spray bottle makes the sanitizer last longer since you use less each time.
As for ingredients, this sanitizer is paraben-, fragrance-, triclosan-, and phthalates-free and doesn’t contain any artificial dyes or gluten. The effective ingredient is ethanol taken from organic sugar cane, and in order to keep your hands moisturized, aloe vera, vitamin E, and glycerin derived from plants are also included.
Other ingredients are thyme extract and purified water. The expiry date is three years from the manufacturing date, so it should last a while after purchase.
Users really like how this sanitizer doesn’t dry out their hands despite containing 62 percent alcohol, and they appreciate the pleasant lavender smell. EO Hand Sanitizing Sprays also come in two other scents: Peppermint and Sweet Orange. These rather small 2-ounce bottles are also ideal for traveling or keeping in your purse without taking up much space.
However, some buyers report that the bottles leak and that the bottles weren’t even full upon delivery. Others don’t have this issue, however, so it seems to be dependent on the individual product you order.
- Uses ethanol derived from organic and non-GMO sugar cane.
- Aloe vera and glycerin help keep your hands hydrated.
- Spray bottles made from recycled plastic.
- Lavender essential oil gives the sanitizer a pleasant, calming scent.
- Free from parabens, phthalates, fragrance, artificial dyes, gluten, and triclosan.
- Bottles tend to leak, according to some users.
2. Best Fair Trade: Dr. Bronner’s Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray
This pack of two, six, or 12 lavender-scented hand sanitizers only have four ingredients: ethyl alcohol, water, glycerin, and lavender oil, so you can be sure that it’s a natural hand sanitizer free from any strange chemicals. Another advantage with Dr. Bronnner’s sanitizer is that all ingredients are certified Fair Trade, which means that the farmers that have produced them have working conditions that live up to standards.
Naturally, the few ingredients on the bottle also mean that it’s free from parabens, sulfates, phthalates, fragrances, and triclosan. With moisture from glycerin, your hands are less likely to dry out and the lavender smell is amazing, according to many buyers. However, some users feel like it smells too grassy, so it’s a matter of personal preference in the end. Also, this sanitizer contains 62 percent alcohol, which is above the CDC guidelines of 60 percent.
Furthermore, all ingredients are organic, non-GMO, and stored in a completely recycled plastic spray bottle. Also, users report that their hands stay soft and non-sticky after using this product.
However, there are some cons to this sanitizer as well. Most notably that it’s a little pricier than other products. Some users also report that the scent is overpowering and too strong, especially when used in closed settings.
- Hand sanitizer only includes four ingredients.
- All ingredients are organic, non-GMO, and Fair Trade.
- No parabens, phthalates, or other harmful chemicals.
- The bottle comes from plastic that’s been recycled.
- Keeps hands soft and not sticky.
- Rather expensive.
- The scent is too strong for some users.
3. Best Wipes: Babyganics Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer Wipes
If you’re looking for an alcohol-free sanitizing product that won’t dry out your hands, these wipes from Babyganics will do the trick. They use decyl glucoside as one of the effective ingredients, which is a biodegradable and plant-derived detergent. Also included is a PHA (polyhydroxy acid) that chemically exfoliates the skin.
These wipes also have some hydrating ingredients, such as glycerin and aloe vera extract, and they use mandarin orange and grapefruit peel oil to get a fresh citrus smell. According to customers, these wipes are great for traveling and can easily clean hands or surfaces around you. They’re reportedly also soft and don’t feel irritating on the skin.
However, only some of the ingredients are organic, and there are some chemicals in the wipes, even though it’s free from parabens, phthalates, triclosan, and artificial fragrances. Also, customers state that some packaging issues cause the wipes to dry out rather quickly.
- The no-alcohol formula is less drying to the skin.
- Hydrating aloe vera and glycerin.
- Has a fresh citrus smell.
- Soft wipes that are convenient when traveling.
- Free from parabens, triclosan, phthalates, and fragrances.
- Only some ingredients are organic.
- The packaging doesn’t always close properly, so the wipes can dry out fast.
4. Best Value: Lone Star Botanicals All-Natural Hand Sanitizer
The Lone Star Botanicals 4-ounce sanitizers are available in packs of five, ten, 100, or 240, giving you a lot of bang for your buck. While it’s not officially organic, this sanitizer only contains two ingredients: ethanol alcohol and aloe vera, so the bottle is super easy to read.
With 70 percent alcohol content, it’s effective in killing germs and bacteria, and the aloe vera extract is moisturizing. This is the highest alcohol percentage among all the sanitizers on our list, making it more likely to effectively kill germs and viruses.
According to users, this hand sanitizer dries quickly, so you don’t have to walk around with wet hands for long. Also, while the bottles include more liquid than other spray bottles on our list, they’re still compact and easy to carry in your purse. A final plus is that this product is made in the USA.
Some users report that the spray bottle gets stuck easily and that they have trouble using the sanitizer due to this. Others don’t like the strong alcoholic smell of this hand sanitizer.
- A lot of bang for your buck.
- 70 percent alcohol efficient at killing germs.
- Only contains alcohol and hydrating aloe vera.
- The formula dries quickly on your hands.
- Compact and fits in your handbag.
- The spray bottle pump gets stuck often.
- Has a strong alcoholic smell.
- Not officially organic.
5. Most Budget-Friendly: Artnaturals Hand Sanitizer Gel
If you’re looking for a cheap product, go for the Artnaturals sanitizer that’s available in packs of two, four, six, eight, 12, 16, or 64.
This is a gel sanitizer that’s easier to apply than water-textured ones, and it’s also unscented, which is ideal for those with sensitivities or easily irritable skin. The sanitizer is available with a tea tree or coconut smell if you’d rather have a scent. As for efficiency, it contains 62.5 percent alcohol, which is above the recommendation from the CDC.
With ingredients such as jojoba oil, aloe vera, and vitamin E, this sanitizer is reportedly very moisturizing and soft to the skin. They’re all vegan, cruelty-free, and free from parabens which is another plus, but note that all the ingredients aren’t organic. Buyers also feel like the product is long-lasting, and you can use it for a year or more, depending on your usage.
On the downside, some users feel like the formula is too sticky and leaves your hand feeling like they’re full of glue. Furthermore, other people don’t like the strong alcohol smell of this sanitizer. This is the downfall of an unscented product.
- Nice to your wallet.
- Available in an unscented version, which is good for sensitivities.
- Gel sanitizer that’s easy to apply.
- Super moisturizing ingredients.
- Lasts you for a long time.
- Leaves your hands feeling sticky.
- Strong smell.
- Not all ingredients are organic.
6. Best Scent: Everyone Hand Sanitizer Spray
What users love most about this hand sanitizer is the tropical coconut and lemon smell that’s derived from essential oils and not chemical fragrances. They describe the scent as refreshing, and some even state that it’s the best smelling hand sanitizer ever. The Everyone hand sanitizers come in a six-pack, and each bottle contains 2 ounces.
The 62 percent effective ethanol is derived from non-GMO sugar cane and the sanitizer also contains hydrating aloe vera and glycerin. There are no parabens, artificial colors, dyes, phthalates, or fake fragrances in this product. Furthermore, this is a vegan product that hasn’t been tested on animals either. However, while the ingredients are natural, they aren’t organic.
As for the bottle, it’s dark, which keeps UV rays away from the liquid that could otherwise lessen its effectiveness in terms of killing germs. The container is completely made from recycled plastic, which is another plus.
Unfortunately, the expiry date is relatively short, and users state that it only lasts 18 months from the manufacturing date. Also, several bottles reportedly leaked during shipping for some buyers.
- A refreshingly tropical lemon and coconut scent.
- Moisturizing glycerin and aloe vera.
- Free from parabens, phthalates, and artificial fragrances and dyes.
- A dark bottle completely made from recycled plastic protects the sanitizer from UV rays.
- Not entirely organic.
- Short expiry date.
- Bottles leaked for some users.
Natural & Organic Hand Sanitizers: Buyer’s Guide
Let’s dig deeper into what harmful ingredients to avoid as well as which ones should be included in the best natural sanitizers.
Look for the following ingredients, packaging, and formula:
As stated previously, alcohol is drying to the skin and can cause skin irritation. To counter this, look for moisturizing ingredients in your hand sanitizer. These include glycerol, aloe vera, and vitamin E (tocopheryl acetate).
On our list, the EO Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray contains all these ingredients. You don’t want to get dry and flaky hands when using your cleansing products.
In terms of hand sanitizers, you have two different types of products that are effective in killing germs.
Alcohol-based sanitizers are perhaps the most common alternative. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), they should contain at least 60 percent in order to be effective. So, we recommend products with 60–95 percent alcohol. The product on our list with the highest alcohol content is the Lone Star Botanicals All-Natural Hand Sanitizer.
You also have the option of getting an alcohol-free hand sanitizer such as Babyganics Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer Wipes. These are safer for kids in case they consume them, for example, and they’re also less drying on the skin. This type of sanitizer typically includes natural antibacterial ingredients such as tea tree oil.
Finally, make sure you check the expiry date of your hand sanitizer, and don’t use it after it’s expired since it might not be as effective in keeping you clean.
While soap and water are a great way to keep yourself clean at home, you can reach for your hand sanitizer while out in public. Therefore, the best product comes in portable packaging that’s easy to use.
A spray bottle, for example, the Dr. Bronner’s Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray, applies the sanitizer quickly and evenly to your hands, while a pump bottle might be more tricky to use.
Also, you should consider getting plastic packaging since it’s less fragile and lighter than glass bottles and ideal for carrying around with you all day. The Everyone Hand Sanitizer Spray bottles are recycled plastic and also have a dark ombre color to protect the sanitizer from the sun.
Type of Hand Sanitizer
As you probably know already, there are different types of hand sanitizers. Some have a water-like texture, but these are typically hard to apply and might soak your bag if they leak. A better alternative are gel-based sanitizers such as the Artnaturals Hand Sanitizer Gel that are less runny or even wipes you can use to clean your hands or different surfaces around you.
The function of these is that they prevent kids or anyone else from eating or drinking the sanitizer. Some common ingredients include aminomethyl propanol that smells like decay, and isopropyl alcohol that tastes bitter.
Ingredients To Avoid
Manufacturers don’t need to declare what chemicals they use in their synthetic fragrances. Therefore, they can be packed with hundreds of potentially harmful substances that you won’t see on the label. Some may be linked to cancer, while others are irritating to the skin. For this reason, we recommend avoiding any chemical fragrances in your hand sanitizers.
Phthalates are another thing to be on the lookout for. These chemicals are linked to lower sperm count in men and altered thyroid function in women, among other nasty side effects.
Parabens should also be avoided since these are linked to cancer and have been found in breast tissue and cancer tissue.
Finally, the best natural hand sanitizers are free from triclosan. This substance is antibacterial, but it’s dangerous to the environment since it doesn’t break down and can contaminate the water supply. There are studies suggesting that it might contribute to bacteria growing resistant to antibiotics.
Now you know that the best natural & organic hand sanitizers are free from toxic chemicals, contain at least 60 percent alcohol, and have hydrating ingredients as well. But which one is the best product?
In our opinion, the winner is the EO Organic Hand Sanitizer Spray. It’s free from parabens, phthalates, fragrances, and triclosan and only uses organic ingredients. The ethanol is derived from GMO-free sugar cane, and it’s also hydrating. Finally, the spray bottle is easy to use, and the packaging is made from completely recycled plastic.
If you’re looking for an alcohol-free sanitizer, we recommend the Babyganics Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer Wipes instead. These feel soft on the skin and contain moisturizing ingredients. They also clean your hands without using drying alcohol.
But which product is your favorite?