Organic hand sanitizer is a hand sanitizer that has been certified organic by the USDA, but what does that even mean, and does “organic” even matter when it comes to sanitizers?
Organic Products: A Primer
Organic products are becoming more and more popular each year, and for good reason. Organic products don’t contain genetically modified organisms (GMOs), and they’re overall held to different standards of growth, manufacture, and production.
We often also feel that we can trust an organic product more than its non-organic counterpart, especially with society’s gradual move toward more eco-friendly, transparent products.
There’s unfortunately a problem, though, when we confuse “organic” with “natural,” and we fail to realize that many chemicals are, in fact, natural.
Natural and organic are two different terms, with two different sets of standards.
For a product to be organic, it must be certified by the USDA, and adhere to certain requirements. For a product to be natural, it simply means it cannot contain artificial ingredients. There are no rules governing “natural” products, so you are essentially left to trust the manufacturer’s label.
Some naturally-occurring compounds can be produced through a process of chemical reactions. The resulting compound is identical to the natural compound, but may, in some cases, be safer than the naturally occuring compound. For instance, chemicals that are natural include hydrogen peroxide and isopropyl alcohol.
It costs companies a lot of money to have their products certified as organic by the USDA, and companies must comply with strict guidelines to ensure that every ingredient in their product has been sourced organically. The cost of organic production and manufacture is extremely expensive, and generally yields a smaller amount of product.
On the other hand, many companies offer products that are safe, effective, and manufactured with smart and ethical standards, but are not certified organic. So, whether or not your hand sanitizer is organic is a decision based on your personal choices and needs.
For a hand sanitizer to be deemed effective by the World Health Organization and the Center for Disease Control, it does not need to be certified organic. It simply needs to contain 60% or greater concentration of isopropyl alcohol. When a hand sanitizer contains this amount of alcohol, it is able to kill 99.9% of viruses, germs, and spores.
So, What’s the Deal With Organic Hand Sanitizer?
An organic hand sanitizer is just a hand sanitizer with ingredients that are officially certified as organic by the FDA, meaning the ingredients have not been genetically modified and have gone through a stricter growth and manufacturing process compared to its non-organic counterparts.
An organic sanitizer does not ensure a higher level of safety, efficacy, or superiority.
An organic hand sanitizer may even contain the exact same ingredients as a non-organic hand sanitizer -- the difference is where and how the ingredients were sourced.
For a hand sanitizer to be organic, and not just natural, the alcohol contained in it and all other ingredients must have been derived from a source that is non-genetically modified. This will likely mean the source is non-GMO cane sugar.
Be aware that many organic and natural hand sanitizers will be alcohol-free.
While organic sanitizers may have ingredients that clean hands and remove some surface dirt and grime, they are often not FDA-approved to remove viruses, bacteria, germs, or spores; even if they’re able to clean, they may not be able to actually sanitize.
For a hand sanitizer to be effective on hands, it must contain 60% isopropyl or ethyl alcohol. With this amount, it can kill 99.9% of viruses, germs, and spores. This does not eliminate all germs, but it does bring down the amount to a much safer level. For a hand sanitizer spray to be effective on non-porous surfaces in addition to hands, it must contain at least 70% alcohol by content.
The alcohol contained in hand sanitizers can be organic, but it doesn’t have to be in order to be effective -- in fact, being organic has nothing to do with how well a sanitizer sanitizes. While you may be more comfortable with a hand sanitizer that has certified organic ingredients because you’re used to using other organic products, sanitizers are a product where being organic has no real benefit over non-organic options.
Can Non-Organic Hand Sanitizers Still Be Natural?
A hand sanitizer can be considered natural as long as it doesn’t have any artificial ingredients (which are usually present as coloring, fragrances, and preservatives). A good hand sanitizer shouldn’t contain these ingredients anyway. The FDA has even warned against hand sanitizers with strong, sweet smells, and bright, vivid colors because kids might confuse the sanitizer as edible.
But, Are Some Hand Sanitizer Ingredients Unsafe?
The FDA has reported cases of manufacturers claiming their hand sanitizers contain ethanol, when in fact the product contains methanol, a dangerous wood alcohol that is toxic to humans when absorbed through the skin. You can access a list of banned hand sanitizers from the FDA’s website to determine whether or not the ingredients in your hand sanitizer are safe.
You may also find that there are ingredients in a hand sanitizer like fragrances that do not react well with your skin. Luckily, the main ingredients in a quality hand sanitizer are natural, gentle, and well-tolerated by most people, and includes isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, and purified water. There isn’t much need for hand sanitizers to have anything besides these four FDA-recommended ingredients.
Where Can I Find Affordable, All-Natural Hand Sanitizer?
When COVID-19 hit America hard in March, increased demand for hand sanitizer crippled the supply chain, and hand sanitizer was -- and still is -- tough to get our hands on. This resulted in two highly unethical business practices: consumer hoarding and price gouging.
Our team at Sanitizer.com knew that people deserved better, so we developed a plan for everyone to access high quality hand sanitizer at prices they could afford. We will also never raise our prices, even with increased demand and diminished supply. Our hand sanitizer is priced fairly and always will be. Period.
Our monthly subscription option lets you set and forget, or you can opt for a couple bottles on your own terms if you’re not a fan of commitment.
Our hand sanitizer is made with only simple, natural, high-quality ingredients. Our formula is based on the World Health Organization’s recommendation for isopropyl alcohol hand sanitizer, and we promise we’ll always give a hard no to glittery coloring and candy-scented additives.
Our hand sanitizer is also made with 80% isopropyl alcohol, making it effective for both hands and non-porous surfaces. That means that you can use your hand sanitizer spray to sanitize your smartphone, tablet, keyboard, countertop, desk space, and any other surface you find yourself touching throughout your day.
We are determined to change the course of hand sanitizer manufacture and distribution, one awesome hand sanitizer spray at a time, so come check out Sanitizer.com -- the sanitizer marketplace for everyone is here.