Where to buy hand sanitizer – updated!

There's still hand sanitizer around, if you know where to look

where to buy hand sanitizer
(Image credit: Kelly Sikkema on Unsplash)

Hand santizer is still massively in demand. Medical authorities all over the world have advised that people wash their hands hands regularly with soap and water or use hand sanitizer, to help prevent the spread of coronavirus.

With much of the world in lockdown, it's clear we're going to be needing hand sanitizer for a while yet. If you've been struggling to get hold of some, read on. 

We've been scouring the net for stocks of hand santizier (hand sanitiser). Read on for a guide to where you can still buy alcohol gel right now, in the United States, the UK and Australia (or use the links opposite to jump straight to your area). Stocks are looking seriously depleted in some areas – the US in particular – but we're monitoring the situation and constantly updating this page with any new supplies as soon as they become available. 

Please don't buy more than you need – if manufacturers are ever going to catch up, everyone needs to start purchasing responsibly. 

In the UK, we've been assured that a coronavirus home test is on its way. 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 the spread of the virus.

Here's where to buy hand sanitizer right now. If you can't get hold of any, check back later, because we're updating this page every day.

USA: Where to buy hand sanitizer

Cabinet Preparedness Kit | $30 at Cabinet
This kit from Cabinet contains hand sanitizer spray (70% alcohol), as well as cold and flu medicine for day and night, and Acetaminophen. In short, it's a good pack to have if you're hit with flu-like symptoms. It's in stock now. There's also a "pay-what-you-can" policy for those in need.View Deal

Hand sanitizer (1 gallon) | $49.99 at PureTech
PureTech sells WHO-approved, 80% alcohol hand sanitizer in bulk. If you need a lot of alcohol gel, this might the place to head.View Deal

Alcohol hand spray | $12.95 at Radha Beauty
It's labelled as 'soothing spray' rather than sanitizer, which is perhaps why this alcohol hand spray is still in stock at Radha. It contains 62% alcohol, which is in line with the CDC's recommendations (over 60%). There's also a 4oz lemongrass scented version in stock. View Deal

Up&Up Hand Sanitizer with Aloe | $1.89 at Target
This alcohol gel has refreshing aloe in it to keep your hands smooth and supple. There's a 32fl oz bottle or 8 fl oz version – click to see if it's available to order or pickup in your area.View Deal

Up&Up hand sanitizer | $3.79 at Target
This 32fl oz pump-top bottle of hand sanitizer is in stock at Target. There's free order pickup at certain stores, and delivery in some areas. Click through to check availability.
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Shop all available hand sanitizer and soap at Staples
Staples stocks a wide range of hand sanitizers, including refill packs. Browse the range yourself here. A lot of it is currently out of stock right now, but it's worth double-checking – you might get lucky.

Hand Sanitizer | Various prices at Sears Marketplace
There are a few sellers offering Hand Sanitizer gel via Sears marketplace. Be wary of any price hikes, and also delivery delays.

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 uses '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.
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Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer | $3.79 at Walgreens
It's not in stock online, but click through to see if this double-strength hand sanitizer is available at your local Walgreens. Alternatively, browse all hand sanitizer and wipes at Walgreens.
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Browse all Purell products at Target
Stock is fluctuating all the time, so if you want to check stock yourself, head to this link.
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Walgreens Advanced Hand Sanitizer | $4 at Walgreens
This 28oz bottle of hand sanitizer is out of stock for delivery, but click through and you can check the inventory at your local store by entering your zip code.
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Purell Hand Sanitizer soothing gel with Aloe and Vitamin E | $2.99 at Target
This double-strength hand sanitizer comes with aloe and vitamin E to keep your hands soft – which could be a bit of a game-changer right now. Purell says one squirt of this is equal to two of another brand.
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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 tub of hand sanitizer promises to kill 99.99% of illness-causing germs.
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UK: Where to buy hand sanitiser

The Bottle Club hand sanitizer | £4.99 at The Bottle Club
As you might suspect, the Bottle Club is usually all about booze. But right now it's also selling hand sanitizer – 55ml at 75% alcohol for under a fiver. Chuck in a nice bottle of red while you're at it and it's a one way ticket to a fun, and germ-free, evening in.
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Carex hand sanitizer gel (50ml) | £1.00 at Tesco
This Carex Aloe Vera hand sanitizer contains 70% alcohol, and is quick dry. Pick up a 50ml bottle, in stock at Tesco right now. View Deal

AttackBac Hand Sanitizer (150ml) | £7.99 at AttackBac
For every bottle of this antibac spray sold, AttackBac will donate £1 to the NHS. It's lavender-scented, contains 70% alcohol, and has an atomiser spray head.
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mylee antibacterial hand sanitizer | £16.99 at ebay
Grab a 200ml pot of antibacterial hand sanitiser at ebay. It's made in the UK, and there's free postage. It contains the recommended 70% alcohol.
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IHS Instant Hand Sanitizer (30ml) | £4.99 at ebay
Pick up this 30ml hand sanitizer at ebay right now – or go for two or three bottles to lower the price. It does have a slightly homemade look to it, but it's from a top-rated UK seller so that's fairly reassuring. It is 60% alcohol.View Deal

Acton Spirit hand sanitizer | £9 at Pai Skincare
This London-based brand offers a 'buy one, gift one' policy, which means for every tube of hand sanitiser gel you order, one goes to an NHS frontline worker, care home, homeless charity or beauty bank will receive a one too.View Deal

70% alcohol hand sanitiser | £9.95 at Farms2Fork
Farms2Fork provides food deliveries to those who are self-isolating, but also has a stock of hand sanitiser gel available to order. You can pick up a single 125ml bottle, or buy in bulk (handy for businesses).
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Alcohol hand sanitiser (250ml) | £6.99 at Strathheaven
Strathheaven is an online retailer in partnership with a Yorkshire-based manufacturer of sanitiser and other disinfectant products. It has been supplying the NHS for over a decade and all of its products are medical grade. In order for this small business to meet the increased demand, it'll be opening orders for a few hours every morning at 10am. Browse the full range here.
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UNAVAILABLE Essential Antibac handwash | £1.30 at Waitrose
Waitrose Essential handwash is a great staple to have in your house for regular hand washing. This 500ml tub has a pump top for easy application.
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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.
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Australia: Where to buy hand sanitizer

Sensori Hydra & Detox Hand Sanitiser (100mL) | AU$39 at David Jones 
Trying to get your hands on some hand sanitiser but aren’t having much luck? Have no fear, David Jones is here! DJ's is one of the few retailers left that still stock the prized germ-killer so don’t waste time,  grab yours today through the David Jones online store.
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Life Basics Antibacterial hand sanitizer (125ml) | AU$9.95 at Nourished Life
Nourished Life is an Australian brand focused on clean living. This hand sanitizer contains at least 70% alcohol and is enriched with healing aloe vera and hydrating green tea. It's a spray rather than a traditional gel.
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Primalgel Plus Hand Sanitizer Trio Pack | AU$12.50 at Strawberrynet 
Take the extra precaution to protect yourself from germs by grabbing the Primalgel Plus Rinse-Free Hand Sanitizer Trio Pack for only AU12.50! This is a fantastic bargain, especially if you've got young children that constantly need their hands de-germ-ified. Don’t miss out and order yours today.
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Hand sanitiser (250ml) | AU$25 at Madame Sustainable
Madame Sustainable is a Melbourne-based brand launched by a Chemical Engineer and Cosmetic Chemist. All its sanitisers contain at least 70% ethanol, and all packaging is made from recycled plastic. Browse the full range of hand sanitizers here.
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50ML Organic Choice Hand Sanitiser (4 pack) | AU$49.95  at Crazysales
This may be an expensive option but if you're a fan of organic, you can grab the Organic Choice hand sanitiser through the Crazysales online store (there's also an eight pack for AU$94.95) . Each bottle is a perfect travel-size 50mL, contains aloe vera to keep your hands moisturised, and you only need to use a tiny pea-sized amount to kill unwanted germs. This product is also Australian made and owned.
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10x Biosis Hand Sanitiser Kills 99.99% Germs Moisturising Formula 50ML | AU$79.95 at Dick Smith
If you’ve got a large family, this bulk pack of hand sanitiser from Biosis is right up your alley. With 10 handy 50mL bottles of liquid germ-killing-gold, you could easily distribute these gems amongst backpacks and handbags alike, so you never have to worry if your family's hands are clean. Grab them here.
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4x 75% Alcohol Instant Hand Sanitiser 500ml | AU$150 at Dick Smith
In case we have zombie germs that come back from their ethanol-filled graves seeking revenge, this four-pack of 500mL alcohol hand sanitiser will surely finish them off! Not today germs, not today…View Deal

Glimlife MediEco Hand Sanitiser Alcohol Free Kills 99.999% of Germs 200ml AU$37.95 at Dick Smith
If your skin is a bit sensitive and you need a gentler hand sanitiser, Glimlife’s MediEco alcohol-free germ-annihilator is the one for you. Even though this product does not contain ethanol, it will still round-house kick any germ before you could say ‘Chuck Norris’. It also contains aloe vera to keep your hands smelling fresh and feeling smooth.View Deal

500ml Multiple varieties of hand sanitiser (available in 24-pack) | AU$69.95 on eBay
Available for individual purchase or in a convenient 24-pack, you can grab this alcohol-based hand sanitiser through eBay. Although the size and the bulk purchase does sound appealing, this isn’t the cheapest option around so would recommend visiting this deal only if you're in need of a large supply of this liquid germ-killing gold. View Deal

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. 

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. 

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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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