Since the start of the pandemic, it feels like hand sanitizer is everywhere! We carry it in our houses, in our cars, at our jobs — think of a place and it’s probably there.

While our usage of hand sanitizer has grown and helped us reduce germs, it’s increased the chance of us dropping it on our clothes.

If you find yourself frantically searching:

Does hand sanitizer stain clothes?
How to get hand sanitizer out of clothes?

We’ve got you covered. Keep scrolling.

hand sanitizer bottle dropping sanitizing liquid on hands

Does Hand Sanitizer Stain?

The short answer: Kind of. We’ll explain.

While sanitizer doesn’t technically stain them, it can cause damage to your clothes. Why? Because some sanitizers contain bleaching properties in them and can remove the fabric color from spots it lands on.

Those marks you’re seeing? Not stains. They’re fading spots.

To better understand, there are 2 types of hand sanitizers:

  1. Alcohol-based sanitizer
  2. Alcohol-free sanitizer

Alcohol-based contains:

  • At least 60% of alcohol
  • Either ethanol or rubbing alcohol

Alcohol-free containers:

  • Benzalkonium chloride (kills germs)

No matter what kind of hand sanitizer you’re using, both kinds can produce those fading spots.

different clothing fabrics held in woman's hands

What fabrics do hand sanitizer drops affect?

The color and type of the fabric is what determines the severity of the fading spots.

Dropped hand sanitizer on your light-colored clothing? You may be in luck. Lighter colors normally have a greater chance of not being visible compared to darker colors.

If your darker colored fabric is leather, suede, chiffon, or silk you may have more noticeable fading spots.

To review, you’re more likely to have noticeable fading spots if sanitizer drops on:

  • Darker colored clothing
  • Leather
  • Suede
  • Silk
  • Chiffon
woman sitting with laundry basket full of dirty laundry. how to get hand sanitizer out of your clothes.

How to get hand sanitizer out of clothes?

We wish there was a quick fix for these fading spots, but unfortunately — there isn’t.

We have a tip for you though!

This isn’t a guarantee, but we’ll do what we can to help.

If it hasn’t been on your clothes for too long, try to gently rub it off to help increase the chances of it not damaging your favorite outfit. Don’t clean it too hard and try throwing it in the washer as soon as possible.

If the spots are in locations that can be hidden, try covering them with accessories or a jacket.

If you’re able, we recommend you try taking it to a professional cleaner to see if they can clean to decrease the risk of causing more damage.

At the end of the day, accidents happen! With how frequently we all use hand sanitizer these days, we’re bound to have a drop or two spill on us. We can’t avoid accidents happening, but we can be more mindful when using sanitizer by ensuring our hands are farther away from our clothing.

Please consult the CDC’s website for up-to-date information on the covid-19 virus.

We hope our creative ways to cover those spots help or that you can find an excellent cleaning professional to help reduce the long-term spots of sanitizer. And remember, if you get tired of doing your own laundry, We Deliver Laundry can do it for you.