Why Do Some Hand Sanitizers Stink & Smell Like Booze?
This past weekend I was out and about shopping. I happened to stop at Ollie's (Good stuff cheap!).
I have been there a couple of times. And they usually have some great deals. And a good deal at Ollie's doesn't last long.
Especially on pandemic supplies.
Their face mask deals always fly off the shelves.
And I figured that the hand sanitizer would too. But not this time. At least not for this particular brand.
The aforementioned brand is from Farber Distilling Co. And online, they sell their version of hand sanitizer for $10.
But you can get it for almost half that at Ollie's.
And I think I know why.
Cause it stinks to high heaven.
You know whenever you use a hand sanitizer, one of your first reactions is to kind of take a whiff right? Smell and breathe in the alcohol disinfecting cleanliness.
But depending on what hand sanitizer you use, you could be smelling what I can only describe as bad vodka from back in the day. Some folks say they can smell something that is reminiscent of tequila. Whatever it is, it's not the clean, clinical smell of say isopropyl alcohol.
And here's the reason why.
It stinks because these new brands—many made by distillers who’ve pivoted from producing drinking alcohol to meet public demand for hand sanitizer—are making and using denatured ethanol. This ethanol costs significantly less than ethanol filtered using activated carbon filtration, which would typically remove almost all contaminants and the malodor with it. (New York Times)
A lot of these no-name brands that were rushed out into the market didn't have the same filtration - carbon filtration that big brands like Purell and Germ-X go through to leave it very pleasant, and also the addition of formulated perfumes to counteract any smell that's left. So these new ones were rushed purely from ethanol manufacturers without any of this processing, and that's why it smelled the way it does. (NPR)
Currently, there isn't as big of a shortage of hand sanitizer as there was when all this started back in March. A lot of places seem to have it coming back to shelves and front and center when you enter a store. I highly suggest you stick with a name brand you know or try your best to sample a new one before you get it home and it reminds you of a brewery.