Does Hand Sanitizer Stain Clothes

As a gel or liquid, hand sanitizer is commonly used to stop the transmission of germs and illnesses. It can be used to clean up messes on countertops and hands. The use of hand sanitizer is helpful, but it has the potential to leave unsightly stains on skin, fabric, upholstery, and other areas.

Hand sanitizer does not leave stains on clothing; instead, it is responsible for something far more unpleasant. The color is removed from the garments, leaving behind what seems to be a white stain. Most components that makeup hand sanitizer are bleaching agents or substances that erase stains. Because of this, any location on a piece of clothing that gets sanitizer on it will lose its color and be left with a white blotch if it gets on the sanitizer.

In this article, we will cover how to get rid of the stains left behind by hand sanitizer.

What Is A Hand Sanitizer?

Alcohol or some other kind of active component is typically found in the liquid form of hand sanitizer. It is applied to the skin and the hands to eliminate bacteria that may be present.

Does Hand Sanitizer Stain Clothes

What Is Hand Sanitizer Made From?

There are two different formulations available for hand sanitizer. The first one is based on alcohol. Because it is simpler to employ, this one has the greatest level of popularity. At least 60 percent alcohol is required for it to be an efficient disinfectant against microorganisms.

The second category consists of sanitizers that are not based on alcohol. It is clear from the name that there is no alcohol involved. Germicide benzalkonium chloride is included as one of the components of this product. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers leave your hands feeling dry and smooth, while those made without alcohol produce foam similar to that of soap.

Does Hand Sanitizer Leave A Stain On Clothes?

Even though hand sanitizers don’t leave stains on garments, the substances that are contained in many different kinds might be harmful to some materials. The sanitizer has a tendency to drip, splash, and spill over garments and other surfaces when it is being applied. When the liquid comes into contact with the fabric, it leaves behind tiny discolored spots that can be mistaken for stains. The stains are, in point of fact, evidence that the fabric was bleached.

Because of alcohol’s ability to kill bacteria, it is frequently found as one of the primary components of hand sanitizers. It is also well-known for its ability to remove stains. When it comes to our wardrobe, this might sometimes present a bit of a challenge. There is no distinction between stains and colors when it comes to alcohol’s ability to discolor.

What Kind Of Harm Do Various Hand Sanitizers Cause To Different Kinds Of Fabrics?

Both alcohol-based and alcohol-free sanitizers bleach stains and harm fabric, but alcohol-based sanitizers are more likely to cause damage to the fabric. Hand sanitizer has the potential to ruin many different types of materials.

Clothing in a variety of dark colors

Hand sanitizers have the greatest potential to discolor dark-colored clothing. The sanitizer leaves a larger white area on the clothes than the bleach does due to the bleaching agent and the chemical reactions that occur.

Clothing Made of Leather

Leathers are typically dyed with colors from different palettes. Therefore, when the hand sanitizers settle on them, the dye color is bleached off of that specific location. However, the stain can be removed from the regions that were damaged.


Suede is yet another kind of fabric, and it is one that can be stained by hand sanitizer. Due to the rapid absorption rate of this sort of clothes, the wearer will likely experience a greater degree of irritation in the event that hand sanitizer comes into contact with them.

Both Chiffon and Silk

Fabrics such as silk and chiffon are examples of some of the most delicate. These extremely delicate varieties are also susceptible to being harmed when exposed to rubbing alcohol.

How Can I Remove Hand Sanitizer Stains From Clothes?

There is no simple method that can be used to remove hand sanitizer from clothing. You may attempt to lessen the extent of the damage, or you could cover it up in some other way. When left on garments for an extended period of time, hand sanitizer can cause an increasing amount of damage.

Without using too much pressure or scrubbing too vigorously, you should make an effort to carefully scrape off as much of the sanitizer as you can. The item should be washed as quickly as possible after that. Although there is no assurance that this will be successful, there is no reason not to give it a shot.

Because the sanitizer bleaches the fabric, it can be difficult to repair the clothing once it has been stained. If the item is dark in color, you could find that using a fabric marker pen in a color that is very near to the original color will assist to conceal the damaged areas.

Alternately, depending on where the damage is, you might be able to conceal it with decorations like buttons or patches. This is one option. Take the item of clothing to a professional cleaning if it has a specialty finish, is leather or suede, or is either of those materials. If you try to clean it yourself, you can end up causing even more harm, such as tears or holes.

The most efficient method for removing hand sanitizer from clothing is to prevent it from coming into contact with the garments in the first place. Always be sure to keep your hands away from your clothes until the sanitizer has had a chance to dry before touching them again. As you pour or squeeze the liquid or gel into your hands, take care not to cause a splash of the substance. The risk of damage to clothing can be minimized by exercising strict command over the rate at which the sanitizer is dispensed.

Additional Fluids That Can Leave Stains on Clothing

To this point, we have discussed stains that were brought on by hand sanitizers that contained isopropyl alcohol, which is more often known as rubbing alcohol. Other liquids also have the potential to leave marks on clothing. The one that comes first on the list is one that all of us make use of.

Red Wine

Another type of alcoholic beverage that has the same potential to ruin your clothes. This beverage is notoriously difficult to clean, and it will leave an intense crimson stain on carpets or clothing if it spills on either.

When working with clothing, pull the stained area across a bowl until the fabric is as taut as a drum. Salt should then be applied to the stain, and then boiling water should be poured over the top. Be careful to give it a wash on the hottest setting as soon as you can after you’ve used it.


Soak a fresh white towel or sponge in rubbing alcohol and begin gently wiping the spot. If the stain came out, wash the clothing as you normally would. Acetate, silk, wool, and rayon will all dissolve in rubbing alcohol. If the ink from a marker or ballpoint pen has set in, but hairspray hasn’t worked to remove it, rubbing alcohol is an efficient cleanser that will do the trick.


Coffee is another beverage that is consumed frequently and is responsible for a significant number of stains. First, soak the stain with baking soda and water, then wash as you normally would. Even though they are unsightly, coffee stains are not difficult to remove from clothes that can be washed. Even the most stubborn, dried-on stains can be removed with stain remover.

Final Words

In conclusion, there are a few various approaches that you can take in order to eliminate stains caused by hand sanitizer on your clothing. You can use rubbing alcohol, vinegar solution, or soap and water to clean the stain. If the stain is especially tenacious, you might need to apply one of these procedures multiple times in order to remove it.

Read More Garment and Fabric Care Articles:

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