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Can Hand Sanitiser Stain Clothes?

Can Hand Sanitizer Stain Clothes? How to Avoid It?


Can Hand Sanitiser Stain Clothes?

Oops! Did you spill a drop on your favourite shirt and are worried about staining? Then do not worry; this article will answer whether a hand sanitiser can stain clothes. We will discuss what will happen and how to avoid and manage it.

hand sanitiser

Can Hand Sanitiser Stain Clothes?

The answer lies in the type of sanitiser you use. Some sanitisers have different components in them.

To answer the question, they can produce stain-like markings on clothes. Some contain alcohol, a renowned stain remover, and others benzalkonium chloride, a bleaching agent. The fabric’s colour may be wiped out when the sanitiser touches it, which is actually bleaching spots.

So, technically they do not stain it but can leave a mark (bleach spot) on the cloth piece. The liquid leaves behind tiny, discoloured areas resembling stains when it comes in contact with a cloth because of the bleaching agent.

Composition of a Hand Sanitiser

There are two types of sanitisers:

  1. Alcohol-based sanitiser
  2. Alcohol-free sanitiser

I. Alcohol-based Sanitiser

The composition consists of 60% alcohol in it for it to work against germs on your palms. It is usually isopropyl alcohol (ethanol) that is used. It is a crucial component and a well-known stain remover, too. When it comes to our clothes, this poses a challenge. Interestingly, there is no distinction between stains and bleaches regarding alcohol.

How Does An Alcohol-Based One Act On The Cloth Piece?

Alcohol’s stain-removing abilities depend on its potential to behave as a bleaching agent. It changes the appearance of an item by eliminating its colour.

II. Alcohol-free Sanitiser

They are not as popular as alcohol-based ones. They contain benzalkonium chloride and are very watery in nature.

How Does An Alcohol-Free One Act On The Cloth Piece?

As mentioned above, benzalkonium chloride is a bleaching agent and can leave marks resembling stains. These marks are caused because of the action of the bleach present in it.

Types Of Clothing That Can Get Spoiled

I. Dark-coloured clothes

Dark-coloured clothes are more susceptible to getting stains from sanitisers. The bleached spots on darker clothes are more noticeable.

II. Leather

Leather garments are dyed to give them colour. The bleaching agent in the hand sanitiser causes a chemical reaction when it comes in contact with them. The dye gets removed from the area of contact.

III. Suede

Another cloth that is susceptible to sanitiser bleaching is suede. As the material is porous, it absorbs liquid rapidly. This makes it easier for the bleaching agent to damage the fabric.

IV. Chiffon and Silk

It’s hard to avoid hand sanitiser stains on soft and delicate fabrics like chiffon and silk. These fragile clothes can lose their colour in just a few seconds.

How To Remove Hand Sanitiser Mark?

There’s no easy way to get hand sanitiser off clothes. Once the fabric comes into contact with the solution, you can only think about damage control. However, we have a few tips for you:

  1. Try gently rubbing it off if it hasn’t been on your clothes for a long time. Do not rub too forcefully, as it might damage the garment further. Wash it immediately.
  2. Another way to control the damage is to hide the bleached spots with clothing accessories.
  3. Take it to a professional cleaner if you can to avoid further damage.

How To Avoid Spilling On Clothes?

The best approach to avoid getting your clothes stained is to be cautious with your hand movements.

  1. Go for hand sanitisers with a low alcohol percentage (60%).
  2. Ensure that you use the hand sanitiser only on your hands, keeping it away from your body and clothes.
  3. Keep your hands away from your clothes until the sanitiser is completely dry.
how to get rid of hand sanitizers


It doesn’t matter what kind you use; both can cause those bleaching spots because of the ingredients. If you take precautions, you will never get stains on your clothes when using hand sanitiser.

Here is a precautionary guide regarding Covid-19 and the use of sanitisers.

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Maria Martinez

Maria Martinez is a very ambitious young writer who is almost done with her first book. She has been busy writing novels, but she wants to expand her knowledge and learn how to self-publish. Maria always strives to learn and improve, so she will be a great asset to the next gen hero team.

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