does hand sanitizer stain clothes

Does Hand Sanitizer Stain Clothes?

Are you worried that hand sanitizer might stain your clothes? The hand sanitizer does not stain garments but instead makes them worse. It removes the hue that appears to be a white stain from the garments.

The primary ingredients in hand sanitizer are bleaching agents or stain removers. As a result, if the sanitizer gets on your clothes, it will remove the color from that region and leave a white spot.

It seems like hand sanitizer has been increasingly common since the pandemic began! We have it with us everywhere – in our homes, our cars, at work — think of a location, and it’s there. Many of us now include using hand sanitizer in our regular hygiene routines. We’re also getting used to finding odd stains on our clothing. Are the two somehow connected? Does hand sanitizer leave stains on clothing?

On garments, hand sanitizers can leave paint splotches and stains. Some include benzalkonium chloride, a bleaching agent, while others include alcohol, a well-known stain remover. The fabric’s color may wipe off when the sanitizer comes into contact with it. Bleaching spots are the term for the marks.

While our use of hand sanitizer has increased and has reduced germs, it has also increased the likelihood that we will drop it on our clothing. Can we protect our garments from sanitizers’ bleaching effects? How can hand sanitizer be removed from clothing? We have your back. 

Would Hand Sanitizer Ruin Clothes?

When we use hand sanitizer, it sometimes splatters or runs into our clothes or other surfaces. Furthermore, when they come into touch with fabrics or different textures, they create a stain.

This stain or mark, however, is not what we envision. In addition, different varieties of hand sanitizer have varying effects on other materials.

Due to its antibacterial properties, alcohol is one of the components in sanitizers. A well-known stain remover, too. When it comes to our wardrobe, this could pose a challenge. There is no distinction between stains and hues when it comes to alcohol.

There are two categories of hand sanitizers to help you understand:

  1. alcohol-based hand cleaner
  2. sanitizer without alcohol

Alcohol-based includes:

  • containing at least 60% alcohol
  • Either rubbing alcohol or ethanol

Vessels free of alcohol:

  • chloride of benzalkonium (kills germs)

Both types of hand sanitizer can result in those fading patches, regardless of what you’re using.

What Ingredients Are in Hand Sanitizer?

Hand sanitizer comes in two variants. The first base is on alcohol. Due to its simplicity of usage, this one is the most used. It must contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective against bacteria. But not the kind you can drink. Typically, hand sanitizer contains isopropyl alcohol, sometimes referred to as rubbing alcohol, ethanol, or rubbing alcohol.

Sanitizers without alcohol are the second category. It isn’t alcoholic, as the name might imply. A germicide called benzalkonium chloride is one of the components. Non-alcohol hand sanitizers foam up like soap, but alcohol-based ones are smooth, runny, and dry on your hands. They are less common since they are less convenient to use and more liquid than a gel.

Both alcohol- and non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers can damage fabrics similar to bleaching stains, although having slightly different ingredients.

What materials are affected by hand sanitizer drops?

Although alcohol-based and alcohol-free sanitizers have distinct components, they degrade fabric and cause bleaching stains. All types of materials can harm by hand sanitizer.

However, depending on the type, the effect can range from severe to mild. Naturally, colored materials such as cotton, silk, linen, and leather are more vulnerable to damage. Here are some instances of garments that should not have sanitizer spilled on them:

Clothing in Dark Colors

  • Hand sanitizers have the most significant impact on dark-colored clothing. The sanitizer leaves a more extensive white area on the clothes because of the bleaching agent and chemical reactions.

Leather Clothes

  • Leather color with different hues. As a result, when hand sanitizers descend on them, they bleach the dye color from that specific location. However, sanitizer can remove the stain from the afflicted areas.


  • Suede is another sort of fabric that is vulnerable to hand sanitizer. Because this style of clothes absorbs liquids quickly, they are more likely to be harmed if hand sanitizer falls on them.

Chiffon and silk

  • Silk and chiffon are two of the most delicate textiles available. Sanitizers can potentially harm these highly soft types by rubbing alcohol.

What Are Other Ways to Remove Sanitizer From Clothes?

We’re all aware that accidents happen. Therefore even if we receive a stain from hand sanitizer, we can minimize the damage. Yes, we may not be able to recover from the injury entirely, but we can reduce the damage. Here are some pointers to help you reclaim your garments.

1. If sanitizer gets on your clothes, remove it as soon as possible so that it does not damage the fabric. Rub it softly but not violently. Otherwise, Sanitizers will damage the textiles. Additionally, carefully wash the fabric.

2. If your materials continue to show bleach marks, you may need to conceal them with a marker pen or colors. You will notice a noticeable bleaching patch if your garments are dark in color. It is preferable to cover using colors.

3. However, if the cloth is leather or another delicate material, it is preferable to seek professional assistance. If you do not, you may suffer additional consequences.

Using Sanitizer to Remove Stains

We’ve all heard that alcohol is a great stain remover. Because hand sanitizer contains 60% or more alcohol, we can use it as a stain remover. First and foremost, you must determine whether your cloth is resistant to alcohol.

Because hand sanitizer can bleach your clothes, you must determine which types of stains to remove with sanitizer. It can be pen marks, ketchup stains, spicy sauce stains, grease spots, grass stains, and nearly any type of makeup, including lipstick.

Working is required to clear the stain with sanitizer. Apply a generous amount of sanitizer to the stained area and let it settle for a few minutes.

Additional Fluids That Can Ruin Clothes:


Coffee is a beverage that is both a daily delight and a stain offender. After soaking the stain with water and baking soda, wash as usual. Coffee stains on washable clothing can remove, although they don’t look good. With stain remover, sanitizers can remove even the tough dried stains.

Red Wine

Another type of alcohol that can harm your clothes just as much is red wine. This drink will leave an angry crimson mark on carpets or clothing and is notoriously difficult to clean. A red wine stain removes in two different ways.

Pull the afflicted part of clothing across a bowl until it is as snug as a drum. Salt the discoloration and then cover it with hot water. As soon as you can, make sure to wash it with hot water. The second approach involves soaking the stain in vinegar, rinsing, and letting it dry. Take your item to a dry cleaner if it can’t be washed or has a unique finish.


Vodka, whiskey, gin, tequila, and other alcoholic beverages consider liquor. These beverages will harm your clothes in much the same way as alcohol-containing hand sanitizers.


Beer is a water-based beverage, making it simple to remove stains from most materials. With a moist towel, gently dab to avoid discoloration. Even a laundry stain remover will work. Consult a professional cleaner for cleaning instructions if your garment is not waterproof or does not intend to launder.


Water can damage some materials from rain, washing, or unintentional spills. Even the most petite summertime summer rain showers can permanently damage the suede. Water damage is challenging to repair on objects not intended to be wet and leaves white watermarks on non-waterproof surfaces. The best approach is to use water-resistant solutions to treat your clothing before going for a walk in the rain.

Bleaching from hand sanitizers can produce stains that look like marks, particularly on clothing that is dark in hue. The type of clothing used determines how severe the damage is. Bleaching damage can be challenging to heal. Avoid letting hand sanitizer touch your clothes as much as possible. The cleaning advice in this article ought to assist you in cleaning your clothes or lessen the severity of the damage.

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