The Best Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer Costs $4

(Image credit: The Kitchn)

You’ve all heard about the gross things lurking on airplanes (apparently the toilet is not the dirtiest place). Still, I would rather risk the perils of the seat-back tray table than use alcohol-based hand sanitizer. Sure, I’ve read that alcohol-based hand sanitizer is more effective at disinfecting than washing hands with soap and water. Yes, I know it gets the seal of approval from hospitals and doctors everywhere. I just don’t like it.

The alcohol smell is a real turnoff, the liquid is goopy, and it slips and slides off your palm before you have the chance to rub it all in. Even when Bath & Body Works came out with fruity fragrances, like magical melon and peach bellini, to cover up the overpowering smell of alcohol all those years ago, the teenager in me still wasn’t convinced.

That’s why I was so thrilled to discover this alcohol-free hand sanitizer.

(Image credit: Amazon)

Buy it: Clean Well Natural Hand Sanitizer, $4 for 1-ounce spray bottle

Clean Well makes a one-ounce, alcohol-free hand sanitizer spray that I carry with me everywhere. I can’t say enough good things about this product, and I’ve turned so many friends onto it. I never, ever have to leave an airplane toilet or porta-potty with dirty hands again.

Its formula includes plant oils, like thyme and oregano, which are known for their antibacterial and antimicrobial properties. It doesn’t leave your hands sticky, like a lot of the liquid ones do, and because there’s no alcohol, it doesn’t sting cuts either.

Also, it smells wonderful. Really! Clean Well makes two fragrances, the original citrus-herb and an orange-vanilla version, both of which I like equally because they smell fresh, not cloying. The scents were developed exclusively for Clean Well by master perfumer Mandy Aftel, which I think is really cool.

The travel-size Clean Well rings up at about $3, and it lasts me at least a few months (each bottle promises 200-plus sprays). I’ve spotted it in big-box drugstores all over, but if you can’t find it at your Walgreen’s or CVS, any natural food store or pharmacy or even your local hardware store might have it. (And of course you can find it on Amazon.)

Do you use hand sanitizer? With or without alcohol?

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