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Best Hand Sanitizer for Kids of 2023

Kid’s hand sanitizer that is safe and effective.

As most of us know by now, the number one way to reduce the risk of infection from germs, of all kinds, is washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water (1). This removes dirt and germs, and the soap also destroys the fatty outer shell that most viruses have, rendering them harmless (2).

While using soap and water is always the top choice, when they aren’t available, your next best bet is hand sanitizer. But with so many choices out there, finding the best hand sanitizer for kids isn’t always a simple matter.

Our Top Picks

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Product Comparison Table

Product Image of the Foaming Pump Hand Sanitizer, Alcohol Free, Unscented, Kills 99.9% of Germs, 8.45...
Best Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer
Babyganics Hand Sanitizer
  • Easy & efficient pump
  • Moisturizing formulation
  • Free from harsh chemicals
Product Image of the Sun Bum Sun Bum Hand Sanitizer Spray Antibacterial Spray With Soothing Coconut...
Best Vegan Hand Sanitizer
Sun Bum Hand Sanitizer
  • Easy application
  • Dermatologist approved
  • Dries quickly without residue
Product Image of the Germ-X Original Hand Sanitizer, Moisturizing Gel with Vitamin E, No Rinse...
Best Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer
Germ-X Original Hand Sanitizer
  • Infused with vitamin E
  • Comes in a pack of four
  • Nondrying formulation
Product Image of the Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Gel Infused with Essential Oils, Scented Variety...
Best for School
Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer
  • Preferred by healthcare professionals
  • Eco-friendly
  • Travel-friendly size
Product Image of the Pipette Hand Sanitizer
Best Fragrance-Free Hand Sanitizer
Pipette Hand Sanitizer
  • No fragrance added
  • Verified as safe
  • Ethically sourced & squalane base
Product Image of the Hempz Triple Moisture Herbal Hand Sanitizer 8oz Limited Edition
Best Natural Hand Sanitizer
Hempz Triple Moisture
  • 100% vegan
  • Easy application
  • Cruelty-free
Product Image of the Steris Alcare Foam Alcohol 9 oz.
Best Foaming Hand Sanitizer
Steris Alcare Plus Foaming Hand Rub
  • Professional grade product
  • Meets FDA standards as surgical scrub
  • Non-sticky formula
Product Image of the Megababe Squeaky Clean Hand Sanitizer
Best Citrus Hand Sanitizer
Megababe Squeaky Clean Hand Sanitizer
  • Light, orangey, citrus fragrance
  • Kind to skin
  • No phthalates or parabens
Best Hand Sanitizing Wipes
Diamond Wipes
  • Lightweight & easy to carry
  • No excess wasted
  • Has aloe vera

The Best Hand Sanitizers for Kids of 2023

Here are the top ten hand sanitizers for kids.

1. Babyganics Foaming Pump Hand Sanitizer

Best Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizer For Kids

Babyganics hand sanitizer is totally free from any scent. The result is a product that doesn’t have an off-putting chemical or alcohol smell.

The liquid sanitizer pump evenly from the bottle and doesn’t clog up the nozzle as some other sanitizers do. A single pump is enough to coat a kid-size pair of hands. That means you won’t need to get a second job to support your hand sanitizing habit.

Babyganics does not use alcohol on their hand sanitizer to stay as gentle but is still effective in bacteria-bustling by using plant-based ingredients. You can be sure that it is paraben-, sulfate-, phthalates-, or dye-free. This provides guarantee that even babies with extra-sensitive skin will benefit each time you use the sanitizer.


  • Easy, efficient foaming pump bottle.
  • Moisturizes your child’s hands.
  • Free from harsh chemicals.


  • May require to be refilled into a small container for handy travels.
  • Has a slight tacky feeling.

Product Specs

Type Of Sanitizer Pump bottle
Alcohol % Zero percent
Type Of Alcohol Plant-based
Scent Unscented and Cupcake
Bottle Size 8.5 fluid ounces

2. Sun Bum Hand Sanitizer

Best Vegan Hand Sanitizer For Kids

This hand sanitizer is one of the few products we assessed that is specially formulated for the youngest users, while still containing alcohol. This is an important point. Most hand sanitizers for small children are proudly alcohol-free, but those formulations will not protect as effectively as Baby Bum, which meets the CDC guidelines for hand sanitizers.

The spray is certified vegan, cruelty-free, and is dermatologically tested so you can be sure it is not only safe for your kids, but no other creatures were harmed in its creation or production.


  • The steady spray makes it easy for kids or adults to apply.
  • Dermatologist approved.
  • Dries quickly without leaving any sticky residue.


  • Looks like a baby or toddler product, so your older kids might not want to take it to school with them.

Product Specs

Type Of Sanitizer Spray – pump bottle
Alcohol % 62 percent
Type Of Alcohol Naturally derived alcohol
Scent Coconut
Bottle Size 2 fluid ounces

3. Germ-X Original Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer Gel

Best Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer For Kids

Germ-X Original hand sanitizing gel has just enough alcohol to be effective, making it less likely than other high alcohol gels to dry out sensitive skin. This “kind to skin” element also benefits from the addition of vitamin E and other moisturizers to leave hands soft after use.

The gel is much like other hand sanitizer gels in texture and feel. So, beware the gel might slide off your child’s hands if they’re not careful. That’s not a big deal, but something to be aware of if your kids are going to be using it unsupervised.

In the same way that the texture is pretty standard, so, too, is the smell. There isn’t a strong perfumed scent coming from this one, only that vague whiff of an alcohol type smell we have all become familiar with.


  • Infused with vitamin E.
  • Comes in a pack of four.
  • Nondrying formulation.


  • There is room for improvement for the packaging.

Product Specs

Type Of Sanitizer Gel
Alcohol % 62 percent
Type Of Alcohol Ethanol alcohol
Scent Original
Bottle Size 4 bottles, 32 fluid ounces each

4. Purell Advanced Hand Sanitizer Gel

Best Hand Sanitizer For School

Packaged in a convenient, shatter-proof bottle, this hand sanitizer from Purell is a good option for the 6 years and older crew. Put this bottle in your child’s backpack, and you have a fighting chance of it coming home at the end of the day, undamaged.

The flip-top bottle lowers the chances of lost bottle caps, while the packaging is cute, but not too childish. The bottle is small enough to carry around in a backpack, but not so little it is easily lost. It is infused with essential oils so it smells good on your kid’s skin.

The gel is quick-drying and does not leave your child’s hands covered in a sticky residue. If you worry about the safety of hand sanitizers for kids or are worried about the quality of the ingredients, you have the reassurance that this hand sanitizer is made in the U.S.


  • Reusable jelly wraps, which is an environmentally-friendly choice.
  • Preferred by healthcare professionals.
  • Travel-friendly size.


  • The 70 percent alcohol in the sanitizer may be drying for those with sensitive skin.

Product Specs

Type Of Sanitizer Gel – flip-top bottle
Alcohol % 70 percent
Type Of Alcohol Ethyl alcohol
Scent Lavender, orange
Bottle Size 8 bottles, 1 fluid ounces each

5. Pipette Hand Sanitizer

Best Fragrance-Free Hand Sanitizer For Kids

This sanitizer is great for those with sensitive noses especially if you are a conceiving mom because it doesn’t have any particular odor.

And if you are looking for an effective hand sanitizer for kids, but you are concerned about the ingredients’ adverse health or environmental impacts, Pipette is an excellent choice.

Pipette hand sanitizer is Environmental Working Group verified, so it is free from ingredients on the EWG’s “unacceptable” list. This list is comprised of ingredients that raise health, ecotoxicity, and/or contamination concerns. Products that are EWG verified must also list all ingredients on the packaging and are subject to random independent product quality testing.

The gel is quick-drying, and the bottles of sanitizer come in a range of sizes from refillable travel bottles up to large pump bottles. This makes it convenient and cost-effective to buy a pack of mini bottles and refill them from a larger pump bottle at home.


  • No smell, either natural or added.
  • Independently verified as using the safest ingredients.
  • Ethically sourced, squalane base.
  • It doesn’t dry out hands.


  • Some users do not like the texture.

Product Specs

Type Of Sanitizer Gel – depress lid bottle
Alcohol % 65 percent
Type Of Alcohol Ethanol alcohol
Scent Unscented
Bottle Size 8 fluid ounces

6. Hempz Triple Moisture Herbal Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer

Best Natural Hand Sanitizer For Kids

Hempz hand sanitizer is 63 percent ethyl alcohol, also known as ethanol alcohol, which is well above the CDC minimum of 60 percent.

However, this high alcohol content also puts some users off. What’s fantastic is that there haven’t been comments about hand sanitizers smelling strongly of alcohol nor are there plenty of people who say the sanitizer has the partly medicinal, partly alcohol smell. It has both enchanted grapefruit and sparkling peach scent which not only kids but also adults love.

The company produces paraben-, gluten-, THC-free sanitizers which are safe not only for kids but for those with ultra-sensitive skin.

With its high alcohol content, non-sticky product, vegan, and cruelty-free certified, it’s worth a look.


  • High alcohol level.
  • Easy to apply.
  • Non-sticky formula.
  • It’s free of many undesirable ingredients, including formaldehyde, mineral oil, paraben, petrolatum , and sulfates.
  • Cruelty-free and it’s a vegan option.


  • Comes in a small size.
  • Not the most affordable.

Product Specs

Type Of Sanitizer Gel
Alcohol % 63 percent
Type Of Alcohol Ethanol alcohol
Scent Enchanted grapefruit & sparkling peach
Bottle Size 8 fluid ounces

7. Steris Alcare Plus Foaming Hand Rub

Best Foaming Hand Sanitizer For Kids

This foaming hand rub from Steris is a popular hand sanitizer, and part of this popularity is due to its use in hospital settings. The foam is formulated for frequent, professional use and has only recently become available as a home and personal use product.

The container has a nozzle top, much like those found on hair mousse bottles, and the foam is dispensed by turning the bottle upside down and pressing down on the nozzle. This is not difficult to do, but younger kids may struggle with tipping the bottle and squirting the foam onto their hands.

This product rubs in quickly and easily, while the foaming formulation prevents the sanitizer from sliding quickly off of the hands in the same way as some gel hand sanitizers do.


  • The reassurance of a professional grade product.
  • Meets FDA standards as a surgical scrub.
  • Non-sticky.


  • The bottle can be awkward for younger kids.
  • Creamy texture can result in overuse by some kids.

Product Specs

Type Of Sanitizer Foam – depress nozzle
Alcohol % 62 percent
Type Of Alcohol Ethanol alcohol
Scent Unscented
Bottle Size 9 fluid ounces

8. Megababe Squeaky Clean Hand Sanitizer

Best Citrus Hand Sanitizer For Kids

Megababe makes various personal care products, but Squeaky Clean is their first foray into the hand sanitizer market.

The formula contains enough alcohol to be an effective hand sanitizer, but it is also kind to skin.

Megababe contains sweet almond oil, which is said to boost collagen production as well as adding hydration. It also contains marula oil, which is rich in antioxidants, fatty acids, and amino acids. Together, these oils make Squeaky Clean easy on the hands of adults who have to apply hand sanitizer to a number of kids multiple times a day.

The smaller, pocketbook size bottle is not as “squishable” as it could be, meaning that once you get past the half-way point, it can be tricky to dispense the hand sanitizer one-handed.


  • Light, orangey, citrus fragrance.
  • Doesn’t dry out the skin.
  • No phthalates or parabens.


  • Not the most affordable product.
  • The scent lingers longer than some other hand sanitizers.

Product Specs

Type Of Sanitizer Gel – pump bottle
Alcohol % 62 percent
Type Of Alcohol Ethanol alcohol
Scent Citrus
Bottle Size 2 fluid ounces

9. Diamond Wipes

Best Hand Sanitizing Wipes For Kids

Can’t trust your child to dispense an appropriate amount of sanitizer on their hands? Or if you’re tired of broken bottles leaking onto everything else in your kids’ backpack, then hand sanitizer wipes might be just the thing you need.

These hand wipes for your baby from Diamond Wipes are individually wrapped, making them easy to throw into a school bag without the worry of coating the contents in gels or sprays. The format also means your child will not be squirting golf ball-sized dollops onto their hands and going through bottle after bottle of hand sanitizer.

The downside to this is that these individually wrapped wipes create a relatively large amount of waste. You may also find that kids run the wipes over their hands and do not rub them into the spaces between fingers.


  • Lightweight and easy to carry.
  • No excessive dispensing of sanitizer gel, spray, or foam.
  • The added aloe helps moisturize your hands.


  • An excessive amount of waste.
  • Easy to miss between the fingers.

Product Specs

Type Of Sanitizer Wipe – individually wrapped
Alcohol % 64 percent
Type Of Alcohol Ethanol alcohol
Scent “Fresh”
Bottle Size 1 box contains 100 wipes

Product Comparison Chart

Product Best Type Alcohol % Type Of Alcohol Bottle Size
Babyganics Foaming Sanitizer Alcohol-Free Pump 0% Plant-based 8.5 oz
Sun Bum Hand Sanitizer Vegan Spray 62% Naturally derived alcohol 2 oz
Germ-X Original Sanitizer Moisturizing Gel 62% Ethanol alcohol 32 oz
Purell Advanced Sanitizer School Gel 70% Ethyl alcohol 1 oz
Pipette Hand Sanitizer Fragrance-Free Gel 65% Ethanol alcohol 8 oz
Hempz Triple Moisture Natural Gel 63% Ethanol alcohol 8 oz
Steris Alcare Plus Foaming Hand Rub Foaming Foam 62% Ethanol alcohol 9 oz
Megababe Squeaky Clean Hand Sanitizer Citrus Gel 62% Ethanol alcohol 2 oz
Diamond Wipes Hand Wipes Wipes 64% Ethanol alcohol 100 wipes

Are Hand Sanitizers Safe for Kids?

From a germ standpoint, hand sanitizers are not as effective as regular soap because they do not affect the virus’s outer layer as much. When soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol is the next best thing (3).

When used correctly, a hand sanitizer is safe for kids to use, providing the little one in question does not have a specific illness or condition that prevents them from using it.

However, the American Association Of Poison Control Centers has reported a 46 percent rise in cases of accidental hand sanitizer ingestion (4). Until a child is old enough to use it themselves safely, parents should keep hand sanitizers out of reach and supervise their dispensing and use.

You can also check the bottle label to see if the hand sanitizer has been “denatured.” This means it has an ingredient added to make the sanitizer taste bitter, thus minimizing the risk of it being swallowed.

It is also essential to check which kind of alcohol is used in the hand sanitizer. Isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) can be more toxic than ethyl alcohol (ethanol) if swallowed (5). In addition, some hand sanitizers have been found to contain methanol, which is harmful if eaten or used repeatedly on the skin. It’s best to avoid this ingredient whenever possible.

At What Age Can a Child Use Hand Sanitizer?

Some doctors say it’s fine to use hand sanitizers on babies, while other doctors disagree, saying it’s not safe. You can ask your pediatrician to weigh in on your baby’s usage of it since they know your baby’s health history. Or, you can opt to skip it for your baby and focus on handwashing only.

Until they are mature enough to use hand sanitizers safely, though, children should only use them under the supervision of adults.

Dispense and supervise the application of hand sanitizer until you can be sure your child will not:

  • Lick their hands before their hand sanitizer is dry.
  • Taste, eat or drink, hand sanitizer.
  • Use the hand sanitizer anywhere other than on their hands.
  • Share or give their hand sanitizer to anyone else.

Types of Hand Sanitizers for Kids

Different types of hand sanitizers for kids have their pros and cons. Using the proper application technique is more important than the type of hand sanitizer you choose.

You have four options to choose from regarding types of hand sanitizers.


Foaming hand sanitizer is less likely to slide off of the hands than gel sanitizer, meaning most of the sanitizer you squirt onto your hands will stay there. But, because of the ingredients used to make the alcohol foam, it tends to be more expensive.


Gel sanitizer appears as a little pool on your child’s hand when you pump it out. It’s easy to see how much you’ve applied, and this popular type of sanitizer is economical as well.


Spray hand sanitizers can be easier for an adult to apply to the hands of a child, but it can be difficult to see where the spray has been applied. You risk not using enough to be effective.


Hand sanitizer wipes are convenient for an adult to use on a child’s hands. But some studies have shown that using wipes can be less effective than other types of hand sanitizer for kids.

How to Choose the Best Hand Sanitizers for Kids

Some hand sanitizers are marketed specifically as “kid-friendly” or something similar. Rather than choose one of these on the assumption it is the best for your child, consider these factors:

Alcohol Content

Both the FDA and the CDC recommend the use of a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol (6). Alcohol-free hand sanitizers are not as effective as those that contain alcohol. They may only reduce the growth of germs, if even that, rather than kill them outright.

We are only recommending hand sanitizers for kids that contain a minimum of 60 percent alcohol.


Choose a hand sanitizer that you and your child will be most likely to use effectively. We have tried an extensive range of hand sanitizers for kids in our family. To ensure you’ll find something appropriate for you and your family, there’s at least one of each type on our list.


An unpleasant scent can be off-putting and may prevent your child from using a hand sanitizer. Many places such as schools, doctors’ offices, and other publicly accessible buildings have a “scent-free” policy to protect those who have allergies. Also, picking a hand sanitizer with a great scent may make them want to ingest it.

Wherever possible, we have chosen unscented or mildly scented hand sanitizers.


Travel size hand sanitizer bottles are easy for your child to carry with them. From experience, we know that small bottles are also more expensive and more likely to be lost.

Consider whether it would be best for your family to purchase smaller bottles of hand sanitizer or to buy a full-size, or even an extra-large container. You can then dispense it into smaller travel bottles or one of the novelty hand sanitizer containers for kids.

Appealing Packaging

Avoid hand sanitizer that is sold in novelty packaging. This can make it more likely your child will try to taste it.

Child’s Age

The kids’ hand sanitizers on our list were chosen because we would be happy for our own kids to use them, but only when they are old enough to be trusted.

Other than that, we did not take a child’s age into account when choosing hand sanitizers.


Hand sanitizers with 60 percent alcohol, or more, are regulated by the FDA. To ensure you are buying a product that is safe for you and your family, check the label to ensure it has been tested by the FDA and that it does not contain any methanol or 1-propanol.

If you are unsure about the hand sanitizer you are considering, check the FDA website. They have a list of the hand sanitizers you should not buy (7).

Is Homemade Hand Sanitizer Safe?

It is easy to find recipes for homemade hand sanitizer. However, just because you can do something doesn’t mean you should. Reasons for not mixing up a batch of homemade hand sanitizer include:

  • You may not add enough alcohol for the hand sanitizer to kill germs effectively.
  • If the bowls, spoons, and measuring cups you use to make the hand sanitizer are not sterile, you’ll introduce germs to the mixture. These germs can then be spread on your hand when you use the hand sanitizer.
  • It’s easy to leave potentially dangerous traces of ingredients, or the final product, around your home when you’re mixing it up. This makes it easier for the homemade hand sanitizer to be ingested.
  • If you have too much alcohol in your homemade hand sanitizer, there is a risk that you will damage your skin, especially with repeated use.

If Your Kids Can’t Wash, They Can Sanitize

Having your kids wash their hands regularly with soap and water is the best way to reduce the risk of illness caused by germs. When this isn’t an option, hand sanitizer is the next best thing.

It is safe for you to apply sanitizer to your child’s hands, but do not allow them to use these products unsupervised until they are responsible enough to do so correctly.

As long as it contains at least 60 percent alcohol, the type of sanitizer you buy isn’t as important as using the correct application technique. Choose the one that works best for your family and make your health a priority.

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Headshot of Patricia Barnes

About the Author

Patricia Barnes

Patricia Barnes is a homeschooling mom of 5 who has been featured on Global TV, quoted in Parents magazine, and writes for a variety of websites and publications. Doing her best to keep it together in a life of constant chaos, Patti would describe herself as an eclectic mess maker, lousy crafter, book lover, autism mom, and insomniac.