Infectious Diseases
Chemistry
Alcoholic Beverages
The Difference Between

What is the difference between using rubbing alcohol and a hand sanitizer?

User Avatar
Wiki User
January 24, 2009 5:21AM

The key ingredient in many hand sanitizers is ethanol, as my slightly informed friend below has indicated. There are other ingredients that are also antibacterial, but ethanol is generally the most popular. However, the key ingredient in rubbing alcohol is isopropyl alcohol. This is not the same thing as ethanol, though it has many of the same properties.

Isopropyl kills most bacteria and viruses, just like ethanol, but can be far more harmful if ingested. Hand sanitizer is far better for your hands, as far as skin care goes. You should not use rubbing alcohol in large quantities at home. Just use it for disinfecting small wounds or small areas of skin.

there is no diff. they both have the key ingredient ethanol, and do the same thing. they can help with taking bacteria off of your hands. = Answer = The hand sanitizer would be WAY more gentle on the hands. (and will do the same thing). I would rather smell like apples, cucumber ect than rubbing alchol. Thanks