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Is Your Hand Sanitizer Still Good?

Hand sanitizer was the hottest commodity during the dark days of the pandemic; everyone was buying it, and it was found everywhere you go. If you purchased any sanitizer towards the start of the pandemic and haven't been able to use it yet, you may be starting to wonder... is my sanitizer still effective? 

Look at the packaging of your hand sanitizer. You should see an expiration date, typically printed on the top or back. Since hand sanitizer is regulated by Health Canada, each bottle is required to have an expiration date and lot number. This expiration date indicates the amount of time that the sanitizer’s active ingredients will be stable and effective for based on the results of their testing.

Typically, the industry standard is 2 to 3 years before hand sanitizer expires. Sanitizer past its expiration date may still have some effectiveness, though, because it still contains alcohol  (the active ingredient). Even if the sanitizer concentration has dropped below its original percentage, the product — although less effective, or perhaps ineffective — isn’t dangerous to use. While hand sanitizer may still work after it’s expired, your best bet is to replace it once it’s reached its expiration date, since it may be less effective.

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