General Question

chefl's avatar

Should a hand sanitizer (that contains "72% alcohol") smell like alcohol?

Asked by chefl (892points) June 15th, 2022
13 responses
“Great Question” (0points)

It says on the ingredient list (in very fine print) “72% alcohol” It smells like there is no alcohol in it. Don’t they want people to know (for safety reasons esp.) that there is alcohol in it? (Edited)

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Tropical_Willie's avatar

Ethyl alcohol (ethanol) does have a slight odour — but its pure chemical form doesn’t generally have a scent that the human nose can detect.

Response moderated (Off-Topic)
seawulf575's avatar

It could. But alcohol odor can also be suppressed by many other aromas.

On a separate note, I did see something that completely stunned me. It was a gel containing ethyl alcohol. Normally I would have said “hand sanitizer” since that is a perfect description. But this was in a bottle labeled “Charcoal lighter gel”

chefl's avatar

@seawulf575 What aromas are you referring to that they can be supressed by? You mean the other ingredients?
I want the safety aspect, I need them to smell like alcohol.

By the way why don’t they have that at the front along with the name and the purpose of the product?

Tropical_Willie's avatar


LostInParadise's avatar

^ Then what does it mean when people say that they can smell the alcohol in someone’s breath? Does this refer specifically to beer and the smell from non-alcoholic components?

JLeslie's avatar

Ok, I’m with you on this. I added alcohol to the alcohol wipes I bought, because they didn’t smell like alcohol to me. It’s weird.

snowberry's avatar

Lots of hand sanitizer has “fragrance” as an ingredient, and thanks to Febreeze and their ilk, it’s possible to also add ingredients that act anesthetic for the nose. I refuse to use ANYTHING that has fragrances in it, and if the ingredients are not clearly labeled, with each ingredient having a clear function, I will not use it. Well, nobody seems to make unscented hand sanitizer, so I don’t use it.

I will never understand why people who make such stuff insist on putting such toxic ingredients in products that are supposed to make us healthier! (All fragrances are made from a huge cocktail of petrochemicals!)

I expect the products I use to smell like the ingredients,

SnipSnip's avatar

Ask the manufacturer.

JLeslie's avatar

@snowberry it might have been a Febreeze like smell in those alcohol wipes. I wonder what the chemical is in Febreeze, I need to look that up. I hate Febreeze.

snowberry's avatar

@JLeslie Febreeze won’t tell you their ingredients. That’s because each fragrance is a copyrighted recipe, containing 200 or more different petrochemicals. You probably wouldn’t be able to pronounce any of them, and none of them are beneficial for health.

Febreeze is a nasty, toxic product. If you think the FDA has your back on this, forget it. The FDA does not regulate the ingredients in fragrances, regardless the product.

chefl's avatar

There should be the scent of alcohol on it that naturally would keep children from drinking it or something like that.

Tropical_Willie's avatar

Alcohol has no smell, fragrances or stent can be added.

Again Alcohol has no smell !

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