Thanks to the Covid-19 epidemic, people today seem to be preoccupied with killing germs, on everything from the kitchen countertop to their own hands. Our current obsession with hand sanitizer means that people carry it everywhere, including leaving a bottle of it inside their hot cars.

Is that safe? Short Answer: Yes
You mean it will not explode? No

While these products are flammable-most of them consist of 60-90% alcohol- your car would need to heat up to around 700 degrees Fahrenheit before a container of hand sanitizer would explode or burn on its own, and no car gets that hot inside, not even in the hottest regions of the united states in the middle of August.

Leaving hand sanitizer in your car could possibly make it less effective. That’s because exposing your hand sanitizer to sunlight and heat can cause the alcohol in the product to evaporate. If the alcohol evaporates, the percentage of alcohol in the product goes down, and the hand sanitizer may become less effective this means you may not be killing as many germs on your hands as you thought each time you slather it on.

Using hand sanitizer frequently can help stop the spread of the virus that causes Covid-19, so it’s a great idea to carry some with you everywhere. When you do leave a bottle of hand sanitizer in your car, you needn’t worry that it might explode. Just store it out of direct sunlight (in the side pocket of the door, for example), make sure it’s tightly capped be aware that the product may lose some of its effectiveness over time due to alcohol evaporation and you probably should replace that bottle more frequently.

Stay Safe. Stop the spread of Covid-19.
Wear a mask.
Wash your hands.
Watch your distance.

Sheila Birnbaum’s professional career has been devoted to enhancing patient care. As the Director of the Patient Advocacy Program at Robert Wood Johnson University Hospital (RWJUH), Hamilton, NJ, she instituted numerous programs, many which received statewide recognition, including several prestigious rewards.