Triclosan and Alcohol in Hand Sanitizers

When my daughter started crawling and then walking, she instantly started touching everything she could get her hands on. Most medical recommendations say that washing with good ol’ soap and water is sufficient but sometimes there was no soap and water in sight so hand sanitizer became a ‘must-have’ in my purse.  I couldn’t stand the alcohol smell of most hand sanitizers so with a little research, I found Cleanwell, an alcohol free hand sanitizer, that has a pleasantly light lemon smell.  Little did I know that the smell of alcohol wasn’t the only thing I should have been concerned with.

I didn’t realize the actual amount of alcohol in most hand sanitizers.  I’ve even read that children have been hospitalized for alcohol poisoning from them!   They have a surprisingly heavy amount of ethyl alcohol ( Purell and Germ-X contain 62% ethyl alcohol, a little 2oz bottle = 4 shots of vodka! ).

Triclosan is an anti-bacterial ingredient used not only in hand sanitizers but also in a lot of personal care products.  According to the EWG, it is linked to liver and inhalation toxicity, and low levels of triclosan may disrupt thyroid function. Wastewater treatment does not remove all of the chemical, which means it ends up in our lakes, rivers and water sources.  

The American Medical Association recommends that households do not use anti bacterial products as it contributes to the spread of antibiotic resistant bacterias and the New England Journal of Medicine reports that alcohol based hand sanitizers pose as intoxicants to high-risk populations, like toddlers.

CleanWell, a hand sanitizer made with Ingenium, is a great alternative.  Ingenium is a patented mix mix of plant essential oils, including the active ingredent, thyme oil.  It is 100% biodegradeable and kills 99.99% of germs including MSRA, Salmonella and Staph.  It’s totally safe for kids with no risk of harm from ingestion.   They have a couple products, including a purse version of their hand sanitizer, sanitizer wipes and hand soap.  You can purchase their products in the MGG SHOP, Target, Whole Foods, and Bath & Body Works.  Other alternatives to try: For My Kids or Clean George products.

One last thought : a lot of day care centers, preschools, and schools use hand sanitizers in their classroom.  You might ask them to choose a better product or donate a large bottle to your class. 

FREE STUFF: We have a 6oz bottle ( over 1300 uses! ) of CleanWell Hand Sanitizer to GIVE AWAY to our readers – you can enter to win by signing up for the MGG newsletter by Sunday, March 22 at 11:59PM PST.   The newsletter sign up is located on the right hand, middle section of the MGG homepage.  We will choose one winner at random and notify them by email. Open to 18 year old + residents of the U.S. and Canada.

CONGRATS to Jessica Petlun, the winner of our CleanWell Hand Sanitizer sweepstakes!



  1. I found Green Sanitizers / Cleaners that are peroxide based at The product requires no rinsing or wiping….you just spray and walk away. Great for toys, pets and general cleaning.

  2. We offer a safe kids hand sanitizer. Alcohol free! We even packaged the product just for kids. Please check it out…

    In this day and age, children should be educated about the spread of germs and take responsibility for their hygiene. Anti-bacterial use is encouraged from preschool on and now requested to be brought along in lunch boxes. It saves time, teaches children to be independent, and insightful about their bodies and health. Carrying their very own kids hand sanitizer has been shown that it not only gives a child a sense of responsibility but it also teaches them to motivate other kids. Hands down, “zapping germs is fun!”


  1. […] Mommy Goes Green What: One winner, chosen by randon will win a bottle of CleanWell Hand Sanitizer -enter to win by […]

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