All-Natural Hand Sanitizer, Original Scent by Clean Well

cleanwell-spray-1oz-citrus-herb-2A sweet-smelling hand sani that is alcohol free.  The Original scent has a citrusy aroma that reminds us of fruit loops, which isn’t a bad thing if you don’t mind your hands smelling like sugary fruit cereal. We havn’t tried the Vanilla Orange or Vanilla scent, but we’re thinking the vanilla could be more appealing to adults (ladies in particular).  The bottle size is very convenient for a pocket or a purse, with a flip-top cap that won’t get lost.  A single pump releases a very fine mist, and it seems like you may need two squirts to really feel it on your skin (guess we are minimalists, the package says to spray until hands are wet and then rub thoroughly til they are dry)  The packaging is cute and recycleable but unfortunately not refillable as far as we know (we took it apart to see if you could pour more liquid into it).  The moms and teachers we asked really love this product because its “kid safe” formula is true to form; it doesn’t sting if you have a cut or scratch, and there are no concerns about kids ingesting any alcohol).  Clean Well also advertises that it is free of benzalkonium chloride.  This anitseptic ingredient has safely treated childhood scrapes and cuts for years in the product Bactine, but studies show that benzalkonium chloride can be toxic to animals, cause allergic reactions in humans, and is hazardous at amounts above 10%, especially if swallowed (so for this kid-friendly recipe they did right to leave it out).

Instead of alcohol, the main germ-killing ingredient is the company’s patented formulation of thyme oil, which has been used as a natural antiseptic for thousands of years.  Most other hand sanitizers are made up of about 60% alcohol, which is rough on skin and strips it down with overuse, leaving it dry and crackly.  Many companies add aloe vera or natural oils as conditioners, and in our opinion the more natural ingredients you see on the label, the better (occasionally you may see questionable ingredients, such as triclosan, an antibacterial/antifungal agent developed as a pesticide which the FDA is studying but has not been proven harmful to humans). There is debate about washing hands versus using sanitizer and which is more effective, so we try to balance it out – if hands are visibly dirty it’s probably best to wash em, but if you can’t get to soap and water then sani will definitely come to the rescue. When sanitizers claim that they kill 99.9 % of germs or bacteria, that also includes any good bacteria that lives on your skin. When hands start to look and feel dry, it could be time to ease up and let skin’s natural barrier replenish.

Clean Well hand sanitizer (which also claims to kill 99.9 % of germs) seems to slowly sink into the skin rather than alcohol based products that dry quickly and decimate everything on the surface.  With Clean Well, in between fingers feel a tad sticky until they are completely dry. If you feel that alcohol-based sanitizer is too hard on hands, if your skin is cut or cracked, or if you are a little kid who licks your hands or accidently sprays hand sanitizer in your mouth, then Clean Well could be the right fit for you.  It’s about $3.50 for a 1 oz bottle.

Ingredients : (From their website. We appreciate the descriptions.)

Thymus Vulgaris Oil (thyme oil, a natural antimicrobial), Aloe Barbadensis Leaf (aloe vera, a natural emollient and skin conditioner), Citric Acid (an antioxidant and environmentally benign cleaning agent), Copper PCA (a skin conditioner and naturally occurring mineral found in human skin), Sodium Decylglucosides Hydroxypropyl Sulfonate (a plant-based emulsifier derived from corn sugar and coconut oil), Sodium Coco-Sulfate (a plant based emulsifier derived from coconut), Hydrolized Oats (a skin conditioner), Sodium Citrate (a natural pH balancer), Origanum Vulgare (Oregano) Oil (a natural essential oil fragrance), Water

and the original scent also contains  Litsea Cubeba (Litsea) Oil (a natural essential oil), Citrus Aurantium Dulcis (Orange) Oil

Additional Resources


Hand Sanitizer

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