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The COVID-19 pandemic has compelled health authorities to mandate the use of sanitizers to curb the spread of the virus. However, an increasing number of people have taken to social media platforms about the tequila-like smell emanating from most of the hand sanitizers available in the market.

Several claims have been made due to uncannily similar smell reminding one of the cheapest alcohols available. This has left many users wondering if the stench is indicative of the ineffectiveness of a hand sanitizer. Learn how to use it effectively to break the chain of infection.

Why does sanitizer smell like tequila?

As per the latest guidelines by the FDA, hand sanitizers need to comprise of at least 94.9 percent alcohol by volume. The most commonly used ingredients in a hand sanitizer are isopropyl alcohol, n-propanol, and ethanol.

Isopropyl alcohol has a distinct smell. It has the scent of a nail polish remover. However, ethanol has a sharp smell that can be compared with herbal spirits or tequila. Apart from having the basic ingredients to remove dirt and microbes, sanitizers also have moisturizing substances such as glycerin.

Hydrogen peroxide is also used for slowing down the evaporation process. The required consistency is achieved by using sterile water along with other ingredients. Some sanitizers have essential oils such as tea tree oil and bergamot for counteracting the unpleasant smell.   

The regulations passed by the FDA prevent manufacturers from making their sanitizers smell good. Products that have high-quality ingredients smell more palatable whereas isopropyl alcohol sanitizers tend to possess an unappealing odor. Ethanol-based products are also of low quality. It is an increased percentage of ethanol in the product that makes them smell like tequila. 

The tequila-like odor is also because of the use of ethanol. However, it is also the most crucial component responsible for killing bacteria and viruses. Despite the smell, these help you maintain hygiene and curb the spread of the virus.

The shortage of hand sanitizers had plagued the world during the onset of coronavirus pandemic. Implementation of stringent safety measures during the period includes constant hand sanitizing after coming in contact with surfaces. They need to have a 60-95 percent alcohol base.

Many alcohol brands have warned people not to use their offerings in making hand sanitizers at home as they do not meet the appropriate amount required to kill pathogens. Reports on social media have been fueling speculation that several manufacturing companies are using cheap substitutes to cope up with the massive demand for sanitizers.

Despite having an odor of their own, some sanitizers have a sharp citrus aroma to dispel the heavy odor of alcohol. You may check this WOW style article to learn more about choosing effective hand sanitizers. You will be able to understand what role alcohol plays in your sanitizer.  

Check the effectiveness of sanitizer before purchasing

A good hand sanitizer needs to have a high percentage of alcohol. This is the first thing you need to check while purchasing one. Alcohol is effective in fighting against pathogens and this is the reason why it is the chief ingredient in hand sanitizers. Alcohol-based sanitizers are said to cut down germs by 97.71 percent.  

The content and quality of alcohol are of utmost importance during the current COVID-19 pandemic. As coronavirus has been studied to consist of a layer of fat, its membrane can be easily ruptured with the use of alcohol-based sanitizers.

Isopropyl alcohol and ethanol are the most commonly used components in hand sanitizers. They alter the structure of pathogens thereby killing it. Learn the in and out about sanitizer use by following this link: https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/hand-sanitizer-use.html. Buying a sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol can help you contain the spread of pathogens.

Ethyl alcohol sanitizers result in less dryness of hands in comparison to isopropyl alcohol. If you want to check the quality of alcohol used in your sanitizer, then you can perform this simple test. Just drop a few drops of your hand sanitizer on a surface. The one with a high quantity of it would get evaporated quickly. 

In summary

It may now be clear to you as to why sanitizers smell like tequila. The higher the percentage of alcohol is, the more your hand sanitizer is going to smell like tequila. Just because of the odor, you cannot decide whether a particular sanitizer is effective or not. If you want to invest in a good quality product, then make sure to check the percentage of alcohol in the product that you are using.