Top survival uses for hand sanitizer

By Nick Oetken
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Hand sanitizer is an underrated survival supply that should be in your bag.
Hand sanitizer is an underrated survival supply that should be in your bag.
 
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One of the most overlooked survival items of all time is hand sanitizer. It’s cheap, abundant, and a common staple in homes and offices. Yet for whatever reason, it never receives the attention as a survival item it deserves.

 

Fortunately, you’re about to learn why hand sanitizer can become one of the most useful survival items you have available to you. It’s definitely not something that you’ll want to leave out of your bug out bag or survival kit.

 

How can you use hand sanitizer in a survival situation?
How can you use hand sanitizer in a survival situation?

Here are the top ten hand sanitizer survival uses:

 

 

Personal Hygiene

The number-one reason for hand sanitizer is for personal cleanliness. Photo Credit
The number-one reason for hand sanitizer is for personal cleanliness. Photo Credit

This is why we have hand sanitizer in the first place, right? It’s also arguably the best use of hand sanitizer in a survival situation. If you don’t have access to clean running water and soap, hand sanitizer will be a perfectly suitable alternative because of its ability to kill 99.99 percent of all harmful bacteria. Make it a habit to use hand sanitizer after using the restroom and before you eat in a survival or disaster scenario.

Starting A Fire

After personal hygiene and cleanliness, the next most important hand sanitizer survival use is to get a fire starting. We should all understand the importance of fire in a survival situation. It gives us warmth, light, security, and the ability to boil water or cook when you need it most.

 

With its high alcohol content, hand sanitizer can help build fires.
With its high alcohol content, hand sanitizer can help build fires.

Hand sanitizer is great for getting a fire started thanks to its high alcohol content. In fact, you can get a fire going with hand sanitizer even when it is raining or windy outside. Simply dab a small amount of it on your kindling or tinder and then light it up with a spark. Just make sure to read the label on your hand sanitizer before packing; some brands have discontinued using alcohol in their product.

Clean Your Clothes

Clean clothes is another important part of staying clean when in a survival situation.
Clean clothes is another important part of staying clean when in a survival situation.

You’re going to have to take extra good care of your clothes in a survival situation since you won’t have access to a traditional clothes washer and dryer. Fortunately, if you have hand sanitizer available, it will be great for removing stains caused by ink, blood, or a drink. Simply rub hand sanitizer over the site of the stain, wash it with some water, and then dry it for the stain to disappear.

Clean Surfaces

Keep food preparation areas clean.
Keep food preparation areas clean.

Just as hand sanitizer can be used to clean your hands or your clothes, it can also be used to clean surfaces as well. Hand sanitizer will serve as a great alternative to other cleaning agents when those items are not so readily available. Simply use a clean cloth to wipe hand sanitizer over a surface such as a table or a desk to sanitize it. This will be most useful after cooking food or tending to a wound on the surface.

Clean Your Glasses

Hand sanitizer can help with the ability to see if you use glasses.
Hand sanitizer can help with the ability to see if you use glasses.

This method works for eyeglasses, reading glasses, sunglasses, goggles, and whatever other kinds of eyewear you can think. When your glasses or goggles get dirty, simply wipe them down with hand sanitizer and a clean cloth to restore them to as good as new.

Remove Adhesive Material

Remove pesky residue from tape with hand sanitizer.
Remove pesky residue from tape with hand sanitizer.

While this isn’t a life-or-death survival use, it is certainly a nice survival hack. If you ever have any sticky adhesive material left over from Scotch tape, duct tape, or glue, simply rub some hand sanitizer over it to make it go away.

Remove The Grease From Your Hands

If you happen to be covered in grease, hand sanitizer with other supplies can aid in its removal.
If you happen to be covered in grease, hand sanitizer with other supplies can aid in its removal.

Another neat little survival hack for hand sanitizer is to use it to clean the grease from your hands. Mix it with salt and warm water, and the grease will come right off.

Acne Treatment

When resources are rare in a disaster situation, you can use hand sanitizer to treat acne.
When resources are rare in a disaster situation, you can use hand sanitizer to treat acne.

Since acne treatment medications and products will become rare in a disaster scenario, you can use the far more common hand sanitizer as an alternative. Take a cotton swab and dab it in a small amount of hand sanitizer. Then apply the sanitizer directly to your acne, and it will cause the itchiness and the swelling from the acne to go away.

Treat Mosquito Bites

Calm down the itchiness of mosquito bites with hand sanitizer.
Calm down the itchiness of mosquito bites with hand sanitizer.

Mosquito bites are incredibly annoying, especially from the resulting itchiness that can pester you for hours if not days. While hand sanitizer cannot make the actual bite go away, it can help to calm down the itchiness. Simply rub a small amount of hand sanitizer to the site of the bite, and the pain and itchiness will no longer annoy you as you go about your other tasks.

Storing Items

Don’t throw away the hand sanitizer bottle after you’ve used it up. That bottle can be used for storing basically anything else from food to seeds to water and so on. Just be sure to rinse out the bottle so you get the taste and smell of the sanitizer out of it.

 

There are many uses for hand sanitizer besides cleaning hands.
There are many uses for hand sanitizer besides cleaning hands.

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