Hand lotion will not help kill germs or sanitize your hands. Hand lotion doesn’t have any ingredients that help kill germs. The active ingredients that kill germs are not in hand lotions. This is because many of those ingredients that help fight germs are very drying and sometimes irritating to the skin.

What Are Germs?

Let’s start off with what germs are. Germs are microscopic organisms that include bacteria and viruses. These germs are living and can multiply and can live in a range of environments. These germs can enter your body through your eyes, mouth, nose, and cuts on your skin. Once a germ enters the body, you can catch a virus or bacterial infection.

Germs Can Spread From:


These are food born illnesses. They can spread by undercooked meat or through fruits and vegetables that have not been washed properly.

Person To Person:

People can give other people a cold or even the flu. That is why it’s important to wash your hands and cover your cough.

Animal To Person:

Animals can spread germs to humans as well. For example, you could get rabies from a dog bite.

How Do We Get Rid Of Germs?

Germs can survive on any surface including door handles, countertops, cell phones, and your computer. These germs can make us sick. you can get germs by sharing drinks. You can prevent spreading germs by touching your face and washing your hands often.

The two most popular ways to get rid of germs are to wash your hands and use hand sanitizer. Washing your hands is was more effective at killing germs. This is because water is used to wash away dirt and debris. Hand sanitizer doesn’t use any water to remove dirt.

It’s always best to use soap and water if you have dirt on your hands. If your hands are relatively clean, just using hand lotion can help fight germs but won’t be as effective as soap and water.

Hand Washing:

If you want to kill germs on your hands, wash your hands before you put hand lotion on them. To wash your hands properly you should first wet your hands. After your hands are wet, apply soap and lather your hands. Either bar soap or hand soap if fine for this. Scrub your hands for at least 15-20 seconds. Finally, rinse off your hands and dry them.

If the soap you are using is drying out your hands too much, switch to another soap that won’t dry them as much.

Hand Sanitizer:

Hand sanitizer is a product made with alcohol that can kill germs on contact. You may see that hand sanitizer comes in all different scents and sizes. Hand sanitizer shouldn’t be used alone for killing germs, always wash your hands with soap and water to remove germs.

To use hand sanitizer, place a liberal amount on your hands and rub them together until dry.

No Ingredients To Fight Germs:

Hand lotion doesn’t have the active ingredient to kill germs that hand sanitizer has. Hand sanitizer is made up of around 70-75% alcohol. This alcohol is what kills the germs.

Hand lotion doesn’t have that much if any alcohol. That much alcohol can have the opposite effect that hand lotion has. Alcohol is known to dry out your hands in large quantities. Alcohol is also a harsh ingredient for some people to use. It can irritate their skin and hands.

Hand lotion is meant to hydrate and soothe your skin.

Can Germs Spread To Hand & Body Lotion?

Yes, you can get germs in hand lotion. You shouldn’t have to worry about it because most hand lotion is made with a preservative. A preservative will kill the germs that enter the bottle. This prevents your hand lotion from growing mold.

If your hand lotion doesn’t have a preservative you will have to worry about germs. This is because nothing is in the hand lotion that will kill the germs.

However, some hand lotions are not made with a preservative. This will allow bacteria and germs to start living in the hand lotion in as little as a few days. Always check your hand lotion if you are buying them from a vendor that they have a preservative. Another common way to tell if a hand lotion doesn’t have a preservative is that the hand lotion will require refrigeration. This is to slow the growth of bacteria and germs. However, this isn’t always the case.

Most hand lotions sold in stores have a preservative in them already. This is done for extending the shelf life and liability reasons. Companies can’t sell hand lotions that can potentially make someone sick.

Hand lotion is made of oil and water. Water is the ingredient that germs love to live in. They prefer moist, dark, and cool places to multiple. Hand lotion is the perfect environment for germs.

How To Prevent Germs In Hand & Body Lotion:

Hand lotion comes in three different bottle types. A pump bottle, a squeeze bottle, and a container with a lid. The container with a lid is really the only one that you have to worry about getting germs inside the container. This is because you are using your fingers to get the hand lotion out of the container. This can introduce more germs if the hand lotion doesn’t have a preservative added.

The lid of the container can also get germs and grow mold if it’s stored in a dark and damp place. This is because the preservative is actually mixed into the product and won’t prevent mold from multiplying under the lid.

The squeeze bottle can also get some mold under the cap of the product if water or something gets trapped in the cap. It is always important to make sure that no water is in the caps of hand lotion. This isn’t a big problem since most people use hand lotion when they have dry hands.

Tips To Keep Your Hand & Body Lotion Germ Free:

I put together a few tips that anyone can use to help keep their hand lotion bottles germ free. Most of the time hand lotion will never cause a problem when it comes to germs. Follow these tips and you should have nothing to worry about.

Store Hand & Body Lotion In A Cool Dark Place:

Storing your hand lotion in a cool dark place is always a good idea. If the lotion gets too hot or if ultraviolet rays hit the bottle, it could change the product.

Limit Sharing Hand & Body Lotion With Others:

If you share your hand lotion with someone else you should make sure that each of you washes your hands before applying hand lotion. This is true especially if one of you are sick. Germs can live on the bottle and get one of you sick since you would be spreading the hand lotion over yourself.

Wash Your Hands Before If You’re Sick:

This goes with the tip above. If you aren’t feeling the best it is a good idea to wash your hands first. Germs can live on a surface anywhere between a few hours up to a few days.

Keep The Bottle Clean:

I don’t mean that you should wash the bottle everyday or anything. If something gets spilled on the bottle or something else happens, just wipe the bottle down first.

Get Rid Of Hand & Body Lotion After The Expiration Date:

Hand lotion does expire and it need to be disposed of at the expiration date. Bacteria and other germs may start growing past the expiration date. Sometimes even mold can form if left past the expiration date.

Check Your Hand & Body Lotion Dispenser:

Some people have a decorative hand lotion dispenser that they use. If you have one, it’s best to check it and clean it out every time that you refill it.