How to Dispose of Expired Hand Sanitizer

Products made with chemical Health Sciences should not be allowed to sit on store shelves for more than several months.

If they are still usable, you should dispose of them properly. When doing division, you and your pharmacist must worry about three primary factors.

So, how do you dispose of expired hand sanitizer? Hand sanitizers should be kept out of the reach of children at all times.

They should never be used as a substitute to washing hands with soap and water as they do not eliminate all germsQ from your hands.

You should keep your hand sanitizer out of reach of children and pets at all times as they could get into it and ingest it or use it on their hands or mouths without your knowledge.

Hand sanitizers should be stored in their original containers and stored in a cool dry place away from direct sunlight.

If you run out of hand sanitizer before you finish the bottle, you should discard the bottle properly and not try to reuse it.

You should dispose of your hand sanitizer properly after you finish the bottle to prevent germs from growing in the unused sanitizer before you can use it again.

Let’s dive in!

Why Does Hand Sanitizer Expire?

Alcohol is the main component in hand sanitizer.

In the case of alcohol hand sanitizers, the alcohol concentration levels range from 60-95% alcohol.

Alcohol is easily absorbed through the skin which means that the alcohol will evaporate when the alcohol level in the sanitizer drops to below 60%.

Even alcohol storage containers have expiration dates.

The alcohol in hand sanitizer has an antibacterial effect, but like all antibacterial products.

This antibacterial effect will diminish over time as the alcohol level in the sanitizer decreases.

Hand sanitizer contains antimicrobial compounds that prevent the growth of microorganisms on the hands after use.

The hand sanitizer becomes ineffective after a period of time.

For each batch of hand sanitizing gel or foam, manufacturers have specified shelf life information depending on the alcohol concentration level in the final product.

When 10% or more alcohol is mixed with a gel or foam, manufacturers are required to list a shelf life up to four years on the bottle.

The sanitizer should be thrown after this period as the efficacy of the product will be compromised.

In typical settings, hand sanitizer has a short effective use life span.

When heat is applied on the hand sanitizer, it destroys the active ingredients reducing the disinfectant power of the product.

How to Recycle  the Hand Sanitizer Bottles

How to Recycle Hand Sanitizer Bottles

Use the Bottles to Store Oil

Savvy individuals use oil on their skin as a moisturizer.

Unfortunately, many of these oils are often in glass bottles which need to be taken to the dump after use.

However, if you have a recycled hand sanitizing bottle, you can store the oils with such a bottle.

You should rinse away any residual sanitizer on the bottle, before storing the oil to prevent contaminants from contaminating the vegetable oil.

Refill Them With Soap

When hand sanitizer is finished, rinse it out and refill it with soap refills.

Refill a recycled with soap refills and your bathroom will be environmentally friendly as you will be using less water to wash your hands daily.

The bottles are not harmed by the soapy water and the soap will last longer because of the recycled bottles you used to store the soap refills.

Fill the bottle with soap and hang it wherever you usually wash hands.

The bottle will serve as an aesthetically pleasing way to dispose of your soap refills while also making it easy to save the soap for future washing needs.

A hand sanitizing bottle is a cool way to store your brush after use.

When finished shaving, rinse the brush and place it in a recycled bottle to air dry or place it in your cabinet for safekeeping.

When shaving with a razor, rinse the razor under running warm water and hang it to dry on a bathroom hook.

Use Them as Lotion Bottles

Shrinking plastic hand sanitizer bottles are the prefect bottles to hold your lotions and creams since they can be easily opened and closed without the risk of spilling the contents.

Refill and reuse a recycled bottle as the container for your lotions and creams to ensure that you don’t waste plastic.

You can simply recycle your used hand sanitizer bottles by saving the used bottles for another purpose or use.

Refill Them With More Hand Sanitizer

Disposable hand sanitizers help to reduce the spread of germs and may reduce your chances of contracting a contagious disease.

If you have extra bottles of hand sanitizer lying around, you can continue to use them again and again.

The plastic used in these bottles is recyclable.

If you have another use for your bottle such as storing your soap refills or lotions, you can simply recycle your bottle after the sanitizer is finished.

These items are compact and can easily be carried around when vacationing or going on a day at the beach.

You can also reuse a smaller hand sanitizer bottle as a container for your conditioner or lotion.

They make perfect lotion dispensers and are easy to refill since the bottles are small enough to fit in your pocket.

The compact size also makes them easy to hide or carry discreetly in a purse or backpack.

Since these bottles are made out of plastic, it should be easy for recycling centers to recycle them.

Throw it in Your Recycling Bin

You may put your hand sanitizer bottles in your recycling bin along with other plastic bottles, such as laundry detergent bottles or shampoo bottles.

These transparent bottles will be collected like ordinary plastic trash along with other types of plastic.

Meanwhile, check with your local recycling center to make sure they do not specifically ask for hand sanitizer bottles to be put in separate bins.

If your hand sanitizer bottles have a bottle pump, the recycling center may ask you to separate the bottle pump from the bottle to prevent it from damaging their equipment.

If your hand sanitizer bottles have caps or lids, you may want to remove them before placing the bottle in the recycling bin to avoid confusion at the sorting facility.

You can simply throw the caps or lids in the trash bin along with the bottle, if a recycling facility will not accept bottles with caps and lids.

How to Dispose of Expired Hand Sanitizer

Dispose of Commercial Waste

The objective of hazardous waste disposal is to prevent waste from harming the environment.

Hazardous waste must be handled properly and business owners must take environmental responsibility by collecting the waste and disposing of it properly.

Commercial waste should be disposed of properly.

Business owners should identify potential hazardous chemicals in their waste and then dispose of them properly at the appropriate recycling facility.

Dispose of Unofficial Household Items

The majority of people buy household supplies like air fresheners, bug sprays, laundry supplies, and soap to use.

Because of the large amounts of these products people have in their homes, many individuals have leftover quantities of these consumer products after they’ve used them once or twice.

For the most eco-friendly method of disposal, you should recycle these materials instead of simply throwing them away in the trashcan.

In addition, the EPA has listed many household cleaners as hazardous, and individuals are prohibited from pouring them down the drain or toilet.

Small amounts of hand sanitizer are not hazardous to the environment. However, if you regularly use hand sanitizer, you can dispose of it when you can no longer use it.

Dispose of Household Items

Expired hand sanitizer can be disposed of at a designated hazardous waste facility along with caustic cleaning materials.

However, it should be handled like any commercial waste to prevent potential environmental contamination.

The sanitizer should be stored in sealed containers to prevent leakage or damage.

If you have any questions about proper disposal methods, you can contact your local hazardous waste facility for more information.

If you are unable to find a disposal site, ask a pharmacist or your local health department for help finding a safe disposal method for your expired hand sanitizer.

Also Read: How to Dispose Of Bed Frames Safely


In conclusion, it is important to dispose of expired hand sanitizers properly as other chemicals and germs can spread if left in your bathroom cabinet for long time.

In addition , in order to recycle your water bottle properly, you should recycle it when it is empty so that you do not end up wasting useful resources.

That being said, it should be fairly easy to recycle your used hand sanitizer bottles. Because a lot of bottles are made from recyclable plastic such as PET and HDPE.

Therefore, you should be able to find a recycling center near you that will take your used products away instead of throwing them away in the trash where they may release harmful gases into the air.