What Happens if You Drink Hand Sanitizer?

Let’s just say that you probably don’t want to do it
Hand Sanitizer


"For topical use only."

We know that alcohol gets you drunk. Hand sanitizer contains a whole lot of rubbing alcohol. So… thanks to the transitive property, hand sanitizer should get you drunk, too, right? Well… technically, yes, but that doesn’t mean that you should drink it.

The fatal flaw in the (minimal) thought process of people who want to drink hand sanitizer is the fact that there are several different types of alcohol out there. Ethanol is the type of alcohol in beer, wine, and spirits. Isopropyl alcohol is the type of alcohol used in hand sanitizer and rubbing alcohol, and consuming it has a couple downsides. One, it could be denatured, which means that it’s been chemically adulterated so it’s toxic and can make you really sick.

Two, while drinking isopropyl alcohol in excess can result in drunkenness, it can also result in nervous system damage as well as blindness and organ damage. In the rare cases when ethanol is used in hand sanitizer, it’s most definitely been denatured. Also, a 240 milliliter bottle of hand sanitizer contains the equivalent of about five shots of liquor, which can be quite a lot to handle for someone not used to regularly drinking.


So, in short, if you manage to down an entire bottle of hand sanitizer, there’s a good chance that you will end up feeling intoxicated. You may also end up in the hospital, however, or worse. Needless to say, we wouldn’t advise it.