Hand sanitizer poses a risk in a hot car — here’s how to stay safe - Yahoo Lifestyle
May 22, 2020 1 min, 46 secs
And can leaving your hand sanitizer out actually cause a fire in your car, or is that a myth?

Before you panic about the fact that your hand sanitizer is a permanent fixture in your car, know this: It’s probably OK to keep on doing this—if you take the right precautions.

Here’s what you need to know about keeping hand sanitizer in your car.

First, it’s important to understand the basics of hand sanitizer.

There are different forms of hand sanitizer, but the most common type — and the one that’s been found to kill SARS-CoV-2, the virus that causes COVID-19 — is made with at least 60 percent alcohol, per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

It seems, then, like keeping your hand sanitizer in the car has the potential to render it ineffective, but Schaffner says it’s not necessarily the case.

Your car would likely need to get really hot to burn off the alcohol content in your hand sanitizer, he says.

Alcohol boils at around 173 degrees Fahrenheit, so the odds of your hand sanitizer reaching that level are somewhat low, Alan says.

If your hand sanitizer did reach that temperature, though, Schaffner says you’d know it: Your sanitizer would look different or the cap would pop off from the built-up pressure and cause a mess.

Leaving hand sanitizer in a hot car in direct sunlight can actually lead to a fire, Dr.

“Most hand sanitizer is alcohol-based and a flammable substance,” he says.

 The National Fire Protection Association (NFPA) released a video warning about this earlier this year, and Wisconsin’s Western Lakes Fire District recently shared a photo on Facebook that went viral of a car with a driver’s side door that was torched from a hand sanitizer fire.“You just want to store your hand sanitizer safely so it doesn’t catch on fire and melt in your car,” Adalja says.

If you want to have it handy at all times, Schaffner says it’s also a good idea to carry your sanitizer in your purse or backpack instead of your car.


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