Save on Sanitizer: Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer versus Name Brand

Hand sanitizer is one of those products where it feels like a gamble to buy off-brand. The substance itself isn’t exactly rocket science (indeed, you can make perfectly good hand sanitizer at home) but the quality of the moisturizers, fragrances, gelling or foaming agents, packaging, and other minutiae have a large impact on the overall usability.

I was really excited to find this Assured brand Instant Hand Sanitizer at my local Dollar Tree. The price is much cheaper than the “Name Brand” stuff, and I’m thrilled to share what I’ve learned.

Specs

AssuredName Brand
Amount2 fl oz, Qty 32 fl oz, Qty 6
Active ingredientEthyl Alcohol 70% by volumeEthyl Alcohol 70% by volume
Other featuresAloe & MoisturizersNone
Price$1.00 – $0.17 per oz$11.82 – $0.99 per oz (pandemic pricing, subject to change!)

Effectiveness

With an active ingredient of 70% ethyl alcohol, this hand sanitizer performs just as well as all other alcohol-based hand sanitizers. Just like the name brand, thickening agents help the goop stick to your hands long enough to kill germs, and moisturizers help keep your skin from getting dry.

Verdict: Just as good.

Assured Instant Hand Sanitizer, Rear

Texture

This is a gel-type hand sanitizer, with added moisturizers. The texture and feel is similar to the expensive stuff, but possibly a bit more slimy. Even after several reapplications my skin did not dry out or become irritated.

Verdict: Just as good.

Fragrance

Imagine a pile of unwanted scented candles piled in the back corner of a thrift store next to spilled mop water. Yeah it’s that bad and it lingers even after you wash your hands.

Verdict: Substantially worse.

Convenience

The 2-ounce bottles are the perfect size to keep one in your pocket or backpack. The lid pops open easily when you need it to, and snaps shut tightly. I forgot a bottle in my car for a few months, and there wasn’t any leakage despite the temperature extremes. An expiration date is printed on the bottom, so you can tell if you’re getting fresh product.

Verdict: Just as good.

Conclusion

I’m pretty picky about scented products, and I really don’t like the smell of this one. However I think most people would find it inoffensive enough, and it’s impossible to deny that it works. At a fraction of the cost of the name brand stuff, this is perfect for keeping around the house, in a first aid kit, or giving away to someone who needs it.

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