COVID-19 Community Information Center

What you should know about leaving hand sanitizer in the car

These days, we add “mask and hand sanitizer” to the “keys, phone, wallet” check as a reminder when we leave the house. But with reports of hand sanitizer combusting in cars, is it safe to leave it there? 

According to the National Fire Protection Association, a bottle of hand sanitizer would have to heat to 700 degrees Fahrenheit for it to catch fire without the presence of a flame or spark. Even during the hottest days in Texas, your car would not reach this threshold.

But while there isn’t a real fire threat to leaving it in your car, heat and direct sunlight can damage some of the hand sanitizer’s ingredients, causing it to be less effective. So, if you leave it in the car, a good practice is to put the bottle in an area that is shaded, such as the glove box, console or car door, and you should be fine.

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