Is Hand Sanitizer Flammable for Shipping? Discover the Explosive Truth!

Is Hand Sanitizer Flammable for Shipping?

The COVID-19 pandemic has led to an increased demand for hand sanitizers worldwide. Hand sanitizers have become an essential item for personal hygiene and to help prevent the spread of the virus. With this surge in demand, questions have arisen concerning the safety of shipping hand sanitizers, particularly in terms of flammability.

Hand sanitizers often contain high amounts of alcohol, which is known to be flammable. The Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau (TTB) defines a hand sanitizer as a product that “enters into commerce…as an over-the-counter (OTC) drug in the form of a topical antiseptic rub.” These products typically contain 60-80% alcohol content, most commonly ethanol or isopropyl alcohol.

So, the question remains: Is hand sanitizer flammable for shipping?

Understanding Flammability Classification

To determine flammability, substances are classified using a system called the flashpoint. The flashpoint is defined as the lowest temperature at which a substance gives off enough vapor to ignite when an ignition source is present.

The flashpoint of alcohol-based hand sanitizers varies depending on the type of alcohol used. Ethanol, the most common alcohol found in hand sanitizers, has a flashpoint of 16.6°C (61.9°F), while isopropyl alcohol has a flashpoint of 12.8°C (55°F). These low flashpoints indicate the potential flammability of hand sanitizers.

Is Hand Sanitizer Flammable for Shipping? Discover the Explosive Truth!


Shipping Hand Sanitizer: Regulatory Considerations

When it comes to shipping hand sanitizers, certain regulations and guidelines must be followed to ensure safe transportation. The United Nations (UN) has established a classification system called the UN Model Regulations for the transport of dangerous goods, including flammable substances. Hand sanitizers with alcohol content fall under Class 3, Flammable Liquids.

Flammable liquids, including hand sanitizers, must be properly packaged, labeled, and handled during shipping to minimize the risk of accidents or incidents. Here are some key considerations:

Regulatory Requirement Description
Hazardous Material Identification Hand sanitizers must be accurately classified as hazardous materials and properly labeled for transportation.
Package Design and Markings Flammable liquids should be packaged in appropriate UN-approved containers with specific markings to indicate the presence of a hazardous material.
Quantity Limitations There are restrictions on the maximum quantity of flammable liquids that can be shipped. The specific limits vary depending on the mode of transportation.
Documentation Accurate and complete shipping documentation, including a Material Safety Data Sheet (MSDS), must be prepared.

It is crucial for shippers and carriers to adhere to these regulations to ensure the safe transport of hand sanitizers and to minimize any potential risks.

Best Practices for Shipping Hand Sanitizers

Here are some best practices to follow when shipping hand sanitizers:

  1. Properly classify the hand sanitizer as a flammable liquid.
  2. Use UN-approved containers specifically designed for the safe transportation of flammable liquids.
  3. Ensure the packaging is intact and the containers are tightly sealed to prevent leaks or spills.
  4. Package hand sanitizers separately from other incompatible materials to avoid potential reactions and hazards.
  5. Always provide accurate labeling and clearly mark the packages as Flammable Liquids.
  6. Follow the quantity limitations and restrictions based on the mode of transportation.
  7. Train personnel involved in handling and transporting hand sanitizers on proper safety protocols.

By following these best practices, the risks associated with shipping hand sanitizers can be significantly reduced.

Is Hand Sanitizer Flammable for Shipping? Discover the Explosive Truth!


Frequently Asked Questions Of Is Hand Sanitizer Flammable For Shipping? Discover The Explosive Truth!

Is Hand Sanitizer Flammable For Shipping?

Yes, some hand sanitizers are flammable and shipping regulations vary depending on their alcohol content.

What Are The Shipping Regulations For Flammable Hand Sanitizers?

Flammable hand sanitizers with high alcohol content must comply with DOT regulations and be properly labeled and packaged for safe transport.

How Should Flammable Hand Sanitizers Be Packaged For Shipping?

Flammable hand sanitizers should be placed in leak-proof containers and packed in sturdy boxes to prevent any leakage or damage during transportation.

Can Hand Sanitizers With Lower Alcohol Content Be Shipped Safely?

Hand sanitizers with lower alcohol content are generally considered non-flammable and can be shipped safely following standard packaging and shipping guidelines.


Hand sanitizers are highly effective in reducing the spread of germs and viruses, including COVID-19. However, due to their alcohol content, hand sanitizers are flammable and must be handled and shipped carefully.

Shippers and carriers must adhere to regulatory requirements and best practices to ensure the safe transportation of hand sanitizers. Proper classification, packaging, labeling, and training are essential to minimize the risk of accidents or incidents during shipping.

With the correct precautions in place, hand sanitizers can be safely shipped to meet the growing demand, ensuring everyone has access to this essential hygiene product.

Updated: January 2, 2024 — 7:14 pm