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Officials Warn Against Pouring Old Hand Sanitizer Bottles Down the Drain

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is warning the public against pouring old bottles of hand sanitizer down the drain.

The agency advises that hand sanitizer that has reached its shelf life, which is typically two-to-three years depending on the brand and contains at least 60 percent alcohol, should not be disposed of in this manner due to its potential flammability.

If poured down the drain, the liquid and vapors can accumulate in water pipes and sewers, creating a risk of fires and possibly even explosions.

Instead, the EPA suggests taking partial or full bottles to a household hazardous waste drop-off location or disposal event.

In an effort to encourage proper disposal, a batch of old hand sanitizer bottles will be donated to the first response waste.

While some may not have bottles that are two or three years old, officials urge the public to continue practicing proper hand hygiene during the ongoing pandemic.

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