Prolonged contact with sunlight can make it combust
BEND, Ore. (KTVZ) -- Under the right -- make that wrong -- conditions, that bottle of hand sanitizer sitting in your car just might catch fire.
"If you have hand sanitizer in the sun and the sun directly hits it a certain way, it can catch on fire," Bend Fire & Rescue Captain Trish Connolly said Friday
Common hand sanitizers found at stores contain 60-70% alcohol, a highly flammable liquid. The label on a miniature Purell hand sanitizer says to store it at a temperature lower than 110 degrees. A car on a summer day could easily reach temperatures beyond that, according to a 2018 Arizona State University study.
Connolly has never responded to a call involving hand sanitizer catching fire, but she said it's still something to be aware of.
"It's a flammable liquid, so thinking about how you are storing it is always a good idea," Connolly said.
Connolly said the best place for hand sanitizer when it's in your vehicle is somewhere not exposed to direct sunlight, like the glove compartment.
Hand sanitizer could even explode, if it's hot enough and if there's a flame source, like a cigarette, according to The National Fire Protection Association.