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CostHelper > Health & Personal Care  > Dermatology & Skin Care > Purell or Hand Sanitizer

Where to Buy Purell or Hand Sanitizer and How Much Should Hand Sanitizer Cost

 
low costLow: A small 2-oz dispenser usually sells for $1-$3average costMedium: An 8-oz pump usually sells for $3-$4high costHigh: A 1 liter pump of Purell that could be shared in a small office usually sells for $9-$11
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Purell is a hand sanitizer that uses ethyl alcohol to kill bacterial and viral germs.Starting in February 2020, there were shortages due to concerns about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19) virus.

The Center for Disease Control[1] lists using hand sanitizer as a form of precaution against the Covid-19 virus "if soap and water are not readily available" to wash your hands.

Typical costs:

  • Purell, a name brand hand sanitizer, usually costs $3-$4 for an 8-ounce pump.
  • A small pocket-sized 2-ounce pump of Purell usually sells for around $2.
  • A 1 liter pump of Purell that could be shared in a small office usually sells for $9-$11
  • Other brands for hand sanitizers include Germ-X, which is sold at Costco and Walmart and can sell for a little less. For example, an 8-ounce pump of Germ-X usually sells for $2-$4.
Additional costs:
  • Due to shortages, some sellers on Amazon and eBay have been listing Purell pumps for 3-6 times as much as usual. On March 3, some sellers on Amazon listed 12 8-ounce pumps (which would normally retail for around $40-$60) for $160, and another listed it for $400, leading online retailers to search for and remove cases of price gouging.
Discounts:
  • Some websites like The Verge[2] have listed steps to make hand sanitizer at home.
  • Additionally, the World Health Organization[3] lists steps for making hand sanitizer.
Shopping for purell or hand sanitizer:
  • Trying a variety of stores may help locate a supply during shortages. In addition to grocery stores and pharmacies, discount stores like Target[4] and Walmart[5] and home improvement stores like Home Depot[6] , Lowe's and Ace Hardware also sell hand sanitizers, as do office supply stores like Staples[7] .
  • Many of these retailers, including Walmart and Target, can display their store inventory online. We recently had success finding Purell at a local Target store by regularly checking a local store's inventory on Target.com. When the inventory went from "not available," to "in stock" one morning, we guessed that a new shipment had arrived overnight, and were able to purchase some when the store opened.
  • If you're willing to drive, it's possible that far away store locations may have hand sanitizers in stock. Some retailers' websites, including Target's, let you search for the closest store that has an item in stock. Some stores will even hold an item for you so you don't waste a trip.
  • For shoppers over 60 and other vulnerable communities, many drugstores, grocery stores and discount stores including Alerbertson's, Costco, CVS, Dollar General, Target, Trader Joe's, Walmart and Whole Foods have announced senior hours, usually for the first hour in the morning on one of two weekday mornings each week. The senior hours vary by retailer. Arriving during senior hours at the the store opening may help shoppers get access to supplies if the item had been stocked the previous night.
  • The retailer Bath & Body Works[8] encourages shoppers to check their local store if the website is sold out, and USA Today[9] reports some locations have set up automated messages so shoppers can call ahead to check if a local store has some in stock.
  • GOJO Industries, the makers of Purell, have announced they have ramped up production[10] "24/7 with increased production," due to recent increased demand.
Material on this page is for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice. Always consult your physician or pharmacist regarding medications or medical procedures.
 
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External Resources:
  1.  www.cdc.gov/coronavirus/2019-ncov/about/prevention-treatment.html
  2.  www.theverge.com/2020/3/2/21161346/hand-sanitizer-diy-how-to-hand-wash-cdc-alcohol...
  3.  www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf
  4.  www.target.com/c/hand-soap-sanitizers-personal-care/-/N-5xu1f?Nao=0
  5.  www.walmart.com/browse/personal-care/hand-sanitizers/1005862_1071969_9011420
  6.  www.walmart.com/browse/personal-care/hand-sanitizers/1005862_1071969_9011420
  7.  www.staples.com/Hand-Sanitizer-Dispensers/cat_CL220928
  8.  www.bathandbodyworks.com/c/hand-soaps/all-hand-sanitizers
  9.  www.usatoday.com/story/money/2020/03/14/hand-sanitizer-coronavirus-shortage-bath-a...
  10.  www.gojo.com/en/Newsroom/Corporate-Statements/GOJO-Manufacturing-Operations
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