Expert explains why you shouldn’t store hand sanitiser bottles in your car in hot weather

A sanitising gel has become the handbag addition we probably wouldn’t really have given space to at the start of this year, but now we wouldn’t dare leave home without it.

While we should all keep one on us, especially if we’re travelling to work and back, it could potentially catch fire if you’re storing it in your car in this hot weather.

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It’s for this reason that occupational health and safety training specialists CE Safety say NHS workers have been asked to remove all of their alcohol-based sanitisers from their cars, in case the alcohol in them evaporates and emits flammable vapours – which apparently then could ignite in normal air conditions within the car.

“Our advice is to remove alcohol-based hand sanitisers when the British public leave their cars,” says a spokesperson from CE Safety.

“If it’s 25 degrees outside, the estimated vehicle interior air temperature can reach up to 50 degrees if left for a couple of hours. So it is no surprise to see pictures circulating showing severely damaged vehicles due to hand sanitiser bottles that had ignited inside a vehicle sitting in direct sunlight.”

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Not only do they seem to pose a fire risk, pressure could also build up inside a bottle of hand sanitiser, causing it to explode when the cap of the bottle is opened. Which might not make you the most popular person in the Tesco queue!

If you’re thinking about switching to an alcohol-free formula, then that might not be the best solution as Which say you need at least 60 per cent alcohol content for hand sanitiser to work properly and kill any germs.

To be on the safe side it’s best to stick to an alcohol formula, but to store your gel out of the sun and in the cool safety of your bag.

Shop the best new hand gels for your handbag

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Sanctuary Spa Antibacterial Hand Gel Spray, buy it here for £5

This has a fresh, citrusy scent, but also kills 99.9 per cent of bacteria.

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This Works Stress Check Clean Hands, buy it here for £4

Formulated with an essential oil blend of lavender, neroli and camomile, it helps relieve feelings of stress and anxiety while also cleansing hands with a 70 per cent alcohol formula.

OSKIA Safe Hands Hand Sanitiser, buy it here for £8

With a 62 per cent alcohol formula, this cleanses but also keeps hands moisturised with added glycerin.

Bramley Hand Sanitiser Gel, buy it here from £8

This new alcohol-based hand gel also contains rosemary and peppermint to give you a little mood boost.

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