CORRECTION: Storing Hand Sanitizer in Your Hot Car Will Not Spark Fires

Western Lakes Fire District & D Coetzee via Flickr

UPDATE: The original claim (that hand sanitizer could spark car fires) has since been fact checked and proven inaccurate. The Western Lakes Fire Department has since updated their Facebook post (below) and apologized for any misunderstandings. Please head over to USA Today’s article to read up on the full backstory.

At this point in life, if you don’t have a bottle of hand sanitizer tucked away in your car so that you can squeeze a dollop into your hands after every outing, are you even living in 2020?

Thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic, It’s become pretty much the norm to leave a bottle of the sanitizing solution in your car (and every touchpoint in your home for that matter).

Most people leave their sanitizer in the center console of their car, making it easy to get into your car, remove your mask and gloves if you’re wearing them, and lather up your hands to reduce your risk of infection.

However, experts have recently expressed some concern with leaving hand sanitizer in your car in light of the warmer summer weather we’re about to experience. It turns out that the combination of hand sanitizer in a hot car can cause be dangerous and cause some pretty unfortunate consequences.

“By its nature, hand sanitizer is essentially alcohol and therefore flammable,” stated a Milwaukee fire district in a Facebook post that’s since racked up thousands of shares. “Keeping it in your car during hot weather, exposing it to the sun, and being next to open flame such as grills can lead to disaster.”


It makes sense. After all, we also know that leaving plastic bottles in your vehicle is a recipe for disaster. And since most sanitizer bottles are made from plastic, this is no different.

You might want to reconsider a different place to store your sanitizers, such as your purse or pocket. If you still want to keep it in your vehicle, the bottle may also be safer inside your glove compartment or back of the trunk of your car, where direct sunlight wouldn’t be hitting it.

Do you store hand sanitizer in the front console of your car? Where will be your next alternative for storing the bottle, now that you know it can catch on fire if it’s in the car too long?