Formulating hand sanitizer; Anti-viral additives to replace alcohol and thickeners for alcohol-based formulations

Blog Archive | 5 minutes  | Author: Kulvinder Kaur , MChem.

Hand Sanitizer

The outbreak of the COVID-19 pandemic has rapidly caused a decline in the supply of hand sanitizer and antiviral wet wipes. As manufacturers across the globe are trying to keep up with demand - by producing these types of sanitizing products, the availability of raw materials decreases significantly. Are you struggling to get hold of key raw materials to produce hand cleansing products? If so, then we have two solutions for you.


Alcohol-free hand sanitizer

Iscaguard VIR is an anti-viral active which can be used instead of alcohol in hand sanitizers. In a Virucidal Suspension Test, according to EN14476:2005, it can be concluded that Iscaguard VIR is effective against Human Influenza Virus A (H1N1), Norovirus and HFMFD at 1% w/w. When evaluated in sterile hard water, under clean conditions at 5 minutes contact time, it yields a log reduction of > 4.0 against all of the viruses tested - representing a kill rate of > 99.99%. This fully complies with the requirements of the test and substantiates an antiviral claim against H1N1, norovirus and HFMD in the form Coxsackievirus.

In addition, this product will provide antibacterial and fungicidal properties and is not limited to use in hand sanitizers – it can also be used in wet wipes at the same concentration level.

A starting point formulation is given below that incorporates Iscaguard VIR (Table 1).


Component Weight (%)
Deionized water 96.3
Disodium EDTA 0.1
Carbomer 0.1
Propylene glycol 2.0
Cocamide DEA 0.2
PEG 200 Laurate 0.3
Iscaguard VIR 1.0
Triethanolamine q.s.
Fragrance q.s.

Table 1. Starting point formulation for an alcohol-free hand sanitizer.


Alcohol-based hand sanitizer

Are you struggling to find a thickener for your antiviral hand gel? Aevum Vita 500 is a cosmetic grade thickener based on polyacrylamide. Unlike conventional thickeners, like carbomer, this product is supplied in liquid form for ease of use and does not require pre-neutralisation before use. To form an effective gel with alcohol-based formulations, at least 2-3% is required.

If this is of interest, please contact Lawrence Industries and we can assist you with your formulation.


How we can help

Please call our technical sales team on 01827 314151 to see how we can help you meet the global demand for these critical products. 

Author: Kulvinder Kaur , MChem.

Kulvinder studied Chemistry at the University of Leicester, where she obtained a first class degree. She looks after all of the industry sections across England and Wales.