Candy-Themed Hand Sanitizer Exists, But We're Not Entirely Sure Why
"This is not a food item.”
Remember a month ago when everyone first started scrambling to buy hand sanitizer? Remember how we all pointed and laughed at the guy from that New York Times article who hoarded thousands of bottles of the stuff because he wanted to rip people off? We were so young and innocent then, without much of an idea of exactly what we would be in for over the weeks ahead.
But even in our desperate searches for hand sanitizer, I don’t think anyone wants or needs one of the weirdest products spotted in some time: WarHeads-themed hand sanitizer.
Spotted in a store somewhere by a Reddit user who very fittingly decided to share his find with r/WTF, the super-sour candy has lent its brand to a form of alcohol-free hand sanitizers. Based on the packaging, this combo of two bottles is available in green apple and lemon “flavors.”
Helpfully, the packaging also notes that “this is not a food item” and that it’s meant “for ages 5+.” Those almost feel like last-second add-ons after someone in a boardroom realized far too late that a colorful, candy-themed hand sanitizer probably wasn’t the best idea. Honestly, I’d love to read an oral history about how this product even made it to market in the first place.
It’s also worth pointing out that an alcohol-free hand sanitizer isn’t even all that useful at stopping the spread of COVID-19. As we all learned back when Tito’s was begging people not to turn its vodka into hand sanitizer, the CDC recommends an effective hand sanitizer should be made of at least 60 percent alcohol. So not only is this Warhead hand sanitizer ill-conceived, it’s also rather ill-suited for the current crisis as well.
Lest they get all the blame, there seem to be plenty of other questionable, candy-themed hand sanitizers on the market. The same Reddit user who found the Warheads product also spotted ICEE and Mike and Ike hand sanitizers, for example. Those photos don’t contain any info on whether or not they contain enough alcohol to effectively stop the spread of COVID-19. There's also evidence of Air Heads, Dubble Bubble, and Tootsie Roll hand sanitizer (which is still in stock if you really want to go there). They're manufactured by a company called Just for Laughs Enterprises, which does not make the list of CDC-approved hand sanitizers.
Look, I get it: the smell of hand sanitizer can be kind of off-putting to some people, so maybe jazzing things up with a fruity, candy-themed “flavor” is a way to encourage kids to actually keep their hands clean. But you’d have to think any parent with an ounce of common sense would opt for something that couldn’t be mistaken for candy. If everyone in your household is old enough to know not to eat hand sanitizer, go for it. But otherwise, “calling poison control” is definitely not something you want to add to your to-do list right now.