Gary and Shannon

Gary and Shannon

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#StrangeScience - Why your hand sanitizer stinks

Hand Sanitizer, the stuff is everywhere. Here at the KFI studios we've had a couple of hand sanitizer stations placed around the building. Everyone who's used them so far says the same thing, "This stuff smells like ****!"

We'll leave it up to your imagination to figure out what **** is. We'll just say it rhymes with malls. It's not just our imagination that sanitizer smells different, it turns out there's an actual reason why.

Waterless hand sanitizer for us regular people started becoming popular in the late 80's with the introduction of Purell. They used a mix of 70% ethyl alcohol mixed with propylene glycol and used a mild citrus scent to hide any gross alcohol smells.

Pretty much all sanitizers use that formula. So what's up with this new stink? Bryan Zlotnik, chief operating officer of fragrance manufacturer Alpha Aromatics, told The New York Times:

“That off-putting smell is the natural byproduct of ethanol being made from corn, sugar cane, beets and other organic sources. Ethyl alcohol] production is highly regulated. It stinks because these new brands — many made by distillers who’ve pivoted from producing drinking alcohol to meet public demand for hand sanitizer — are making and using denatured ethanol. This ethanol costs significantly less than ethanol filtered using activated carbon filtration, which would typically remove almost all contaminants and the malodor with it.”

They may all be smelly, but they'll have to do for now. We get into this more in today's edition of #StrangeScience. We also talk about a dismembered man who was put back together for his own funeral.

It's dark, it's smelly, it's time for #StrangeScience! Please remember, we do not allow open toe shoes in the lab!

Photo Credit: Getty Images

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