This gel can come in handy during cold and flu season and in extremely germy situations like hospitals, medical clinics, and doctors offices. And while dermatologists recommend you don’t overuse it on your hands—it can really dry them out—there are plenty of other uses that you may never have thought of: Keeping hand sanitizer around the house is a great idea, germs or no germs. Check out the 10 other things dermatologists really don’t like putting on their hands.
With the advent of dry shampoos, you can spray a little on to make your hair look fresh-washed when you don’t have time for washing and blow-drying. But if you’re out of dry shampoo, try some hand sanitizer: Simply squeeze a bit out onto your fingertips and massage lightly into your roots, and your hair will look just as good.
Clean your flat iron
If you haven’t cleaned the surface of your flat iron in a while, grab your hand sanitizer and get to work. The iron can be coated not only with hair products but bacteria. After the iron cools down, smear on some hand sanitizer, wait a few minutes, and then wipe it clean.
Clean hairspray off your mirror
When you’re spritzing with hairspray, it’s easy for the mirror to get caught in the crossfire. Getting it off your mirror can take a little effort—but it’s easier with some hand sanitizer. Simply place some on a microfiber cloth or paper towel, wipe, and your mirror will sparkle again. Also, make sure to check out these household uses for vinegar you never knew, either.
If your kids—or you—accidentally wrote on your whiteboard with a Sharpie or other permanent marker, here’s an easy remedy: First write over the permanent marker with a dry erase pen, and then wipe it all off using hand sanitizer. You may need to do this a few times to remove all traces.
Even the makers of Tide detergent acknowledge that a bit of hand sanitizer can effectively pre-treat stains on clothing. Rub some in, let it sit for one to three minutes, blot it away and apply Tide, and then wash as directed on the garment’s label.
Remove a sticky label
Just like hairspray, adhesive residue is tough to remove with just soap and water. Whether you’re removing adhesive residue from your skin, furniture, wall, new dishes, or a handbag, hand sanitizer will make the job easier.
Take the ouch of removing a bandaid
Instead of ripping off an adhesive bandage, rub some hand sanitizer over the sticky ends to release the adhesive. Wait a minute, and then painlessly remove the strip.
Clean your keyboard
Did you realize that your keyboard can be just as dirty as a toilet seat? To address the keyboard problem, keep your hands clean, and wipe your keyboard with hand sanitizer on a cloth—preferably microfiber. Be sure to unplug it or turn it off first.
Clean your mouse
Thanks to its location and similar use, your computer mouse is every bit as grimy as your keyboard, according to CNET. Again, give it a little wipe down with a microfiber cloth and hand sanitizer. If you use a touchpad, give it the same treatment—just always remember to shut everything down first.
Clean your touchscreen
The fact that it’s called a “touchscreen” indicates that it needs cleaning from time to time. The best way, according to PC Tablet, is to squirt some hand sanitizer on that microfiber cloth you’ve been using and wipe gently.
Wipe down a public toilet seat
Before you sit down on a public toilet seat, squirt some hand sanitizer on a wad of toilet paper and wipe down the surface. This may help you overcome any squeamishness you have about sharing the seat with strangers.
Remove nail polish
Don’t have nail polish remover on hand? Clean up your nails with hand sanitizer, advises Bustle. Apply some and let it sit for one minute. Using a cotton pad or tissue, wipe away and then repeat until your nail’s clean. When you do have nail polish remover on hand, consider using it in one of these 12 extraordinary ways.
Eliminate fingerprints on stainless steel
Fingerprints can ruin the look of your stainless steel appliances, but you don’t need to buy special stainless steel cleaner if you have hand sanitizer. On a cloth, the gel will remove fingerprints, spattered oil, and other grease marks.
Clean your diamond ring
While not all gemstones are candidates for cleaning by hand sanitizer, diamonds can withstand the process and the results will be sparkling. Avoid using sanitizer if the setting is gold- or silver-plated, though, as the cleaner can disturb the plating. Next, check out more extraordinary uses for household staples you already own.