I keep a bottle of hand sanitizer on my desk at work, as I touch a lot of things throughout the day. When I used it yesterday, a bit must've been left in the pump track or opening. So I was about to use it and I see that in the opening it looks opaque, kind of like lotion. I press the pump and it releases the opaque portion followed by the normal, gooey sanitizer.

What caused this chemical change? The air conditioning in our building is still on, but at about 6 p.m., the HVAC is turned off. Our lowest temps at night are between the 40s and the 50s.

Please clarify what is going on, particularly if something is wrong with this sanitizer and I need to throw it away.

  • $\begingroup$ Thank you, Bon. The ingredients are ethyl alcohol, water, isopropyl alcohol, caprylyl glycol, acrytates/C10-30 alkyl acrylate crosspolymer, glycerin, fragrance, aminomethyl propanol, isopropyl myristate and tocopheryl acetate. I will work on better tags. $\endgroup$ – Pat Oct 7 '15 at 15:42
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    $\begingroup$ I don’t think the sanitiser’s gone bad. At the same time, $99.99999999999\dots~\%$ of people who use a hand sanitiser don’t need to. (And probably shouldn’t because it’s bad for the skin, but that’s beside the point.) $\endgroup$ – Jan Oct 7 '15 at 15:48

Given the list of ingredients in Pat's comment, I would strongly doubt that a chemical reaction has occurred here, and suggest that most likely the volatile solvents ethanol and isopropanol have evaporated, leaving a cloudy residue of the remaining ingredients. Your concern of a possible hazard is appreciated, but I would say no worries.

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