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Sunday, September 23, 2007

Comparing Alcohol-Free Hand Sanitizers

One anonymous posting on this blog suggested that we're showing a decided favoritism to one particular brand.. Well--the beauty of blogging is that its a forum that allows you to share your opinion.. so if we come up with a hands down favorite every so often, we're certainly going to share that opinion.

OK..we've compared the following products, based on ingredients, packaging, variety of sizes, wholesale and retail price and availability.

Soapopoular displayed is a 100ml size. The other brands displayed are either 50ml or 65 ml. The Soapopular 100ml product sells for approximately the same price as the 50ml Hands2Go and the 50ml HandCleans. That means Soapopular is delivering 2x the value for the same price as the others. The CleanWell 3 oz ml sells for twice the price of the Soapopular 3.4oz .

4 of the 5 displayed, including Soapopoular, use benzalkonium chloride as the active ingredient, "one of safest organic compounds" and the same ingredient found in dozens of consumer healthcare products, including spermicide--a product we'd otherwise expect to be vigorously researched and tested before introducing it into a hygiene product.

A variety of independent lab tests have shown this ingredient is effective at killing upwards of 3 dozen germs, viruses and fungi, and in some cases, this alcohol-free approach kills viruses that alcohol-based products do not.

The Cleanwell product uses a homegrown 'organic' recipe that uses thyme extract as the primary ingredient. The company's marketing material indicates that its effective in killing 5 different pathogens.

Its available at WholeFoods and retails in at least two stores canvassed, for $7.99 for a 3oz l bottle.
The 3.4 oz Soapopular retails for $3.49.

In point of fact, it was hard to find any major retailer offering any of these brands just yet--simply because retail buyers are only now just beginning to get it.

Hands To Go has been in the market for about 4 years. Two retailers have test marketed the product. CleanWell is a newer entrant, and has received several profiles in connection with news media reports focusing on the danger of alcohol-based sanitizers.

Less than 4 months ago, Soapopular brand was introduced to the US from Canada where its been available for two years, and is now the category leader in that country-available at Wal-Mart Canada, London Drug and Zeller's. We're hearing that at least 3 big box chains will be launching Soapopoular on to their shelves within the next 3 months, along with 3 of the biggest supermarket chains--in total this company will have a reach into 4000+ stores before the cold/flu season takes hold.

The company also has an online store that its using to promote its US launch--and promotional pricing is available at Considering that its "full retail price" is considerably less than Hands To Go or Cleanwell, the promotional prices make this even more compelling. Hands To Go sells through its website also..

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