Many hand sanitisers falsely claim to be SABS-approved – Here is the real list

A recent investigation by SciCorp Laboratories revealed that almost half of hand sanitisers do not comply with government regulations that they should contain at least 70% alcohol.

For this investigation, 11 hand sanitisers were tested. All but one of them claimed to contain more than 70% alcohol.

The hand sanitisers were tested for ethanol, propanol, and isopropanol, and five of the 11 samples were found to contain less than 70% alcohol.

A TimesLive report by Wendy Knowler revealed that two of the hand sanitisers which claimed to contain 70% and 85% alcohol respectively only contained 46% and 55% alcohol.

What makes the situation worse is that many hand sanitiser manufacturers falsely claim to be South African Bureau of Standards (SABS)-compliant by putting the SABS logo on their products.

SABS lead administrator Jodi Scholtz said they have received 550 queries by consumers and companies related to hand sanitisers since March 2020.

She confirmed they have issued cease-and-desist letters to hand sanitiser manufacturers which falsely claimed to be SABS-compliant.

Scholtz added that they have also opened criminal cases with the police and lodged damage claims against companies.

No compulsory standards

Consumers should note that the SABS standards applicable to hand sanitisers – SANS 490 and SANS 1853 – are voluntary standards at this stage.

This means any manufacturer which approaches the SABS for certification of their product does so on a voluntary basis.

Scholtz added that they do not have enforcement capabilities. “When we do contact companies, it would be around the infringement on using the SABC mark and not the product itself,” she said.

She said enforcement is done by the National Regulator for Compulsory Specifications (NRCS), which tests products and seizes non-compliant products.

For consumers to safeguard themselves against poor-quality hand sanitisers, Scholtz advised them to look for the SANS 490 and SANS 1853 standards on bottles.

“The products should have those two standards in addition to specifying what hand sanitiser it, the manufacturer’s details and the company’s registration details,” she said.

SABS-approved hand sanitiser manufacturers

Scholtz advised consumers to purchase products from their list of reputable manufacturers who have regularly tested their products with the SABS.

SABS Mark Approved Manufacturers and Brands
Manufacturer Website Brands
Branson Chemicals (Pty) Ltd Dermasan Alcohol Sanitiser 
Blendwell Chemicals (Pty) Ltd Pearl Hand Cleaner
Bitek (Pty) Ltd HandSan
Chemical Convertors (Pty) Ltd Antibac Hand Gel
Chemtron Holdings (Pty) Ltd Steri Hands
Deluxe Chemicals CC DC Handrub
Dynachem (Pty) Ltd STERISPRAY Pick ‘n Pay Sanitiser


Ecolab (Pty) Ltd HandSan Gel
Gea Africa (Pty) Ltd Bactrojell
Infection Production Products (Pty) Ltd Sanitouch – Sanispray
Kevali Chemicals Countdown
Kenchem Magic Hand Gel
Mega Magic CC Sanihand
Medichem (Pty) Ltd Sanirub
NWL Netherland Production B.V. Spray Cleanser Alcohol Hand Rub

Flexi Enriched Foam Alcohol Plus Hand Rub

Platchem Hand Sanitiser

Hydrosan Antimicrobial

Hand Sanitizer / Twinsaver 912

Richbay Chemicals (Pty) Ltd Waterless Hand Sanitiser
Safarmex (Pty) Ltd GERMKILL
SAFIC (Pty) Ltd Sanipure
Safety Chemicals CC Hand Spray
Spectank (Pty) Ltd Resan Hand Sanitizer / Pick n’ Pay Hand Sanitizer
Specialised Maintenance Products (Pty) Ltd Betasan AntiBacteriall Gel

Betasan AntiBacterial Hand Gel Non Fragranced

Touchless Germ Control Western Cape CC GERMSTAR Hand Sanitiser


HEALTHY SPLASH Antibacterial Soap

Hymed (Pty) Ltd Betaspray liquid hand sanitizer

Betasan Alcohol Free Hand

Now read: The 1 thing you must not do if you are arrested for breaking lockdown rules in South Africa

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Many hand sanitisers falsely claim to be SABS-approved – Here is the real list