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Q. May I use hand sanitizer on Shabbos and Yom Tov?

A. Rav Gedalia Dov Schwartz, zt"l, said that using a hand sanitizer such as Purell on Shabbos and Yom Tov is no different than using liquid soap; Iggeros Moshe (OC 1:113) holds that this is not permissible, but many Poskim hold that it is permitted (see Shemiras Shabbos K'hilchaso 14:16). Rav Schwartz accepts this latter approach. [Hand sanitizers and hand soaps contain fragrances which do impart a pleasant smell to the person's hand, but Rav Schwartz said that most Poskim follow Chacham Tzvi 92 who (argues on Taz 511:8 and) holds this doesn't pose a concern.]

It should be noted that the hands-free Purell dispenser found in some public buildings is battery operated and should not be used on Shabbos or Yom Tov.