Two bottles of kids hand sanitiser

The Story of ‘Bug Off’ – our children’s hand sanitiser

The Story of ‘Bug Off’ – our children’s hand sanitiser

From the start of the COVID-19 crisis, we became aware from our own families and our customers of just how harsh most hand sanitisers are on everyone’s skin but especially our kids.  Washing your hands properly with soap and water is still the best way to make sure that your hands are bug-free, but we know that’s not always practical when you are out and about or in a rush. 

We were determined there had to be a better option that whilst still highly effective against coronavirus and other nasty bugs, would also be a kinder, gentler, friendlier product suitable for young skin that children could use independently and willingly, especially as they start to return to school and nursery.


Alcohol and kids don’t mix…

Whilst the government’s advice is to use a 60%+ alcohol-based sanitiser, we’ve always felt instinctively a bit uncomfortable asking our children to effectively coat their hands in neat vodka

It turns out our instincts were right - whilst we get the 60%+ alcohol content is a simple message for a government to put out in the midst of a crisis,  things are a bit more complex and we discovered that such a high alcohol content is really not suitable for children for a number of reasons:

  • It dries young skin out making it crack – which as well as being sore and uncomfortable also increases the risk of infection getting in via the wounds.
  • Alcohol is toxic and young skin is not always an effective enough barrier to prevent absorption.
  • There are cases of children ingesting the product causing inebriation and even becoming addicted.  The Canadian Partnership for Children’s Health & Environment reports that 2-3 teaspoons of a sanitiser at this alcohol level can leave a child inebriated.
  • It’s flammable and there are reported cases of hand sanitisers igniting in certain circumstances e.g. in a hot car or from static friction caused by man-made clothing materials.
  • Whilst effective in killing germs very quickly, its effects are very short-term – as soon as the alcohol has evaporated, you’re no longer protected.


Hurrah for BZK! (better known to our clever Scrubbingtons lab-coated folk as Benzalkonium Chloride)

Thankfully we found this magic ingredient which is the active ingredient in our Bug Off hand sanitiser for kids.  It has been killing nasty bugs for decades and is contained in lots of products that have been approved as being effective against a range of nasty bacteria and viruses including coronavirus by a number of governments such as Singapore and Canada.  

Even better, it is so effective that it is only needed in a very low concentration (less than 1%) to do its bug blasting thing which means we’ve been able to pack our sanitiser full of lovely natural ingredients such as cranberry and pomegranate that have natural antiseptic and moisturising properties, perfect for young developing skin. 

BZK is a common ingredient in contact lens solutions so you can even rub your eyes after using it without worrying.  Furthermore, it is effective for several hours after it’s been applied so it will continue to protect even when it’s dried on your skin.


Fantastic foam and friendly packaging

Like most of the other products in our range, we’ve formulated Bug Off into a foam so unlike gel it sticks to smaller (and larger!) fingers and hands enabling them to use it themselves.  That’s the same whether they’re using our 200ml pump bottle as they come in and out of the house (an extra measure to supplement handwashing) or via our handy 50ml pocket pack for when they’re out and about. 

It also has a friendlier pack design, name and our lovely fresh Aloe Zest fragrance that helps to make it appear a bit less clinical for kids, reducing intimidation and encouraging regular use.

Click here to buy our NEW Bug Off hand sanitiser for kids.

NB:  Scrubbingtons hand sanitiser is suitable for children aged 3+.  Children under 3 should not be using hand sanitiser products at all and should wash their hands only.





  • What a lovely product! Received ours today. It smells lovely and love that it’s made for children as normal sanitisers was making my sons hands sore and dry. Love! Love! Love! I would definitely recommend.

    Jane on

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