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Hand Sanitizer Fire Project

Easy Fire Project with Flames You Can Hold


Flame temperature and color depends on the fuel that is being burned.

Flame temperature and color depends on the fuel that is being burned. This ethanol and water mixture produces a flame that is cool enough to hold.

Anne Helmenstine

Here is an easy fire project that produces flames cool enough for you to hold. The secret ingredient? Hand sanitizer!

Hand Sanitizer Fire Materials

Be sure your hand sanitizer lists ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol as the active ingredient. Other chemicals may not work or they may burn too hot.
  • hand sanitizer gel
  • lighter or match


  1. On a fire-proof surface, make a pattern using the gel.


  2. Ignite the edge of the gel. The flame will spread.


  3. If you like, you can touch the flame. Be careful! Although the hand sanitizer flame is relatively cool, it is still fire and it can burn you.

Colored Fire

You can mix colorants into the hand sanitizer gel to produce a colored flame. Boric acid or borax (found in cleaners and pest control products) will produce a green flame. Potassium chloride (lite salt) will give you a purple flame.

Watch the video of this project.

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