Pure and Safe Personal Care: Sanitizer with Gas Chromatography

Pure and Safe Personal Care: Sanitizer with Gas Chromatography

You will be selling safe hand sanitizer at advertised ethanol volumes.

Multiple controls have been instituted to guarantee you will receive sanitizer containing ethanol at advertised levels without contamination or impurities.

The Problems

The FDA issued no less than 4 warnings regarding hand sanitizer last month, several as recent as last week.  The FDA has been warning consumers about the hazards of hand sanitizer made with methanol on the market stating that it can be absorbed through the skin.  Methanol’s toxic effects in sufficient quantities causes nausea, blindness, and death among other symptoms.  NBC News reported this week that 15 adults were hospitalized and four died after consuming sanitizer with methanol.  Moreover, some products on the market, the FDA warns, have alarmingly low levels of ethyl or isopropyl alcohol making them ineffective at defending against Covid-19.

BPI Labs has heard other stories from its customers.  In a conversation with a customer last week we learned that their last manufacturer of hand sanitizer ruined their product by mixing bad ethanol with good ethanol, believing all ethanol is manufactured similarly.  Almost as recently, another customer complained that a manufacturer produced smelly hand sanitizer because they incorrectly believed that all ethanol sources have the same purity, purpose, and commercial grade.  BPI Labs has been instituting redundant safeguards against these outcomes, which include locating several reliable suppliers of cosmetic ethanol, onsite tests with gas chromatography, and purchasing a carbon filtration system.

The Solutions

BPI Labs purchased a $20,000 gas chromatography system that can indicate not only the purity and concentration of a sample of ethanol, but it will identify the presence of other impurities, such as methanol, in the sample. Since this system can reliably tell us the purity of ethanol within minutes, every shipment of ethanol to our facility will be tested before we receive it into our facility and especially before it is used or intermixed with other batches of product. Moreover, BPI Labs will source its ethanol from a single, reliable source to minimize the intermixing of differently manufactured ethanols.

Finding sources of good ethanol is a high priority for BPI Labs, and we have found several sources for ethanol in the event that a source becomes unavailable. Our primary supplier for ethanol presently triple filters ethanol to remove odors and impurities from the product. Our management team is evaluating and authorizing other suppliers of ethanol only if they filter ethanol for cosmetic use. In the event that sources of ethanol become difficult to locate, BPI Labs has also purchased an activated charcoal filter system that is designed to remove impurities from ethanol, and with our gas chromatography machine, we can certify the purity of the ethanol being used in your hand sanitizer.


Creating the assurance of a quality product for our customers is a top priority as we bring hand sanitizer production online. If you are looking for a new source for hand sanitizer, set up a meeting with us today to discuss how we can meet your needs.

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Tubes Win, Bottles Lose in Cosmetics

Tubes Win, Bottles Lose in Cosmetics

The Experiment

Last week we asked a great, domestic tube manufacturer and supplier for tube prices to compare with bottles. 

The results are in: You can have hand sanitizer in tubes with caps from a single supplier, in continuous supply, that also have a printed label, and come with applied metallic safety seal for significantly less than bottles with only 6 – 8 weeks lead-time.

Tube Prices

The prices we received were for tubes with pre-applied caps and metallic, induction, pre-applied, safety seals and 4-color print from a single supplier.  The prices we received are below:


Tube Vol.(fl.oz.


$ per 25K Ordered

$ per 100K Ordered


1″ x 3.5″




1 3/8″ x 3.75″




1 3/8″ x 5 1/16″




1.5″ x 5 7/16




2″ x 5.5″




2″ x 6 13/16″



Tube Specifications

The specifications on these tubes were the following:


Tube Type


Tube Length

+/- 1/16″

Outer Layer Blend


Outer Color


Head Color


Cap Style


Cap Color



4-Color Offset


Matte Coating

Safety Seal


Bottle Pricing

We also purchased an 8 fl.oz. Boston round bottle in June and 4 fl.oz. sharp-shoulder with disk-top cap in March for some of our customers.  Note: the pricing for the bottles is at all volume purchases.  The pricing came in at:


8 oz. Clear Boston Round Bottle 24-410 $0.21991 4 oz. Sharp Shoulder LPDE Bottle 24-410 $0.19413
Bottle Shipping $0.02 Bottle Shipping $0.02
Black Saddle Pump Locking $0.245 White PP 24-410 Flip Cap $0.06
Pump Shipping $0.03 Cap Shipping $0.02
Labels $0.13538 Labels $0.12
Labels Shipping $0.01 Labels Shipping $0.01
Total per Unit: $0.6603 Total per Unit: $0.4241
The Comparison

The differences between bottles and tubes are stark:


8 fl.oz. Bottle 8 fl.oz. Tube 4 fl.oz Bottle 4 fl.oz. Tube
Suppliers: 3 1 3 1
Components: $.60029 $.35 $.37413 $.30
Shipping: $.06 $.03 $.05 $.03
Totals: $0.6603 $0.38 $0.42413 $0.33
Percent Difference: / -42% / -22.19%
Are you able to find better pricing?

Even if you are successfully finding better pricing for bottles, you are probably purchasing the cap or pump separately and you are having these bottles either screen-printed or you are paying a manufacturer to print sticky labels.  Only after all the packaging arrives, usually from separate suppliers, BPI Labs must setup a long line of machines to load bottles, fill them, apply a cap, maybe apply a label, apply a screen code, and then feed them onto a collection table where they are boxed.  Our tubing machine does all of this by itself, which significantly reduces your cost of manufacturing hand sanitizer.

If you can have all the packaging you’d want, from a single source, not including case or master pack, for the same price as bottles or for less, then why use bottles that come with the extra supply-chain hassle and manufacturing costs?  Bottles not only make less economic sense, but you can read here the many other reasons that tubes make more sense than bottles to fill with hand sanitizer.  Speaking of bottles, has anyone got a lead on some available sources for us?  Asking for a friend.

Size Availability

The tube sizes you can purchase include those in the table above, but given a large enough order and lead-time we could have custom parts purchased to fit many different size tubes into our new Norden tube filling machine. BPI Labs will have the first Norden tube machine customized with additional safety features to make hand sanitizer in tubes a safe and efficient process.

Updated Conclusion

While prices have changed since this article was written, which was during the height of the 2020 pandemic, tubes have been perennially cheaper to manufacture.  To manufacture your tubed product, BPI Labs sets up a single machine instead of a line of machines, and you’ll see this difference in your bottom line.  Working with a single supplier and using the simpler tube components means you can’t have manufactured product for less.  Hopefully, this article provides enough reason for you to contact us and find out if hand sanitizer in tubes makes sense for your market and brand.

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Personal Care in Bulk: Getting You Hand Sanitizer Capacity

Personal Care in Bulk: Getting You Hand Sanitizer Capacity

No less than 20,000 gallons a day in productive capacity is anticipated to come online beginning mid-August 2020.

Several new approaches to processing hand sanitizer in high volume are being engineered by BPI Labs. These approaches will bring the cost of sanitizer production down while significantly increasing the volume of sanitizer production available to our customers.

Bringing mass hand sanitizer manufacturing to you has us making many changes to our infrastructure.  For example, we are building a tank farm to house and receive raw materials from tankers, and our first tank arrived this week.  After sanitizer is completed in bulk, newly installed piping will transport the hand sanitizer directly to our filling machinery.  New high-speed machinery has already been purchased and more is being sourced, but the manufacturers we’ve been corresponding with tell us new machinery may not be available for up to a year.  We were able to purchase some excellent machines even though the market supply of equipment is drying up.


Available packaging for sanitizer products


For bottling production, BPI Labs already has capacity to produce hundreds of thousands of bottled hand sanitizer if a source for bottles can be found. (See our blog on why tubes might be a better packaging solution than bottles.) New, high-speed, rotary bottling machinery has been purchased that will push our bottling capacity into millions of bottled units monthly.  Additional explosion proofing is being installed, and the machinery should come online in the next few months.


We purchased a new and custom engineered Norden tube machine designed specifically to fill hand sanitizer without risk of fire or damage.  Formulations for hand sanitizer contain upwards of 80% ethanol, and this can make for an explosive situation when using a heating element to seal a tube.  Our understanding is that no other manufacturer has had any safety measures added to their tube machine designs until now. 


Finally, BPI Labs already has a state-of-the-art packet/sachet filling machine capable of filling one-time use hand sanitizer packets, which may be perfect for travel and medical industries or for sampling in new markets.  This machine is capable of filling 84,000 packets a day in duplex mode.  You should consider tacking on packets to an order of hand sanitizer bottled or tubed since you will be able to meet MOQ’s more easily and use these packets to introduce your products into new markets.  You can see some of our packet options here.

Updated Conclusion

BPI Labs has mass hand sanitizer product now available. Multiple packaging options and fragrances are being offered to our customers. Contact us to learn about how you can have hand sanitizer manufactured for your brand at BPI Labs.

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You Need Hand Sanitizer in Tubes

You Need Hand Sanitizer in Tubes

Tubes are a ready, domestic, and continuous source of packaging that could be ideal for your hand sanitizer.

Sources for hand sanitizer packaging have been difficult to locate. The remaining sources of packaging have dubious quality controls, and above average prices and lead times. Tubes, however, have remained widely available, cost-effective, and the sources reliable.

 Some customers approaching BPI Labs for hand sanitizer assume that BPI Labs has a ready source of bottles.  While we have found some sources in China and India, we are relying more on our customers to have a source for bottles. This is why we believe our customers should consider tubes instead if they need new sources of packaging.

BPI Labs has been in discussions with domestic tube suppliers regarding lead times, availability, and pricing. The encouraging news is that tube suppliers are not seeing bottlenecks in their ability to provide a continuous supply of tubes in a 6 – 8 week lead time at prices competitive with bottles. Moreover, tubes provide many advantages that bottles do not, and we can break these down into two categories: manufacturing convenience and customer utility.

Manufacturing Convenience:
  • The first benefit has already been stated, which is the 6 – 8 week lead time for high volumes of economical packaging sourced domestically.
  • Caps come pre-installed on tubes, which cuts down on manufacturing costs, lead times, and reduces the logistical burden of sourcing, validating compatibility, and shipping caps.
  • Tubes come pre-printed with labels and will not need to be applied to the container during manufacturing, which provides the same benefits as caps. Additionally, printed tubes tend to have a more consistent and appealing aesthetic.
  • Tubes can come with safety/security seals pre-installed. These seals are applied by induction, which use heat to apply the seal to the container. It would be difficult and dangerous to apply induction seals to bottles because sanitizer has a high concentration of flammable and volatile alcohol.  We are not aware of any other seal-type that works well with hand sanitizer.
Benefits a brand owner will see:
  1. Tubes have a wide range of orifice sizes available for you to choose from, and choosing the right orifice size will help the user apply a reasonable amount of hand sanitizer every time.
  2. In hot conditions the volatile alcohol in bottles will evaporate and create pressure in the container. If the container is set on its side and then opened again, sanitizer will sometimes expel in an uncontrolled fashion and create a mess. Inflexible bottles will tend to create more pressure and more mess, but the highly flexible tube is less likely to create a large mess or a mess at all.
  3. Consumers will like how easily the tube can be squeezed, unlike a plastic bottle.
  4. Tubes may fit personal carriers, like purses and backpacks more readily than a bottle.


BPI Labs anticipates that sourcing bottles for hand sanitizer will be difficult in the coming months. However, we will have tube production available beginning the third quarter of 2020 with a new Norden tubing machine designed to safely and rapidly produce hand sanitizer in tubes.

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New Cosmetic: Hand Sanitizer Expansion 2020

New Cosmetic: Hand Sanitizer Expansion 2020

Update – Mass Hand Sanitizer Now Available

Mass Hand Sanitizer is available now for bulk and packaged filled product.  Multiple fragrances and multiple packaging options available.  See more information here!

BPI Labs is announcing new, mass hand sanitizer production by end of summer 2020.

Manufacturing is expanding to accommodate 20,000 gallons per day of hand sanitizer production with the ability to produce millions of units of packaged sanitizer every month.

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