Illustration for article titled Warheads hand sanitizer is here to cause chaos
Photo: galitskaya (iStock)

Once, not too long ago, the biggest story on the internet wasn’t a life-threatening worldwide pandemic, but teenagers eating candy-like morsels of washing machine detergent in the name of viral fame. Simpler times. Now we can capture the spirit of those halcyon days with Warheads-branded hand sanitizer, a product that looks way too much like actual candy and, unlike Tide Pods, is literally made by a candy company. Or so it seems.

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According to Yahoo! Lifestyle, it was Reddit users who helped bring attention to the neon-colored bottles of goop, and the Chicago Tribune later confirmed that a 7-Eleven in downtown Chicago was carrying hand sanitizers that appeared to be manufactured by a variety of candy brands, including Airheads, Mike & Ike, and Warheads. Interestingly, these Reddit users have also called attention to the fact that the product is labeled “alcohol free,” meaning that it won’t disinfect your hands and definitely doesn’t meet the 60% minimum alcohol requirement set by the CDC for combatting coronavirus.

While the website for Impact Confections (makers of Warheads candy) does list “Super Sour Double Drops” as one of their patented sugar delivery systems, Warheads-branded hand sanitizer isn’t a product they’re advertising, and this does seem like exactly the sort of thing a less-than-scrupulous overseas manufacturer might try to make a buck off of.

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We called Impact Confection’s headquarters in Janesville, Wisconsin to try to get some answers, but unfortunately weren’t able to reach anyone. So, for now, this will remain a mystery. Just remember that hand sanitizers, candy-like or not, must be at least 60% alcohol to be effective. And for the love of god, don’t drink them.

Jacob Dean is a food and travel writer and psychologist based in New York. He likes beer, less traveled airports, and is allergic to grasshoppers (the insect, not the mixed drink.)

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