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May 14, 2020

Here is an interesting question.  Can hand sanitizer kill creeping bentgrass on greens?  While we didn't see this one coming, we probably should have.   Given the greater emphasis on the use of hand sanitizers during the covid-19 virus outbreak, it was inevitable that people would begin to spill it on greens.

We have known for a long time that mosquito repellent, at least most of them, can kill bentrgass.  See our previous blog on mosquito repellents.  However, we did not know the answer when it came to hand sanitizers.  When this happens, we generally set up some type of experiment to find the answer.   Ben coated his hands with Purell hand sanitizer and put 4 hand prints on a research bentgrass green at Iowa State Universities turfgrass research facility north of Ames, IA.  This was done on May 7, 2020.   At first it looked like damage would be minor, however, by day 6 there was clearly damage.  See the picture below.  So, the answer to the question is yes, hand sanitizer can definitely damage bentgrass.  We will keep you posted on the recovery time as it occurs.