The #1 Most Searched “Anti-Germ” Item — by U.S. State [Data Study]

lady washing her hands with alcohol gel

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The coronavirus (COVID-19) has become a worldwide situation with thousands of cases reported, and in the U.S., more being reported every day as testing becomes more available. In response to concerns about infection and the spread of the virus, travel, work, and other aspects of individual’s lives have been disrupted.

Doctors, health professionals, and government officials have urged people to take extra care when washing hands and to wipe down surfaces that get frequent use, such as tables, chairs, desks, and counters.

Many people have taken this a step further by stocking up on hand sanitizer, face or surgical masks, antibacterial soap, and other ‘anti-germ’ items, whether or not there is any proof of them stopping the spread of the virus. Stores around the country are seeing shortages of these and other items.

With many stores out of these supplies, you might be wondering which are people looking to buy online. Using search data from Google Shopping, we found the top searched anti-germ item in each state. Here’s what we found.

Most Popular Anti-Germ Item by State

Most Searched Anti Germ Term by US State MAP

The above map shows the item most searched for by state. Out of the 9 item terms analyzed in the study, 8 were the top in at least one state. The chart below shows the number of states where the given item was the top searched item:

Most Searched AntiGerm Nationwide

With brick-and-mortar stores unable to keep up with the demand for hand sanitizer, Americans are turning to ordering online. Hand sanitizer was the top searched item in 18 states, nearly double that of germ masks, which came in second in popularity by state count.

Hand sanitizer not only lead in state count, but also lead in some of the most populous ones, such as California and Florida. Germ masks, a fairly broad shopping term, was second with 9 states and antibacterial soap was third with 7.

While officials have stated that regular soap and water will be enough with the proper length of time, it hasn’t stopped folks from buying up antibacterial soap.

Similarly, officials and health professionals have stated that masks, specifically the N95 masks, meant for professionals, are not effective against catching the virus for average people. Instead, face masks should be for health professionals or people who have the virus and are trying to limit the spread of germs.

Most Searched Anti Germ Term by US State


We used Google Shopping search interest from March 2, 2020, until March 9, 2020, analyzing 9 different anti-germ or germ-fighting items. The term with the highest amount of search interest was considered the most searched item.

Final Thoughts

The coronavirus is something that should be taken seriously, especially if you’re a senior citizen or have a preexisting condition that could make you more vulnerable. However, it’s important to listen to officials and health professionals on what is effective and what is not effective when it comes to preventative measures.

This means:

Taking Proper Preventative Care

WHO’s standard recommendations to reduce exposure to and transmission of a range of illnesses include:

  • Frequently clean hands by using alcohol-based hand rub or soap and water.
  • Use a flexed elbow or tissue when coughing and sneezing to cover your mouth. Throw the tissue away immediately and wash your hands.
  • Avoid close contact with anyone who has a fever and cough.
  • Avoid direct contact with live animals and surfaces they may have touched when visiting live markets in areas currently experiencing cases.

If you’re traveling during this time, use these tips and be careful about who and what you come into contact with. With a fast-spreading virus like this one, it’s important to do your part in reducing your risk and your risk to others.

All information and content provided by Upgraded Points is intended as general information and for educational purposes only, and should not be interpreted as medical advice or legal advice. For more information, see our Medical & Legal Disclaimers.

Alex Miller

About Alex Miller

Alex has been traveling for over 25 years and from a young age was lucky enough to set out on numerous family trips all over the world, which gave him the travel bug. Alex has since earned millions of travel points and miles, mainly through maximizing credit card sign-up bonuses and taking every opportunity to earn the most points possible on each dollar spent.

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