Since the recent outbreak of Coronavirus / Covid 19, we are being told to clean our hands more often. As a result, people have been going out and stockpiling hand sanitisers, causing stores to run out of stock.
This shortage of hand sanitiser has seen the rise of people making their own home made hand sanitiser, using everything from vodka to essential oils, most of which are simply not effective!
First things first, creating your own hand sanitisers out of vodka, essential oils, or rum is a no no. Those products simply do not contain enough alcohol to be effective, since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends that hand sanitiser needs to contain at least 60 percent alcohol to actually reduce your chances of getting sick and prevent spreading germs to other people, and specifically for Covid 19, “alcohol solutions with at least 70% alcohol should be used in order to be effective”
However, there is a challenge: getting your hands on un-diluted alcohol is difficult, Even the 80% proof alcohol only contain about 40% alcohol, and rubbing alcohol and isopropyl alcohol are pre-diluted with water before they’re bottled and put on the shelf - Their specific concentration is always indicated clearly on the label, usually 70 percent or 90-91 percent alcohol.
Even when making hand sanitiser with alcohol of the correct concentration, there is still no guarantee the concoction would be effective against Covid 19, since the mixtures were never intended to be anti microbial, and could even damage your skin!
What To Do If You Can’t Find Hand Sanitiser Your best bet if hand sanitiser runs out is really good old-fashioned soap and water. Sanitisers are not as effective as washing your hands with soap and water, and should only be considered as a back up when no soap and water is available!!
Reminder: the CDC recommends scrubbing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds when you wash them; don’t forget to include your wrist.
If however you feel compelled to make your own hand sanitiser, look up this guidance from the word Health organisation on how to make effective hand sanitisers.
“To produce final concentrations of ethanol 80% v/v, glycerol 1.45% v/v, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) 0.125% v/v. Pour into a 1000 ml graduated flask: * ethanol 96% v/v, 833.3 ml * H2O2 3%, 41.7 ml * glycerol 98%,14.5 ml Top up the flask to 1000 ml with distilled water or water that has been boiled and cooled; shake the flask gently to mix the content.”