Can We Make Our Own Hand Sanitizer During Coronavirus Shortage?

Saturday, March 14, 2020 - 13:26

The World Health Organization recommends a recipe so that everyone can make his/her own hand sanitizer during coronavirus shortage.

The World Health Organization recommends a recipe containing nine parts 99 percent isopropyl alcohol (also known as rubbing alcohol), a bit of hydrogen peroxide and a moisturizing agent, such as glycerol or aloe vera gel, though it appears to be written for Nobel laureates rather than mortals, the Bridge reports.

You can concoct your own recipe from aloe vera and 99 percent rubbing alcohol (or seek inspiration from a host of recipes posted online) so long as the mixture is made of at least 60 percent alcohol. Any less, and it won’t be an effective germ-killer, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

But note it is important to get the concentration right or your sanitizer may not be effective or will be too harsh on your skin, which is why several health organizations urge people to avoid DIY concoctions.

If you insist, John Protaciewicz, chair of Case Western Reserve University’s Chemistry Department, recommends a ratio of rubbing alcohol to aloe vera as 2/3 cup to 1/3 cup, which could work out to about 62 percent alcohol, just above CDC guidelines.

But also note: Sanitizer is no substitute for hand washing. The best way to keep germs including coronavirus off your hands is to wash for at least 20 seconds with soap and water.

Here is additional guidance on how to prevent the spread of disease:

Wash your hands often, especially after blowing your nose, coughing, sneezing, or engaging in other activities that may dirty your hands. Use soap and water and scrub for at least 20 seconds.

Avoid touching your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands.

Avoid coming into contact with others who are sick.

If you are sick, stay home and avoid contact with others.

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