Coronavirus leads some to make own sanitizer

Coronavirus leads some to make own sanitizer


If you’re not prepared to fork over big bucks for a small bottle of hand sanitizer, there’s an alternative option beyond good old-fashioned hand washing with soap and water. 

Along with face masks and Clorox wipes, the alcohol-based gel has been one of the most in-demand items as coronavirus fears have sparked panic buying that has left store shelves bare. This had brought complaints of price gouging with a two-pack of Purell 12-ounce bottles selling for a marked-up $149.

For a price comparison, during back-to-school shopping this summer, eight-ounce bottles of Purell, a popular item on teachers’ wish lists, cost less than $2 between sales and coupons.

Now, shoppers are going the Do-It-Yourself route and making batches of homemade hand sanitizer with items widely available in most households.

How to prepare for coronavirus:The shopping list for your own home quarantine kit

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hand washing with soap and water is the best ways to clean your hands, but when that’s not an option recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.

The CDC says hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.

Rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel are two ingredients needed for a popular hand sanitizer recipe.

Do-It-Yourself hand sanitizer recipes: Vodka or rubbing alcohol

There are multiple ways to make your own sanitizer and one recipe posted on by chemistry expert Anne Marie Helmenstine, requires two ingredients: isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) and aloe vera gel. 

The ThoughtCo recipe calls for two-thirds of a cup of the rubbing alcohol or ethanol and a third-cup of aloe vera gel. According to the reference site, essential oils can also be added to it.

In a similar recipe, Good Housekeeping magazine uses vodka as the alcohol.

When will hand sanitizer restock?

Purell, the best-selling hand sanitizer, is pumping up production and stores say they are talking to suppliers to restock up.

Purell says it has seen higher demand from health care facilities in addition to stores. It is adding more shifts and having employees work overtime at the two Ohio facilities where most Purell is made, says Samantha Williams, a spokeswoman for its parent company Gojo Industries.


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