Tito’s Handmade Vodka is warning consumers to not use its spirits in do-it-yourself hand sanitizer recipes to protect against the coronavirus.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention says hand-washing with soap and water is the best way to clean your hands, but when that’s not an option, the agency recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol.
The Texas-based vodka brand said Thursday in a statement on Twitter that its vodka is 40% alcohol, which is below the CDC’s recommendation. Several brands of vodka are 80 proof as well.
Experts say it’s important to pay attention to the percentage of alcohol in the vodka or isopropyl alcohol or ethanol alcohol being used in the homemade recipes.
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Dr. David Agus, a professor of medicine and engineering at University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, suggests using a 180 proof or vodka with a higher percentage of alcohol to “have some benefit.”
Two biology professors from Benedictine University in Lisle, Illinois – Tanya Crum, an assistant professor, and Jayashree Sarathy, an associate professor – told USA TODAY that the concentration of ethanol in 80 proof vodka like Tito’s is “not concentrated enough to kill viruses.”
Crum and Sarathy also suggest 180 proof spirits, which have 90% ethanol, or higher. Everclear vodka, for instance, has 190 proof and 95% alcohol.
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Follow USA TODAY reporter Kelly Tyko on Twitter: @KellyTyko