Making Your Own Hand Sanitizer
COVID-19 has brought on many unexpected shortages, including masks, gloves, and even certain types of foods in the grocery stores. One of the first items that disappeared from shelves was hand sanitizer. As most people know, hand sanitizer is quick and easy to use and comes in handy when soap and water are not readily available.
Hand sanitizer is something most people don’t think twice about using. It typically comes in convenient to-go sizes, and many of us have become accustomed to using this item both in and away from home. It is not unusual for people to carry this disinfectant product in their purses, backpacks, or even cars. We are so used to having hand sanitizer, it can be unnerving to know that you may not be able to find it during your next shopping trip.
So, when you’re in the store and reach for the hand sanitizer but realize the shelf is still not stocked, what happens next? While there are stories all over the internet of people hoarding supplies of this product, you do not have to reach that level of concern. As it is next-to-impossible for most people to find many health products on local store shelves, people have turned to finding inventive ways to keep themselves (and their families) protected from germs.
People have turned to creating their own hand sanitizers within their homes just by using a couple of ingredients you can still buy in stores these days. The process is quick and easy, and you will have an easier time finding the separate ingredients for your own concoction rather than buying premade sanitizer.
The New York Times notes that the most popular hand sanitizer recipe calls for two parts rubbing alcohol (91% variety is best) and one part aloe vera gel. A recipe on the CBS website suggests using this same portion of ingredients, including the option to add a few drops of an essential oil for fragrance if you want to be extra creative. An important thing to remember is that the alcohol percentage should be at least 60%, otherwise you risk making the solution too weak, and thus, ineffective.
It is also helpful to note that making your own sanitizer at home often results in a different texture than typical store-bought types, so you should be prepared to end up with a slightly runnier product than you are probably used to. This variation shouldn’t affect the efficacy of your product.
You can store the prepared sanitizer in closed containers for several weeks without its effectiveness being compromised. Be sure to keep the product out of the reach of children and pets, as ingesting large amounts can lead to alcohol poisoning.
Once you are whipping up your own batches of hand sanitizer, should you forgo handwashing? The experts say no. An important consideration to keep in mind throughout this pandemic is that the Center for Disease Control (CDC) still stresses that handwashing with soap and water should take precedence over hand sanitizer for combatting the coronavirus. 20 seconds of handwashing is still one of the easiest and most effective strategies for keeping your health in check.
Handwashing is always a better alternative, especially if your hands are heavily soiled or covered in any sort of grease. Hand sanitizer does not replace the need for frequent handwashing and should only be used as a backup method of sanitizing your hands. Remember to bring it with you on your next shopping trip or keep some at your desk at work if you still have to go into the office.