One of the effects of the spread of the coronavirus has been a nationwide hand-sanitizer shortage, USA Today reports. But don’t despair: you can pretty easily make your own with things you likely have lying around your house, or at the very least, that you can easily buy.
Like toilet paper or ground mustard, hand sanitizer is one of those things you don’t think about until you need it and don’t have it. With the spread of a worldwide viral respiratory illness that’s claiming lives left and right, conscientious consumers are looking toward the product as a tool in their belt to fight the spread of the virus.
Unfortunately, there’s a shortage, which you’ve likely found out if you’ve gone to your favorite retailer to up the product. What’s more, scalpers have been hoarding the stuff and then reselling their stash at a jacked-up price. In fact, 12-ounce bottles of Purell have been spotted on the web going for as much as $149.
However, you don’t need to shell out more than a hundred bucks for something you can normally purchase for less than five dollars. Hand sanitizers can easily and cheaply be made at home by adopting a relatively simple and straightforward process.
The two key components of hand sanitizer are glycerin and alcohol. Glycerin gives the product its thickness, letting you just pour alcohol — which kills germs — over your hands.
Glycerin can be found just about everywhere and so is easy to come by, coronavirus or no coronavirus. Just buy a bottle of aloe vera gel and you’re golden.
Next, you need to mix the substance with alcohol: two parts alcohol (for example, two-thirds of a cup) to one part gel (for example, one-third of a cup).
Isopropyl alcohol — which is made of 70 percent or higher of pure alcohol content — is fine. If you can’t find isopropyl, just use tequila, vodka, or another hard liquor with a high alcohol content.
Dr. David Agus, a professor of medicine and engineering at University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, said that there’s no need to fret if you don’t have something with a higher alcohol content lying around. That said, stronger is still better.
“The bottom line is most of these are 70 percent of alcohol or higher. The virus isn’t going to say, ‘Hey, you’re 59% alcohol, therefore I’m going to be alive.’ As long as you’re in that range, I think you’re doing OK. This virus has what we call an ‘envelope’ on it, and the envelope is very sensitive to alcohol, which kills the virus,” he said.