You Can Make Your Own Hand Sanitiser During COVID-19

To make it work you just need to follow these guidelines from the World Health Organisation

Hand sanitizer
Nodar Chernishev

Toilet roll and hand sanitiser. How the whole world has gone mad for them during the outbreak of COVID-19. Can you imagine the amount of cash those Andrex puppies are rolling around in? But while we wouldn’t recommend homemade loo roll, there are ways you can mix up your own sanitiser at home.

The World Health Organisation even has its own recipe. Detailed over a 9-page pdf, it shows you the exact ingredients and method required to make proper protection against the coronavirus. However, even a quick scroll through reveals the process still being carried out by men in lab coats and using distilled water as if it’s sold right next to the Evian at Budgens.

YouTube, though, is busy providing alternatives. The question is: can these homemade recipes really meet the WHO’s benchmarks for a safe and effective formula?

The most common combination is simple. You create a mix with the ratio of three quarters methylated spirit and one quarter aloe vera gel; the first you can get from a hardware shop, the second will be one of the few things left on the shelves at Boots.

Can These Hand Sanitisers Stop Coronavirus?

The key is the alcohol percentage. As reported by The Conversation, two researchers from the Royal Holloway University of London recommend that the alcohol concentration required in your sanitiser is 75-80%. It’s these levels of alcohol by volume that are able to kill microorganisms, including the coronavirus.

Interestingly, some shop-bought hand sanitisers have an alcohol by volume content of just 57%, meaning that some homemade recipes are even more effective against the spread of this disease.

Methylated spirits are often sold at 99.9% ethanol. The reason you can’t just rub your hands with this, however, is that, at that strength, the liquid will be harmful to your hands. That’s where the aloe vera comes in, which is a moisturiser and will stop your skin drying out. That’s particularly good news considering that soreness and cracks in your skin may increase your risk of bacterial infection.

So that explains the ratio. Add a quarter of moisturising aloe to 99.9% ethanol and it will protect your hands but only dilute to alcohol to around 75% by volume, which is still effective against the coronavirus.

Mix the two together, pour into a dispenser and you’re all set. Whether you choose to sing happy birthday as you apply it is up to you.


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