Due to stockpiling by people who are worried about coronavirus, hand sanitiser is in short supply. Is making your own a safe option? Healthy Food Guide investigates.
The main advice given to protect yourself and others from the spread of coronavirus COVID-19 is to frequently wash your hands with soap and water or, if that option isn’t available, to use hand sanitiser.
But many pharmacies and supermarket shelves have been cleared of hand sanitiser, so some people are turning to DIY formulations. The trouble is, a homemade sanitiser might not provide the protection you are hoping for, which may even increase the risk of spreading bacteria and viruses.
How to safely make hand sanitiser at home
If you want to try to make your own hand sanitiser at home, don’t just trust any recipe you find on the internet.
Here is the World Health Organization’s recommended alcohol-based hand rub formula:
1. In a clean 1 litre container with a lid, combine 751.5ml of isopropyl alcohol (99.8% pure) with 41.7ml 3% hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) and 14.5ml 98% glycerol
2. Top up the container with filtered water or water that has been boiled and cooled
3. Shake gently to combine well
4. Apply a palmful of hand sanitiser all over the front and back of your hands. Rub until dry.
Important information for homemade hand sanitiser
It’s best not to add any essential oils, fragrances or colours, as some may decrease the effectiveness of the sanitiser or may react with the chemicals.
All of the ingredients listed can be purchased from a chemist.
The hand sanitiser is for external use only. Make sure you keep it out of reach of children, avoid contact with the eyes and keep the hand sanitiser away from flames or heat.
Article sources and references
- WHO Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care: First Global Patient Safety Challenge Clean Care Is Safer Care.https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK144054/
- When and How to Wash Your Hands. Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives. Centres for Disease Control and Preventionhttps://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/when-how-handwashing.html