March 11, 2020 by Ellis Dixon
COVID-19: How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
Coronavirus is here in Portugal, and while Americans and Australians are doubling down on toilet paper purchases, disease prevention websites are going viral. They all say keeping your hands clean and not touching your face are the keys to success, but what happens when you’re on the go and don’t have access to 20 seconds and a sink? Enter alcohol.
Many pharmacies, shops, and loja Chinesas are already sold out of hand sanitizer, so we went digging for a way to make our own at home. Thanks to Público, we’ve got the recipe for success when it comes to keeping your hands germ-free. The best part is you probably have these items lying around your house already (if you are prone to bumps and scrapes, sunburn, and you have a penchant for chouriço assado). You can even get a little creative with that jar of patchouli or eucalyptus oil you’ve been saving for a rainy day.
Público’s Easy Hand Sanitizer Recipe
2/3 cup (approximately 150 ml) ethanol or isopropyl alcohol (70% to 96%)
1/3 cup (approximately 75 ml) aloe vera gel
5 – 10 drops of any essential oil you fancy (optional)
Put the mixture in a glass or plastic container. To be effective, the solution must contain at least 60% alcohol, experts say.
The W.H.O.’s Hand Sanitizer Recipe*
Now if you’re a little more aggressive, you have a chemistry set, and you know where to get glycerol, you can follow the World Health Organization’s recipe.
833.3 ml ethanol alcohol 96% OR 751.5 ml isopropyl alcohol (with a purity of 99.8%)
41.7 ml hydrogen peroxide 3%
14.5 ml glycerol 98%
Pour into a 1000 ml graduated flask and top it up to 1000 ml with distilled water (or water that has been boiled and cooled); shake the flask gently to mix.
*NOTE: Only pharmacopoeial quality reagents should be used (e.g. The International Pharmacopoeia) and not technical grade products.
Staying clean is paramount. Here’s some more information about how to keep your house clean when you bring outside items into it.