The sterility of hand sanitizers that you can find in stores may be compared with the sterility of toilet paper. Some bloggers teach us to mix vodka with aloe Vera and essential oils, but it’s more of a cocktail rather than a remedy. We will tell you about the qualities that a proper sanitizer that will be able to save you amid the coronavirus pandemic should possess.
What will definitely not help?
1. Alcoholic drinks
The World Health Organization reports: the concentration of alcohol in hand sanitizers capable of killing coronaviruses should be over 60%. Only such a concentration can kill the lipid envelope of a virus, with the help of which it sticks to cell membranes. Vodka, gin, and other strong drinks are not suitable because the concentration of alcohol in them is too low.
Major vodka producers even had to make a statement urging people not to use their drinks for disinfection. Only alcohols used within medicine or tech have the necessary concentration for the destruction of the lipid envelope of the virus. They are not suitable for drinking and can only be found and bought is specialized stores and pharmacies.
2. Mixing 60% alcohol with other ingredients
Even if you by hook or by crook got the technical or medical 100% isopropanol, ethanol, or any other alcohol somewhere, you cannot use it to clean your hands because it will destroy the outermost layer of your skin. The skin then becomes dry, chapped, and itchy, which makes it prone to infections. Mixing 100% alcohol with aloe Vera juice or tea tree oil is not a good idea because the final alcohol concentration will be less than 60%. We’ll get to the bottom of the necessary proportions in detail below.
3. Essential oils
There’s one thing we want to ask you: please, do not slather a mixture of lemon, tea tree oil, and rosewood oil on your skin. The effectiveness of essential oils in the fight against the coronavirus has not been proven. They can only be useful in combination with other components that we will tell you about in a bit.
Here’s what you’ll need for making a homemade sanitizer:
- A clean container for mixing, for instance, a low cup or a bowl;
- A teaspoon or a wooden paddle;
- A storage container like a glass jar of 0.25-0.5 liters with a lid;
- An empty plastic bottle with a dispenser or spay lid (for example, from a store sanitizer) that you will need to then carry the prepared sanitizer in your purse or pocket.
How to make a hand sanitizer: the WHO formula
The recipe proposed by the World Health Organization is the one for a liquid sanitizer, so it is convenient to use it as a spray. You can also use it to moisten cotton pads with, so you get something like an antiseptic cloth to wipe surfaces and various small things with.
You’ll get tons of this liquid, so be ready to share it with your friends and neighbors. The procedure of making it itself requires extreme concentration and following safety instructions that you may find in the WHO’s guide with one more recipe waiting for you as a bonus.
What you will need:
- 8333 ml of isopropyl alcohol 96%;
- 417 ml of hydrogen peroxide 3% (it doesn’t kill viruses but fights bacterial spores that can contaminate the solution);
- 145 ml glycerol 98%;
- Sterile distilled or cold boiled water;
How to prepare a hand sanitizer:
First, pour the alcohol into the container. Then add hydrogen peroxide and glycerol, using a measuring cylinder. After that, top the container with sterile distilled or cold boiled water, place the lid on top of the container, and mix the solution by gently shaking it or by using a paddle. The final step is to divide up the liquid into separate bottles and leave them for quarantine for 3 days hours to have any spores from bottles or alcohol destroyed. The sanitizer will smell nicer if you add a couple of drops of essential oil or lemon juice. But be careful: the WHO reminds us that some people are allergic to perfumes.
How to make a hand sanitizer with aloe Vera: the virologist formula
This one is a bit easier to make and is somehow similar to those that bloggers make but was also approved by a real doctor.
A hand sanitizer prepared according to the recipe will kill 99.9% of viruses and germs in 60 seconds. The idea of this formula belongs to Rishi Desai, MD, who also served at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention as an Epidemic Intelligence Service Officer investigating viral disease outbreaks.
What you will need:
- 100 ml of isopropyl alcohol 99% or above or medical alcohol 96% (if you have the opportunity to buy it);
- 50 ml of cosmetic aloe Vera gel (the concentration of aloe juice in it is not important);
- 3-5 drops of perfume (any essential oil or lemon juice will do)
- 3-4 drops of glycerin 98%
How to prepare a hand sanitizer:
Mix all the ingredients in a prepared container. You should get a homogeneous, viscous mixture. For density, add 3-4 drops of glycerin, but no more, or otherwise, you risk making the liquid sticky. Finally, pour the liquid into the prepared bottle with a dispenser.
How to use a hand sanitizer in the right way:
For the sanitizer to destroy the maximum of viruses and germs on your hands, you need to make sure you follow specific rules when applying it. Here they are:
- Squeeze a few drops of the sanitizer or spray it on the palm of one hand.
- Rub your palms and fingers thoroughly. Make sure the sanitizer covers every millimeter of your hands.
- Continue rubbing your hands until they get dry. It usually takes 30-60 seconds.
Important! Sanitizers are useless if your hands are too dirty or greasy. In this case, you need to use warm water and soap first.
How to make a sanitizer using an alcohol concentration calculator:
Michelle Wong, chemistry PhD and Google Sheets lover, has found a way to calculate the right proportions of your hand sanitizer.
To do this, you need to enter the concentration of the alcohol-containing ingredient in the Alcohol Percentage Used field, then add the volumes of other mixture components in the Amount column below, and you will get the final alcohol concentration in the yellow area. The ideal option is the one where the concentration is more than 60%.
The Internet Protocol team urges you to follow safety instructions when working with the chosen chemicals.