Hand sanitizer – when coronavirus is at the gates, but soap and water are unavailable

Washing your hands (best hand soaps here)  and water  is the best way to fight COVID-19, as Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says. But soap and water are not always available, for example, on the street and in a store. So you can use sanitizing wipes or hand sanitizer.

CDC recommends alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60 percent alcohol and more. Alcohol-free sanitizers with other ingredients in most cases are not effective in combating coronavirus. Do not use vodka and alcohol beverages, they are not high enough in alcohol concentration to kill coronavirus. Do not spray bleach on your skin, is a harsh cleaner and you can use it on surfaces wearing disposable gloves. Hydrogen peroxide is less likely to cause damage, but it can discolor some fabrics. Vinegar isn’t effective as sanitizer.

It is very important to use a disinfectant correctly. Use enough fluid to completely wet your hands. “Wash” them until the sanitizer dries, do not rinse and wipe them. If your hands are very dirty, the CDC recommends using soap. It is a good idea to wipe your hands with a wipe or paper towel if possible, and only then apply a hand sanitizer twice. If you remove some dirt and grease, the disinfectant will become more effective. Swallowing alcohol-based and other hand sanitizers can cause poisoning (CDC).
Sanitizers should be stored out of the reach of young children and preferably have child-resistant caps.

Increased sanitizing, may get hands skin dry and start to crack. As a result, you give germs a place to hide. You should use a moisturizer or moisturizer containing soap to prevent that from happening. Soap and creams with ceramides, dimethicone and shea butter, help to provide a good seal on the skin.

The main active ingredients of hand sanitizer are: isopropyl alcohol, ethyl alcohol or benzalkonium chloride. Alcohol-free hand sanitisers contain usually benzalkonium chloride, it is less effective than alcohol for bacteria and viruses, alcohol-based products are “first choice” for hand sanitizers.

The rush to buy bactericide wipes and hand sanitisers has led to empty shelves in stores. But alcohol is the main ingredient, why not to make sanitizer yourself?

Popular recipe contains 2/3 volume parts of alcohol (usually 99.9% isopropyl alcohol or 90%+ ethanol alcohol), and 1/3 part of aloe vera gel. Aloe vera helps to stop your skin from drying, allow your skin to recover quickly from skin irritations, and stimulate quick regeneration of skin cells. Aloe vera enzymes soothe and moisturize skin hands stimulating the production of natural moisturizing oils and preventing dryness.

The isopropyl alcohol concentration in this case is about  66%. Attention! Rubbing alcohol is commonly 70% isopropyl alcohol, but the percentage ranges from 60% to 99%. If the concentration is more 60%, it’s effective, but you can’t mix it with aloe vera or another moisturizers to keep it 60% or more.

Be careful, drinking isopropyl alcohol causes sedation, unsteadiness when walking, and vomiting. It can also be toxic when inhaled and should be used in a well-ventilated area.

Pure ethanol is hard to get hold, so ethanol found in spirits, may be in the sanitizer recipe, but the concentration should be more than 60%. Most vodka has no more than 40% alcohol.

In addition to aloe vera, you may include essential oils, like tea tree oil, in your homemade solution. In addition, cinnamon and thyme oil, although they are not agents that work directly, will be useful against coronavirus. They have some antibacterial properties and prevent the appearance of cracks that can help keep your hands clean. Make sure you hit the mark when it comes to 60% alcohol content.

Load your handmade sanitizer into spray bottles – this isn’t a gel. You can wet a dry wipes (best antibacterial wipes here) with it or spray it on paper towel and use them as a wipe.


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