We all know that washing hands and using masks is the best way to prevent the spread of infectious diseases. It is always better to wash hands to diseases. Today the whole world is facing the COVID-19 which is dangerous to mankind if not taken precautions properly. It spreads via coughing, sneezing and shaking hands with other people. It can only be prevented by washing hands and wearing masks. You can’t carry water and soap everywhere so it is better to use alcohol-based hand sanitizers. So due to this, there is a huge demand for hand sanitizer in the market.
Hand sanitizers are out of stock
Alarm over coronavirus has caused a run on hand sanitizers. It is getting out of stock from every medical store.
Some people are also storing a stock of bottles in their home due to which other people are not getting the hand sanitizer.
It is very difficult to find any bottle of hand sanitizer at medical stores right now. Due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, most retailers can’t meet the demand of customers for hand sanitizers.
But you know what? You can make your own hand sanitizer at home. Read on to find out how you can make your own sanitizer.
What ingredients do you need?
You can make your own hand sanitizer by three ingredients very easily.
1) Isopropyl Alcohol-
Buy 99% alcohol volume isopropyl from any medical store.
2) Aloe vera gel-
You can buy it from a beauty store or you can get the fresh aloe vera gel from home.
3) An essential oil-
Use any essential oil such as tea tree oil or lavender oil.
The key to making an effective and germ busting hand sanitizer is to stick to a 2:1 proportion of alcohol to aloe vera. This keeps the alcohol content around 60% in sanitizer. This is the minimum amount needed to kill most of the germs.
How you have to make your sanitizer?
Hand sanitizer recipe
What you will need:
1) Take 3/4 cup of isopropyl. The isopropyl which you will use should be 99% alcohol volume.
2) Take 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel. This will keep your hands smooth and to counteract the harshness of alcohol.
3) Take around 10 drops of any essential oil like lavender oil or tea tree oil. You can also use 10 drops of lemon juice instead of oil.
1) Pour all the three ingredients into a clean bowl. You can also take a glass bowl which will make it easier to measure the ingredients for you.
2) Mix with a clean spoon and then beat with a whisk to turn the sanitizer into a gel.
3) Now pour the ingredients into an empty bottle for easy use. Just keep it out with the reach of children.
What do experts say?
The associate professor of health science at Ball State University, Jagdish Khubchandani, also shared a similar formula.
His hand sanitizer formula contains:
1) two parts of isopropyl alcohol (91% to 99% alcohol)
2) one part of aloe vera gel
3) few drops of clove, eucalyptus, peppermint or other oils
According to Jagdish Khubchandani, stick with the following tips if you are eager to make your own hand sanitizer:
- Make the hand sanitizer in a very hygienic place. Wipe down countertops with a diluted bleach solution beforehand.
- Wash your hands thoroughly before making the hand sanitizer
- Use a clean spoon and whisk to mix the solution. Also, wash them properly before using them in the recipe.
- Make sure the alcohol used for the hand sanitizer is not diluted
- Mix all the ingredients thoroughly until they are well blended
- Do not touch the mixture with your hands until it is ready for use.
For a larger batch of hand sanitizer, the WHO has a formula for a hand sanitizer that uses:
1) isopropyl alcohol or ethanol
2) hydrogen peroxide
4) sterile distilled or boiled cold water
These DIY recipes for hand sanitizers are an alternative. But you can’t rely completely on these products during the coronavirus disease outbreak. Experts say that these recipes are too complicated for some people and the products mixed incorrectly can cause injuries.
Hand sanitizer recipes given above are only intended to be used by adults. Don’t use it on children’s skin as they may be prone to use them improperly leading to a greater risk of injury.
It is highly recommended to use only soap and water to kill the coronavirus. Only use homemade sanitizers in extreme conditions when handwashing isn’t available.
Are hand-made sanitizers safe?
This is a very important question that the hand sanitizers that you have made at home are safe or not. As I have already told that these homemade sanitizers are only for adults and not for children. So kindly keep it out from the reach of children. It should only be used in emergency cases when you have nothing to handwash.
Improper ingredients can also lead to:
1) Lack of efficacy-
Improper ingredients can also make your sanitizer less efficient which will not effectively eliminate the risk of germs.
2) Skin irritation-
You may also see burning or injuries after using the homemade sanitizers. If such things happen, stop the use of sanitizer and visit a doctor or apply some ointment on it. Don’t use it if your skin is very sensitive otherwise, it can react with alcohol.
3) Exposure to hazardous chemicals
You are exposed to hazardous chemicals which is not good for you. It is mostly exposed due to inhalation.
Children must be kept out of the reach of these handmade sanitizers. It can lead to injuries or skin irritation due to improper use.
How to use hand sanitizer safely?
Two things you should keep in your mind while using handmade sanitizers.
1) Rub your skin until your hands get dry.
2) Wash your hands first with soap and water if your hands are greasy or dirty.
Now with keeping this in mind, here are some of the tips for using sanitizer effectively and safely.
- Spray the sanitizer to the palm of one hand carefully. Keep away your eyes.
- Now thoroughly rub your hands together. Make sure you cover the entire surface of your hands and all fingers
- Continue rubbing for at least 30 to 60 seconds or until your hands get dry. It takes some time to kill the germs effectively.
What all germs can hand sanitizer can kill?
According to some experts, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that meets the alcohol volume requirement can quickly reduce the number of germs on your hands. It can also help destroy a wide range of disease-causing agents or pathogens on your hands including the novel coronavirus.
However, even the best alcohol-based hand sanitizers have limitations and do not eliminate all types of germs.
Hand sanitizers won’t get rid of potentially harmful chemicals. It is also not effective at killing the following germs:
- Clostridium difficile
A hand sanitizer may also not work when your hands are greasy or dirty. Don’t use it after eating food as it will be of no use. Use water and soap instead of sanitizer in these cases.
Handwashing vs Hand sanitizer
It is best to know when you have to handwash and when you have to use hand sanitizer in order to protect yourself. You should protect yourself from the novel coronavirus and other illnesses like common cold and flu.
While both serve a purpose, washing your hands with soap and water should always be your priority. Only use hand sanitizers in small situations or when soap and water are not available in the worst situation.
It is always important to wash your hands:
1) after going to the washroom
2) after blowing your nose, coughing or sneezing
3) before eating
4) after touching surfaces that are contaminated
The experts recommend some of the tips to effectively wash your hands.
- Always use clean and running water
- You should wet your hands first then lather your hands with soap.
- Rub your hands together with soap for at least 20 seconds. Make sure that you rub your hands and fingers properly to remove the germs and dirt.
- Rinse your hands and use a clean towel to dry your hands or let them air dry.
The bottom line
Hand sanitizer is a handy on-the-go way to help prevent the spread of germs when soap and water is not available. Alcohol-based sanitizers can help keep you safe and reduce the spread of novel coronavirus.
If you are facing difficulty in finding any sanitizer at your local stores, you can take steps to make your own hand sanitizer.
Disinfectants or liquids, wipes and gels containing alcohol have similar effects but are not really quite as good as normal soap.
Although hand sanitizer can be an effective way of getting rid of germs health authorities still recommend hand washing. Water alone is not that much effective in washing the virus off our hands.
Alcohol products are better than water. But nothing beats soap and water combination. The virus detaches from the skin and falls apart very readily in soapy water. Whenever it is possible to keep your hands’ germs free and disease free, you should use soap and water for handwash.
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