Updated: Mar 16, 2020
Since the first case of COVID-19 was identified in central China in December, the illness has spread across the world, leading to an outbreak that the World Health Organization has called a pandemic. Over 110 countries and territories, representing every corner of the globe, have now reported at least one case of the novel coronavirus. In total, there are now over 125,000 cases and over 4,600 related deaths.
And when it comes to preventing the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, nothing beats good old-fashioned hand washing.
But if water and soap aren’t available, your next best option, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Unless you have a stockpile of store-bought hand sanitizer, you’ll likely have a hard time finding any at a store or online right now. Due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, most retailers can’t keep up with the demand for hand sanitizer.
But no need to worry, there is good news after all. According to the World Health organizations’ Guidelines on Hand Hygiene in Health Care (2009), all it takes is three ingredients to make your own hand sanitizer.
Materials Required for Preparation (10L)
96% Ethanol (8333 ml) or 99.8% Isopropyl alcohol (7515 ml)
3% Hydrogen peroxide (417 ml)
98% Glycerol (145 ml)
How do you make your own hand sanitizer?
The Ingredients mentioned above are poured into a 10-litre glass or plastic bottles (preferably in polypropylene or high-density polyethylene, translucent so as to see the liquid level) one after another in the order - alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and glycerol - and made up to 10 liters with sterile distilled or boiled cold water. The lid or the screw cap is placed on the tank/bottle as soon as possible after preparation, in order to prevent evaporation. The solution is mixed by shaking gently or by using a wooden, plastic or metal paddle. Immediately divide up the solution into its final containers (e.g. 100ml plastic or glass bottle) and keep for 72 hours before use to destroy any spores present in the components or the new/re-used bottles.
Once the hand sanitizer prepared the following needs to be added as the label in each bottle of the sanitizer.
The containers should be labeled writing clearly "WHO-recommended hand sanitizer formulation" with the name of the institution/ person who prepared it.
For external use only
Avoid contact with eyes
Keep out of the reach of children
Date of production and batch number
Form the above details, you might have already guessed that making the hand sanitizer this way, even though recommended by WHO, will not be easy for Individuals. But the Materials required should be easily acquirable for institutions, thus this formula can be easily used by institutions to prepare and distribute quality hand sanitizer.
How do you make hand sanitizer at home for personal use?
Dr. Rishi Desai, chief medical officer of Osmosis, and a former epidemic intelligence service officer in the division of viral diseases at the CDC says that the hand sanitizer recipe below will kill 99.9 percent of germs after 60 seconds.
What you’ll need:
3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent)
1/4 cup of aloe vera gel (to help keep your hands smooth and to counteract the harshness of alcohol)
10 drops of essential oil, such as lavender oil, or you can use lemon juice instead
Pour all ingredients into a bowl, ideally one with a pouring spout like a glass measuring container.
Mix with a spoon and then beat with a whisk to turn the sanitizer into a gel.
Pour the ingredients into an empty bottle for easy use, and label it “hand sanitizer.”
I hope this was helpful, Let's all fight Corona (COVID-19) together by strictly following the instructions provided by WHO, and your countries Health Department. Practicing precautionary measures is the best defense we can use at this time.