As the global COVID-19 crisis continues to worsen by the day, more and more focus is being placed on one particular point of personal hygiene: keeping your hands clean. This clarion call for cleanly hands has had a—perhaps expected—downside, however, as it’s resulted in scalpers buying out supplies of hand sanitizer and then reselling them at astronomical prices.
As Live Science said in its recent article on DIY hand sanitizers, the prices of normal retail hand sanitizer at various locations around the country have risen to the point of absurdity. California Governor Gavin Newsom, for example, tweeted out a screenshot from Amazon’s website showing a 24-count package of 2-ounce hand sanitizers going for $400.00. (Although it should be noted that a Google search based in Los Angeles reveals other sites where you can buy it for much cheaper.)
There is still lots of anecdotal evidence for hand sanitizer scarcity, however, and supplies may continue to diminish if COVID-19 continues to spread at its current rate. But DON’T PANIC. Here are several ways you can make DIY hand sanitizer with ingredients that are (hopefully) still available at regular prices. All of these contain 60-plus-percent alcohol, as advised by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
The Spruce has an excellent breakdown of how to make a simple hand sanitizer, utilizing just a handful of ingredients, like aloe vera gel and 99% rubbing alcohol—both of which will hopefully be available at your local grocery or drug store. The only steps required are mixing the ingredients in a bowl and then pouring them into a bottle, so it’s perfect even for those who are extra apprehensive about making a DIY version of something protecting you from serious diseases.
For those who are more visual, this hand sanitizer recipe video from The Oregonian (below) gives a clear 90-second tutorial showing makers how to perform each step in more detail. This version also brings up the additional/optional step of adding lavender essential oils.
It should be noted that the CDC still emphasizes actual hand washing with soap and water as the best way to keep your hands clean. The CDC says that “Although alcohol-based hand sanitizers can inactivate many types of microbes very effectively when used correctly, people may not use a large enough volume of the sanitizers or may wipe it off before it has dried.” The CDC also says that hand washing is better at removing certain kinds of germs, such as Cryptosporidium, norovirus, and Clostridium difficile.
What your DIY hand sanitizer should probably look like. liz west
What do you think about DIY hand sanitizer as a way of combating against the spread of COVID-19? Are you ready to run out and grab yourself some aloe vera gel and isopropyl alcohol right now, or are you just going to wait until the prices on Purell come down? Let us know your thoughts in the comments!