How long before sanitising gel and loo roll becomes a common form of currency? The world is experiencing a boom of panic-buying and hoarding; leaving very little left off the shelves for others to buy.
If you’re finding yourself in a situation where you have to go out but have no sanitising gel, you might be tempted to make your own.
Today, we’ll share with you a simple recipe for hand sanitising gel from the WHO (World Health Organisation) website, as well as a few things to be careful of when undertaking this DIY.
The danger with making your own sanitising gel is getting it wrong. If your sanitising gel is not sanitising (while you’re lured into the false sense of security that it is), your risks of infection are suddenly higher.
The FDA recommends that you wash your hands with soap and water over hand gel. Don’t forget to sing “Happy Birthday” twice while doing it to make sure you’re cleaning all those nooks and crannies, and getting all the germs (and potential viruses!) off your hands.
If there’s no means to wash your hands, and you can’t purchase any sanitising gel, you can use the following recipe to make your own.
However, make sure that the alcohol content is stronger than 60%. Otherwise, your DIY hand sanitiser might be a waste, and put you at risk!
Do NOT use vodka or any distilled alcohol to make your own sanitiser gel as these are often not strong enough in alcohol content to disinfect.
To measure the alcohol levels in your hand sanitiser (which is necessary if you want to make sure it will be effective against germs and viruses), you need an alcoholometer. As you can imagine, adding this little tool to your list of purchases can bring up the cost of making hand sanitising gel. However, it is necessary.
Recipe: origins WHO
• Isopropyl alcohol 99.8%: 7515 ml
• Hydrogen peroxide 3%: 417 ml
• Glycerol 98%: 145 ml
- Pour the alcohol for the formula into a large bottle or tank up to the graduated mark.
- Add hydrogen peroxide using the measuring cylinder.
- Add glycerol using a measuring cylinder. As glycerol is very viscous and sticks to the wall of the measuring cylinder, it should be rinsed
with some sterile distilled or cold boiled water, and then emptied into the bottle/tank.
- Top the bottle/tank up to the 10-litre mark with sterile distilled or cold boiled water.
- Place the lid or the screw cap on the tank/bottle as soon as possible after preparation, to prevent evaporation.
- Mix the solution by shaking gently where appropriate or by using a paddle.
- Immediately divide up the solution into its final containers (e.g. 500 or 100 ml plastic bottles), and place the bottles in quarantine for 72 hours before use. This allows time for any spores present in the alcohol or the new/re-used bottles to be destroyed.
However, it’s important to note that this recipe was published so pharmacists and other manufacturers can make it. Attempting to make it on your own is a risk. The FDA recommends using pharmacy-grade ingredients and that any additional ingredients can potentially dilute your sanitiser gel, thus making it less effective.
It seems that when making sanitiser; the more basic, the better.
Ultimately, making your own sanitiser should be a last resort thing. It’s better to wash your hands thoroughly. If that is not an option, a store-bought hand gel should be your go-to. If store-bought hand sanitisers are not available, a DIY hand gel might, then, be the solution (no pun intended).