Whether you watch the news or watch the memes floating around online, it’s no secret that people are panicked about the coronavirus (officially named COVID-19). Items like non-perishable goods, water bottles, and toilet paper are selling out at stores at rapid rates. Another hot ticket item? Hand sanitizer. But before you go making your own DIY hand sanitizer and googling “how to make hand sanitizer”, keep reading to find if it’s really the safest and smartest thing to do for you and your health.
How To Make Hand Sanitizer
It’s easy, right? Just some alcohol, maybe a couple of other ingredients, and wah-lah! You’ve got a disinfecting, affordable, DIY hand sanitizer at home in a jiffy. Or do you?? While we appreciate your proactiveness towards being more hygiene conscious during the coronavirus outbreak, we want you to know a few things, first.
The best way to keep your hands clean isn’t to use hand sanitizer, it’s to wash them with hot water and soap, for at least 20 seconds. Hand washing guidelines as set forth by the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) aren’t any different than any other day. The CDC emphasizes that “alcohol-based sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations,” they don’t get rid of all the germs.
While properly washing your hands is an effective method of germ prevention, it’s important to note that hand sanitizer is absolutely recommended in lieu of handwashing where handwashing isn’t possible.
Before you go making your own DIY hand sanitizer, keep in mind that the ingredients have to be measured exactly for the product to work, and even then, by making your own at home, you could be doing more harm than good. Daniel Parker, a professor of public health at the University of California, Irvine told CNN that he was concerned about DIY sanitizer because “it will be difficult to make sure that the concentrations are correct.” If your measurements aren’t spot-on, you could over-dry your hands and end up with an ineffective formula.
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The key component of hand sanitizers and what makes them effective is ethanol (the ingredient in alcoholic drinks) or isopropanol (rubbing alcohol). In the production process of making a hand sanitizer product, these alcohols are usually thickened by some kind of acrylic polymers, such as Carbomer. Carbomer mainly works to prevent the oil and the liquid parts of a solution from separating. Chances are, people like you and me don’t have access to Carbomer, which is why there are recipes out there recommending using aloe vera gel in hand sanitizer recipes and DIY hand sanitizer recipes. The gel will keep your hands from drying out.
Should You Use Vodka To Make Hand Sanitizer
As we mentioned, many hand sanitizers use the same type of alcohol that we drink at the bar on a Friday night. Yet, most liquor is miseducating with water, diluting the alcohol content. The same can be said about mixing it with aloe vera.
For example, if you mix 80-proof vodka (standard proof) with aloe, you’ll have a hand sanitizer that has less than 40% alcohol (for reference, it’s recommended that you use a hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol for effectiveness reasons.
The World Health Organization has official instructions on how to make a disinfecting hand sanitizer to use in medical settings, but it’s not written for the average Joe and Jane. It requires sterile water, an alcoholometer in the final product, and it doesn’t recommend any dyes, essential oils, or other fragrances. Often, these are used by DIY hand sanitizer recipes to try and mask the aroma of alcohol.
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How To Make Hand Sanitizer - A Step By Step Guide
We recommend keeping in mind that the ingredients are harmful if ingested and only recommended for topical use. Make sure you put the formula in a resealable container, clearly labeled, and out of the reach of children.
DIY Hand Sanitizer
1 mixing bowl
1 mixing utensil
1 clean funnel
1 clean bottle w/ resealable lid
Mix ingredients together and funnel them into a bottle.
Reasons Why You Shouldn’t Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
Even if you follow the recipe to a tee, you’re probably not a chemist, in a sterile environment, or a machine. So chances are, it’s going to get messed up. For example, if you don’t use enough aloe, your hands can become too dry. If you mix it at home, you also cannot control the way that the alcohol gets diluted in the final product. If you don’t use enough alcohol, the product won’t be as effective as a store-bought hand sanitizer or even just washing your hands regularly and washing them well. Lastly, you can even contaminate your batch of DIY hand sanitizer with bacteria by not using clean tools to mix it all together.
What To Do Instead Of Making An At Home Hand Sanitizer
It’s simple - wash your hands. Both the CDC and the WHO agree that it’s the very best thing that you can do to keep yourself from getting sick, whether it’s the COVID-19 or a different infection. Regular handwashing, particularly before and after certain activities, is one of the best ways to remove germs, avoid getting sick, and prevent the spread of germs to others. It’s quick, it’s simple, and it can keep us all from getting sick. Handwashing is a win for everyone, except for the germs.
Additional Preventative Measures Against COVID-19
If you want to take additional preventative measures against the coronavirus, we have listed a few below:
- Eat a whole-foods focused diet - nothing can replace the nutrients that we get to maintain a healthy body and immune system than whole, minimally processed foods
- Take your vitamins - bridge the gaps in your nutrition with vitamins and minerals, like the Immune Health Stack from Swolverine, to bolster your health and take a preventative measure against sickness and germs
- Get a flu shot - the 2019/2020 flu season has already created 36 million flu illnesses, 370,000 hospitalizations, and 22,000 deaths, and the flu season isn’t over. Getting a flu shot is a quick and easy way to keep yourself, and the compromised immune systems of others around you, safe.
- Cough and sneeze into your elbow - just like a vampire pulling his cloak around his face, use your elbow to shield the space and the others around you from your germs
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and hot water
- Avoid touching your face
- Maintain distance from people - it’s okay to not shake hands hug.
- Avoid using face masks if you are well - unless you’re in the health care profession or in a medical facility, masks don’t provide protection from particles. Save them for the people that need them.
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The Power Of A Healthy Immune System
Our health is only as strong as our weakest link, and for many of us, our immune system is that weak link. High-intensity training and active lifestyles can depress the body’s intestinal system, keeping it from doing a sufficient job of keeping antigens (bacteria, viruses, fungi, and potentially allergenic or inflammatory proteins from food) out of the bloodstream. The Immune Health Stack is an all-season, year-round healthy immune support that fortifies your body’s natural healthy defenses and ability to adapt to stress factors.
By incorporating key nutrients like L-Glutamine, Probiotics, Turmeric, Curcumin, Zinc, Magnesium, and over 20 essential vitamins and minerals, you can boost and protect your immune system. The Immune Health Stack from Swolverine bolsters your active lifestyle from both everyday and long-term threats. Give yourself the extra attention and immune health support your body deserves as a preventative measure.
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Homemade Hand Sanitizer - In Conclusion
Ultimately, at this point in time, basic hygiene is the best protection against the coronavirus as well as other bacterial infections. The CDC recommends that only people who are displaying symptoms should wear a mask. And if you’re looking to make a homemade hand sanitizer from scratch, make sure you use isopropyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol and not the type of alcohol that you drink. Use the preventative measures suggested, like eating wholesome foods, taking your daily vitamins regularly, getting a flu shot, covering your cough/sneeze, avoid touching your face, wash your hands, and save the face masks for those who need them.
Give Your Immune System The Nutrients It Needs!
The Immune Health Stack from Swolverine contains the clinically proven vitamins and nutrients to help you boost your immunity and take back your health.
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We believe that everyone can optimize not only their athletic performance but their human potential. The way we believe we can optimize performance is through transparency, clinically effective doses, and clinically proven ingredients with evidence-based outcomes. We provide the nutrients you need to power your active lifestyle