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Don’t Try This at Home: Why We Don’t Recommend Making Your Own Hand Sanitizer

With recipes for homemade hand sanitizer popping up all over the web, we don't recommend that you try to make your own. Instead, wash your hands with soap and water.

Recipes for homemade hand sanitizers are all over Facebook, YouTube, and other social media. But many medical professionals don’t recommend trying to make your own. 

Don’t Try It at Home

First, hand sanitizers require a very high alcohol content, so many people’s homemade versions use alcohol they have around the house that doesn’t meet the requirement. We don’t want people thinking that they’re sanitizing their hands, when in fact they aren’t killing the virus. 

Second, there’s a real danger of chemical burns or very harsh hand sanitizers when making a homemade version. Just recently a store in New Jersey sold homemade sanitizer that caused chemical burns. 

So What Should I Do? 

Instead we recommend using the first and best defense: good handwashing with soap and water. This is the CDC’s recommended first option for killing the coronavirus (and a whole lot of other pathogens, including cold, flu, and norovirus). 

Other things you can do to help protect against transmission of Coronavirus include:

  • Use doorstops to hold bathroom doors open so that people don’t have to touch the handle.
  • Consider adding paper towels to your bathrooms in addition to hand dryers so that folks can turn off faucets and open door handles with the paper towels.
  • Switch to single use condiments so that you don’t have to worry about sanitizing your condiment bottles.
  • Designate a Handwashing Champion who reminds everyone to wash their hands, and sets a timer at the top/bottom of the hour when employees should wash their hands.

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