At times when hand washing is not an option, we turn to hand sanitizers. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends a minimum alcohol strength of 60% for effectiveness against COVID-19.
The three main ingredients are alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and glycerin. Alcohol should preferably have a 91-99% concentration as it will be diluted in the process. Hydrogen peroxide is used to deactivate contaminating bacteria in the solution and glycerin functions as a humectant to combat the drying effects of alcohol. Glycerin is the emollient of choice as it is the cheapest though others can be used as shown in other formulas below. Water is an essential part of this formula as it opens up bacterial pores that allow the alcohol to penetrate and kill bacterial cells.
WHO (World Health Organization)-recommended hand sanitizer formula:
- 1 cup isopropyl/ethanol/rubbing alcohol 99% (see below for 70% alcohol)*
- 1 Tbsp hydrogen peroxide 3%
- 1 tsp glycerin/glycerol/aloe vera/emollient of choice
- 5 Tbsp of water
1) Clean your container with dishwashing soap and water, let dry. If heat-resistant, dip in hot water to disinfect.|
2) Put in alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, and water through a funnel.
3) Shake container well to ensure the sanitizer is mixed thoroughly.
*When using the commonly available 70% rubbing alcohol, eliminate the hydrogen peroxide. This formula dilutes the alcohol strength to 66%, slightly higher than the minimum recommended 60% alcohol strength.
WHO-approved simple scented formula
2 parts 91-99% alcohol*
1 part aloe vera gel/vitamin E oil/glycerin/glycerol
Few drops of essential oils (eucalyptus, lavender, citrus, etc.)
Repeat the same process as above.
Remember that the first choice of action is to wash your hands with soap and water, especially if the hands are visibly dirty. Frequent hand washing is one of the most effective ways to protect yourself against COVID-19. If you, your family, or your employees need to get tested for Covid-19, the safest and most convenient way is through an on-site mobile testing team that comes to you instead of queueing in more populated areas. Via Medica International offers on-site Covid-19 testing.