How to make your own hand sanitizer if local stores are sold out

Coronavirus

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) — As concerns and worries continue to grow surrounding the novel coronavirus, people across the country are stocking up on cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer.

Some stores are reporting that they’re in very low stock of the hand-washing alternative, while others say they’re completely out of stock in the midst of the coronavirus epidemic.

“People are rushing to the stores, and unfortunately, the stores aren’t able to keep up with the demand,” said Dr. Brandy Gheesling, a pediatrician with Pediatric Associates of Savannah.

Meanwhile, hand sanitizer has been selling on Amazon at exorbitant prices from third-party sellers online, prompting the company to crack down on price gouging.

For those that aren’t having any luck finding any hand sanitizing products in stores, there’s a simple solution: they can create their own.

WSAV.com NOW Reporter Ashley Williams concocted her own hand sanitizer using easy-to-follow instructions from the web. 

Here are the steps:

The most basic recipe requires just two affordable ingredients: rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel.

The two can be purchased cheaply at most stores, including Dollar Tree.

One hand sanitizer recipe calls for two-thirds of rubbing alcohol and one-third of aloe vera gel.

Experts say that for any hand sanitizer to work, it needs to contain the right percentage of alcohol.

Gheesling tells WSAV.com NOW that a homemade hand sanitizer should be just as effective as ones that can be bought in stores or online.

“As long as you’re making sure that it has a 60-percent alcohol content, which you should be able to get if you mix two-thirds alcohol of 91 to 99 percent with a third of aloe vera gel,” Gheesling said.

A homemade hand sanitizer can be easily created using rubbing alcohol between 60 and 99 percent as well as aloe vera gel.

You will need to stir the two ingredients together and pour the sanitizer into a bottle or container.

Medical experts stress that although hand sanitizer is beneficial, hand washing is the first line of defense against the spread of germs, bacteria and viruses like COVID-19.

“Hand sanitizer, when you’re not around soap and running water, can definitely work in a pinch,” Brittany Lightsey, the children’s wellness coordinator at Memorial Health, told WSAV.com NOW. 

“Something you want to consider, too, is if your hands are visibly dirty, the hand sanitizer is likely not going to do the trick,” Lightsey said.

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