Aragon Cares: Keep Calm and Wash Your Hands
by Betsy Burton
I’m a bit of a do-it-yourself person by nature. If I can make something as good or better than what’s commercially available, I’ll try it.
So, when I heard about all the hand sanitizer flying off the shelves in response to concerns over the coronavirus, and also heard that some retailers are price gouging, I thought, why not create my own? It’s better than the two-bottle pack of Purell I found on Amazon for $95.
Now don’t get me wrong; I’m not in a panic. But I do believe that an ounce of prevention is prudent these days.
Simple DIY Hand Sanitizer
I looked around and found several articles about DIY hand sanitizers. The most useful to me was CBS news. It calls for:
- 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol
- 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel
- 5-10 drops of essential oil (optional)
The key is to make sure to get high alcohol content rubbing alcohol—you want your final product to be at least 60% alcohol.
This seemed like an excellent and simple recipe. In fact, I found that I had most of the ingredients already. Although, I will admit I did buy some new rubbing alcohol since I couldn’t remember how old mine was, and I wanted to use at least 90% alcohol to start. I even had some lavender oil to mask the smell.
WHO Hand Sanitizer Advice
The World Health Organization also provides some detailed guidance and advice. Its information calls for:
- Ethanol 96% or isopropyl alcohol 99.8%
- Hydrogen peroxide 3%
- Glycerol 98%
- Sterile distilled or
- Boiled cold water
WHO put out a pamphlet intended primarily for areas with water quality issues and limited medical treatment facilities.
The CDC has been on a hand washing crusade for years. Its primary recommendation is to wash your hands often with soap and water.
In addition, the CDC advises that hand sanitizers are a viable alternative where water isn’t available and where the hands are not dirty with dirt, grease, food, etc.
It advises that hand sanitizers should be at least 60-95% alcohol to kill key viruses.
My Decision: All of the Above
In the end, I decided to do a little bit of all of the above.
- First and foremost, I’m more conscious about washing my hands regularly with soap and water. Yes, I know this is going to make my mother happy.
- Moreover, when I’m in public situations where I don’t have easy access to water or where I’m going to be touching a lot of things before I find water (the gym, the grocery store, the post office, school) I carry a bottle of sanitizer. I also carry a little bottle in case I need to wipe down a device that lots of people are also using (ATM, grocery cart, gym equipment, etc.).
- The advantage of my DIY sanitizer is that I know there aren’t pesticides in it, and I can add vitamin E, tea tree oil, and other solutions that are good for my skin. Also, DIY is a cheap enough option that I can use it on surfaces if I’m traveling or if I’m in very public places.
The reality is that we should have been practicing many of these preventative techniques for years. But we tend to let our guard down and forget until an unknown and harmful disease like coronavirus starts spreading. The key today is to be careful and to take prudent preventative steps like hand washing and using hand sanitizer. To add to the UK government poster from 1939:
Wash Your Hands