One must always remember that a hand sanitiser can never replace the good old hand-washing. (Photo: Getty)
With the coronavirus outbreak engulfing the world and the majority of the population running out of essential supplies including soaps and sanitisers, it is imperative to look for backups. With the rising demand, sanitisers have run out of stock at many places or are being sold at exorbitant prices. A more convenient and cost-effective alternative is to prepare it at home.
"Yes, a hand sanitiser can be made at home. Pour the alcohol and aloe vera gel into the bowl. As hand sanitizers need to contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective, you should ideally maintain a 2:1 ratio,"Dr Rajesh Chawla, senior consultant, respiratory and critical care at the Indraprastha Apollo hospital tells theindianexpress.com.
The 2:1 ratio refers to isopropyl alcohol to aloe vera gel. In order to prepare it, stir the ingredients together with a spoon and pour them into plastic bottles using a funnel. The mainstay ingredient of a sanitiser is the isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol). Aloe vera is added in the sanitiser to prevent your hands from drying out. This is extremely useful because sans aloe vera gel in the sanitiser, the skin will have cracks, exposing it further to the virus.
However, one must always remember that a hand sanitiser can never replace the good old hand-washing.
Here are the ingredients you need to make a hand sanitiser at home
- 2/3 cup of 99 per cent alcohol
- 1/3 cup of 92 per cent aloe vera gel
- A bowl and spoon to mix it all together
- A basic funnel to get your hand sanitiser into a bottle
- Travel-friendly bottles for storing the hand sanitiser
The correct way of using a hand sanitiser is to apply it liberally to your hands and rub them together until the gel effervesces. (Photo: Getty)
Here's how you can go about the process
- Begin by pouring 2/3rd of alcohol into a medium-sized container with a pouring spout. The percentage mentioned on the labels of isopropyl alcohol denotes the percentage of alcohol concentration in them. If your label shows, 99.8 per cent alcohol, that means it is almost pure alcohol.
- Now add glycerin to the alcohol and stir generously since it is a thick ingredient. If your container has a lid, then simply shake well!
- As of now, the solution is concentrated. Thus, it is time to measure add water to the solution. You will require a 1/4th cup of water along with a tablespoon of distilled water and a tablespoon of boiled water. All of this needs to be added with the solution and stirred well.
- Now it is time to move it to your travel-friendly bottles or containers. Spray the containers/ bottles with alcohol to sanitise it. Let it sit until the alcohol has evaporated.
- Now transfer the sanitiser into the container and label your bottles for easy access and safety purposes.
Dr Chawla mentions that the sanitiser made at home needs to be used within 15 days at most. "By and large it does work like the ones which are found in the market," he added. On asking the doctor if there's a correct way to using a sanitiser, he said, "the correct way of using a hand sanitiser is to apply it liberally to your hands and rub them together until the gel effervesces."
However, remember to always follow the safety instructions on the alcohol you use says the doctor. "Remember this is only for cleaning your hands" mentioned Dr Chawla.
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