ORLANDO, Fla. - Hand sanitizers on most store shelves are gone.
“When you go to the supermarkets and you see that there’s hand sanitizers flying off the shelves, it can make you want to take control over your own health,” said UCF Chemistry Assistant Professor Dr. Erin Saitta.
That’s why right now some of the most popular searches, videos and articles online are about how to make your own hand sanitizers at home. The recipes are generally a concoction of alcohol, aloe, and essential oil.
But UCF Chemistry Assistant Professor Dr. Erin Saitta says these recipes are not worth the effort. You have to get the ratio just right. She says "do-it-yourself" sanitizers have to include an alcohol concentration higher than 60 percent to be effective. If the mixture isn’t right, it could cause more harm than good.
A box of tissues and a bottle of Purrell hand sanitizer sit on the desk. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ-Roll Call, Inc via Getty Images)
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“You wouldn’t want to just put pure alcohol on your skin because if it dries out your skin, your skin can crack and cause you to be more susceptible for infection.”
Above all else, Dr. Saitta says handwashing is still the most effective way to kill coronavirus or any disease.
Dr. Saitta says if you’re going to make your own hand sanitizer, it’s probably best not to use a Youtube video and to instead use the recipe on the World Health Organization’s web site. Again, “those recipes are really designed for areas where handwashing isn’t an option,” like countries without clean or running water.
So if you have running water at home and soap, use that over hand sanitizer any day.
An illustraton picture shows a person washing their hands with disinfectant soap (Photo by KOEN VAN WEEL/ANP/AFP via Getty Images)
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