Sanitizer still flying off the shelves

Hand sanitizer and home cleansing agents are flying off the shelves. There are some fairly effective options to make at home. 

BLACKFOOT– As there have been shortages in the grocery stores, many people are turning to alternatives.   There have been some legitimate alternatives that do just as well. If one doesn't know for sure what chemicals or materials work together, it can get dangerous. Do some research before haphazardly throwing things together.

Emergency management departments are concerned with individuals making "household cleaners" at home. DO NOT: mix household bleach and ammonia together, this creates a toxic gas called chloramine, which causes shortness of breath and chest pain. DO NOT: mix household bleach and vinegar, which produces chlorine gas, which causes coughing, breathing problems, and watery eyes. DO NOT: mix household bleach and rubbing alcohol, which produces chloroform, which is highly toxic. Keep hydrogen peroxide and vinegar separate which can produce peracetic/peroxyacedic acid, which is highly corrosive.

However, there are some great alternatives, which have been verified by medical professionals. 

Ingredients needed: 2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol, 1/3 cup aloe vera gel, 8-10 drops essential oil (tea tree, lavender, peppermint, grapefruit, lemon are some of the recommended), bowl and spoon, funnel, recycled liquid soap or hand sanitizer bottle. 

Directions: Mix the ingredients in the bowl and stir with a spoon. Use the funnel to pour the liquid into the empty/clean bottle.

If the store is completely out of rubbing alcohol, another alternative to use is witch hazel and/or vodka (higher proof the better). Witch hazel is derived from a plant and is commonly used for its antioxidant and astringent properties. It is gentle to the skin, hence its use in hand sanitizer recipes.

Ingredients: 2 ounce glass spray bottle, 5 drops vitamin E oil (optional, makes for soft hands), 3 tablespoons witch hazel (vodka or 190 proof alcohol), 5 drops of (lemon, orange, or tea tree essential oil), and distilled water.

Directions: In the spray bottle, combine vitamin E oil, witch hazel (or vodka), and essential oils. Place sprayer on tightly and shake well for 15 to 20 seconds. Open bottle and fill to the top with distilled water. replace sprayer and shake again for 15 to 20 seconds. Spray liberally on hands when they need a bit of a clean.

Disclaimer, the homemade varieties do not work in place of proper hand washing. These have not been tested in a lab but the ingredients are commonly accepted anti-viral ingredients. It has not been tested for efficacy against coronavirus, but is a better option than nothing. Use it when away from a sink and soap. 

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