As supermarkets and pharmacies continue to run low on hand sanitisers due to the coronavirus pandemic, people are starting to make their own homemade germ repellents.
While this may seem like a good alternative, Australian consumer organisation CHOICE has revealed essential facts everyone should know prior to making the hand sanitisers.
The company revealed most homemade sanitisers contain inconsistent ingredients or lack certain elements, making the product ineffective.
There are a multitude of do-it-yourself recipes online to make hand sanitisers, though it’s difficult to distinguish which formulas are the most effective.
In order to kill and repel germs, sanitisers need to contain 70 to 95 per cent alcohol, and many home recipes don’t meet this standard.
CHOICE explained store-bought products contain emollients to keep your hands soft while reducing damage from the alcohol.
With homemade remedies, there’s also a high chance your skin will imperfect if inconsistent amounts of alcohol is used.
Most hand sanitisers contain ethanol or isopropyl alcohol, but some online recipes suggest using vodka as an alternative.
CHOICE does not recommend this option as most store-bought vodka doesn’t contain a high enough alcohol percentage to kill germs.
If used with other ingredients, such as essential oils or aloe vera, this will dilute the ingredient further making the homemade formula inefficient.
Rather than making your own hand sanitiser if unavailable at the supermarket, CHOICE strongly advises washing your hands with warm, soapy water.
‘Handwashing with soap and water is the best thing to use to kill this virus,’ physician Dr Norman Swan told CHOICE.
Only when you do not have access to water and soap is it recommended to use hand sanitiser.
A chemist’s guide to making your own hand sanitiser can be found here.