3 Reasons Why You Should NOT Make Hand Sanitizer at Home

Unmarked hand sanitizer bottles next to face masks

It’s pretty well known by now that hand sanitizers are in high demand due to the current pandemic. There are still jokes circulating online that both hand sanitizer and toilet paper can essentially be treated as currency. It’s gotten that bad.

But, all jokes aside, where can you now buy hand sanitizer, if store shelves are looking a little sparse now? 

Well, you could either borrow some from a friend or family member, order some online, or try creating your very own sanitizer. Although that last option may sound enticing for anyone who is cooped inside their home all day, it quite honestly is a route that you should avoid. 

Along with WHO, the FDA has advised against developing your own sanitizer unless you are a specific type of pharmacist or certified company. But if you need another push, here are 3 major reasons why you should NOT make hand sanitizer at home:

1. A number of potential risks are associated with the hand sanitizer creation process. 

For example, some of the materials used to make sanitizers are hazardous chemicals, which can be accidentally inhaled if mishandled. You can experience skin irritation, burns, and other injuries if your skin comes into contact with these chemicals any time during the process. Also, alcohol is an extremely flammable substance, so precautions must be taken to avoid starting fires. If you don’t have the proper gear to handle the specific ingredients, you run a higher risk of making mistakes.

2. It may be difficult to obtain the right materials and equipment.

If it wasn’t already a struggle to find the exact ingredients for these recipes, add in the fact that the general public and companies across America are all looking to create hand sanitizers themselves. Nowadays, local drugstores often have limited supplies of rubbing alcohol and other ingredients for these homemade concoctions anyway. Additionally, once you mix the chemicals, you’ll need to verify the alcohol concentration of your final product using an alcoholometer. Using this tool will guarantee that the right amount of alcohol was added in order to kill germs and be safe for usage. Unfortunately, an alcoholometer is not a tool that everyone has just laying around the house. 

3. The sanitizer creation process is quite hard to follow. 

Not only are there too many recipes out on the Internet now, these recipes can be difficult to follow. The results of the sanitizer creation process depends on a variety of factors, ranging from the cleanliness of your lab setup to the quality of the ingredients used. You must be precise with concentrations and mix the right ratios, otherwise you could end up making an ineffective or even harmful mixture. This is the biggest reason why both the FDA and WHO recommend that only professionals with the knowledge and expertise to create hand sanitizers should be making them.  

All this makes it come as no surprise that the experts recommend buying hand sanitizers instead of making them at home. Purchasing professionally made bottles allows for consistency, effectiveness, and peace of mind. Homemade hand sanitizers are better left as a final option in extreme situations where you cannot access or use other protective measures in the near future.

Now, here’s what you should do instead of creating your own hand sanitizer:

  • Order hand sanitizer online from trusted brands, such as your favorite palmpalm. palmpalm has specially created products with 70% and 80% alcohol content in order to help protect you and your family. These FDA-approved bottles are good to use whether you’re on the go or chilling by the pool with your loved ones.
  • Wash your hands with soap and water regularly, especially when your hands are visibly dirty. This is one of the best ways to get rid of essentially all kinds of pathogens. It may take a little more effort than using a hand sanitizer but it is well worth it.
  • Wear masks whenever you go outside and will be around people with whom you are not currently quarantining. This extra layer can help prevent the spread of germs and COVID-19, keeping not only you safe, but also those around you. 

Keep in mind that hand sanitizers only work if used correctly. Check out our guide on how and when to use hand sanitizer so that you can stay safe.