Given the current climate we are living in, hand sanitiser is becoming a hot commodity, with demand surging and supply not being able to keep up. In response, people are desperately resorting to making their own hand sanitiser at home or buying homemade hand sanitisers, as a way to cope with the uncertainty of COVID-19.
However whilst this may seem like an easy and cheap alternative, experts are warning against it, as if made incorrectly, hand sanitiser can not only be ineffective, but also lead to serious health consequences.
Lacks quality control
For starters, homemade hand sanitisers, whether bought from your local petrol station or made in your home, lacks quality control. There is no way of determining for sure whether a wrong measurement or ingredient has been used. Reports have found that the most common case of homemade hand sanitisers, is that individuals are ending up with less alcohol needed to kill germs, or a mixture that is contaminated. This means that the concoction ultimately becomes ineffective in protecting yourself from dangerous and infectious germs and bacterias.
Unreliable hand sanitiser recipes
With so many hand sanitiser recipes circulating online, it is hard to determine which ones work and which ones don’t. The typical ratio included in most recipes is 60% alcohol to 40% aloe vera gel by volume. However the issue with these hand sanitiser recipes is that if you don't use enough aloe gel, it will dry out the skin on your hands, which can result in your skin to crack or bleed. At the same time, if they lack the correct amount of alcohol, the hand sanitiser will not be effective in killing germs and disease prevention. Additionally, a lot of DIY hand sanitiser recipes say to include essential oils or other fragrances to mask the smell of alcohol. The problem with this is that the World Health Organisation strongly advises against this as adding such additions can cause the risk of an allergic reaction.
Young children can be put at risk
As labels help understand what is legitimate or not, when it comes to homemade hand sanitisers there is no official way of confirming what exactly is being used to create the substance. Thereby if your child or infant ingests the hand sanitiser, this could result in a deadly outcome. As such, recent reports by the NSW Poisons Information Centre have found, even ingesting a small amount can be harmful to young children and babies, thereby strongly advising against homemade hand sanitisers. This makes it so important to only purchase legitimate hand sanitisers. FeverMates instant Australian made hand sanitiser line is a great option to use for your family and is available in both a hand sanitiser gel and hand sanitiser spray form.
Some more helpful guidelines
- Avoid panic buying: Whilst hand sanitiser is becoming an increasingly popular product, there is no need to panic buy. We know that it is a natural reaction to stock up on everything when facing the unknown, but ensuring you have a few weeks worth of hand sanitiser is enough.
- Keep homes clean: Wipe down and disinfect visible surfaces regularly using effective cleaning products such as FeverMates hand sanitiser spray. Always make sure to wash hands when done.
- Social distancing: Continue to practice social distancing and only leave the house for the essential reasons. This will help slow the spread of coronavirus.
- Wear a face mask: When leaving the house for an essential reason, wear a face mask to protect yourself to reduce risk of catching the coronavirus and thereby its spread.