Don't get gouged in the black marketMarch 15, 2020, 6:46 p.m. | Updated March 19, 2020, 4:22 p.m.
THIS ARTICLE WAS UPDATED ON 19 MAR 2020 (incorporates confirmation from Himalaya Drug Co.)
The first thing we did, to avoid getting infected by coronavirus, was to surf the medical stores and the www, trying to find hand sanitizer. No stock. No joy. Plenty available on the black market though.
The next best thing? Make hand sanitizer at home.
In the interest of spreading prevention, here’s a step by step. It’s remarkably easy.
READ THIS DISCLAIMER: Let us say first that we do not benefit from the products or brands we name and we don’t get a referral fee or any incentive from Amazon or anyone else. Equally, we don’t claim that this hand sanitizer will be able to prevent or cure any disease or infection including coronavirus (or cabin fever boredom), nor do we endorse any product or method of treatment. This is just us sharing with you, how we made hand sanitizer at home.
We encourage you to get any advice or opinion only from qualified medical professionals. Read this: https://explo.in/coronavirus-rao.
Moving on, here's the dish on hand sanitizers.
According to the CDC, washing hands with soap is best. Until you can get to the water, hand sanitizer is great, (read: https://explo.in/corona-cdc). And they say, the best hand sanitizers should contain 60% alcohol.
Note: “Alcohol” means 99.9% pure alcohol. Not vodka, which contains less than the prescribed 60% of alcohol. Also, don’t drink the pure alcohol. It will likely poison you.
So we went online and got a ton of advice on homemade hand sanitizer. And found the most simple route to making it to share with you.
Now to the kitchen. Let’s get sanitized and not gouged on trying to buy it on the black market.
Ingredients (we got all of these from Amazon)
STEP 1 - ALCOHOL
Measure out ⅔ cup of the alcohol. (One “cup” is about 240ml of alcohol. So ⅔ of that is 160ml.)
We used a standard measuring cup but it was metric and we had to do mental math, and not spill anything.
Pour this out into a bowl. Now, some say to wear plastic gloves because the pure alcohol might burn one’s hands. Nothing happened to us even though we did not wear gloves and we got some on our hands. That might work differently for you.
STEP 2 - ALOE
Measure out ⅓ cup of aloe vera gel. (Wing it. It’s about half the volume of the alcohol.)
Pour it into the alcohol in the bowl.
STEP 3 - MIX
Mix up the two by stirring. We used a wooden spoon. No particular reason but we thought using a wooden spoon under the circumstances would be most Druidal of us, like the dude in Asterix with the leaves and cauldron.
STEP 4 - ADD SWEET SMELL
Use a few drops of essential oils. Not being the sorts who have nice smelling essential oils always at the ready, we squeezed out a few drops of lime into the bowl and stirred and stirred like a trio of witches in Hamlet.
STEP 5 - LEARN SANSKRIT OR IS IT SWAHILI*
(* Please scroll to the bottom for a statement of confirmation from the CEO of Himalaya Drug Company.)
We did not have a hand pump type dispenser bottle handy. So we emptied out a bottle of Himalaya hand sanitizer.
Now, we have used that Himalaya product proudly and happily for years. But the CDC says they are not sure about the efficacy of non-alcohol based hand sanitizers. CDC says it knows that sanitizers with over 60% alcohol do kill all known coronaviruses (there’s more than one)?
We tried to read the ingredients but everything is named in Sanskrit or Pali or whatever, but we could not understand a word of it all. We’re supposed to take Himalaya's word for it? In classical Swahili, that too?
Here’s some wisdom for the good folks at Himalaya. Maybe you thought that not explaining anything in English and making it all mysterious and ancient -- in 6-point type -- was a great brand positioning choice. Well, when it comes to choice of hand sanitizer, your decision sucks, doesn't it. And also, if your hand sanitizer works on coronavirus, let everyone know. Or maybe you don’t know yet?
Anyway, we’re loyal customers. We’re willing to wait for you. But thanks for the pump bottle, Himalaya. It works fine. In English.
(You can buy a pump type soap dispenser, available online and in shops.)
STEP 6 - GET FUNNEL and POUR
Pour the final mix into the pump-type dispenser, or any convenient bottle. Use a funnel to pour it so you don't lose any of the good stuff.
The funnel you see here is a fancy designer funnel from Ikea New York, but that's because at Explocity we are very stylish and international. You can use any funnel really.
STEP 7 - SHARE IT WIDELY
Here’s the final product. Share it with everyone. Remember the more people you help stay sanitized the less the chances of coronavirus spreading.
Don't be stingy.
So we’re keeping the Himalaya hand job gel to use in the place of aloe vera, because we don’t want to waste the product (as before, we lived and swore by it until we had to pass an exam about it.)
And anyway, the point is the alcohol. So logically, if we mix the Himalaya stuff with alcohol in the ratio of 2:1, it ought to work just as well. In Sanskrit that too. Stay safe and sanitized. Explocity will continue to bring you useful coronavirus related stuff as often as we can.
CONFIRMATION OF PRODUCT EFFICACY FROM HIMALAYA DRUG CO.
After this the first version of this article was published, we received confirmation from Philipe Haydon, CEO, The Himalaya Drug Company, as below:
"We are happy to share that Himalaya PureHands sanitizers comply with CDC guidelines and have the right concentration of alcohol, as recommended by WHO, for proper hand sanitization. PureHands sanitizers kill 99.9% of germs, help prevent the spread of infection, and ensure total hand hygiene. A series of clinical studies conducted at leading hospitals in India are testimony to the fact that PureHands significantly reduces germs that can cause a variety of illnesses. The gel-based format of the sanitizers ensure that hands are kept moisturized, and help prevent over drying of skin."
Our thanks to the company for issuing this confirmation.