How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer According to WHO Formulations
Since the WHO announcement as a pandemic some time ago, awareness of corona virus outbreaks in the world has increased. It is always announce that you should keep main hygiene by washing hands. Washing your hands the best is actually to use running water and soap. However, in some conditions, many people rely on hand sanitizers.
The problem is, just like a mask, hand sanitizer products also experience scarcity and price increases on the market. World Health Organization (WHO) through the official website, distributed special alcohol-based formulation to make hand sanitizers. Well, what is the formulation like and is it really effective to kill germs that stick to your hands?
Has considered various factors
In the midst of the corona virus outbreak, people believed that using alcohol-based handrub products will be able to quickly and effectively deactivate various harmful microorganisms that stick to the hands. The hand sanitizer formulation distributed by WHO is also an effort to help the country and all health facilities, in order to achieve system changes and adopt alcohol-based handrubs as hand hygiene standards in health care.
Before distributing and recommending two formulations for worldwide use, WHO has considered various factors, including logistics, economics, safety, culture, and religion. You can make hand sanitizer up to 50 liters per lot with its formula. Its limitation is due to ensure safety in the production and storage process.
The first formulation, to produce a hand sanitizer with a final concentration of ethanol 80% v / v, glycerol 1.45% v / v, hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) 0.125% v / v. How to make it is:
Pour into a measuring mill measuring 1,000 milliliters: ethanol 96% v / v as much as 833.3 milliliters, 3% H2O2 as much as 41.7 milliliters, glycerol 98% as much as 14.5 milliliters.
After that, fill the pumpkin to exactly 1000 milliliters with distilled water, or water that has been boiled and cooled.
Shake the pumpkin slowly, until all the components are evenly mixed.
Next, formulation two, to produce a final concentration of isopropyl alcohol 75% v / v, glycerol 1.45% v / v, hydrogen peroxide 0.125% v / v. How to make it is:
Pour into a measuring mill measuring 1,000 milliliters: isopropyl alcohol (with a purity of 99.8%) as much as 751.5 milliliters, 3% H2O2 as much as 41.7 milliliters, glycerol 98% as much as 14.5 milliliters.
Then, fill the flask to exactly 1,000 milliliters with distilled water or water that has been boiled and cooled.
Shake the pumpkin slowly, until all the components are mixed.
WHO make the formula to gain intrinsic advantages of fast-action and broad-spectrum microbicide activity. The formula itself has a minimal risk of producing resistance to antimicrobial agents. In addition, the hand sanitizer formulation is a friendly to use in resource-limited or remote areas. It is very useful in a place with a lack of access to sinks or other facilities for hand hygiene (including clean water, towels, etc.).
Is It Effective and Can Replace Handwashing?
If you follow the WHO formulations (including the quantities and equipment used), a homemade hand sanitizer can be quite effective. So, before switching to using your own hand sanitizer, consider also a few things that might make your hand sanitizer ineffective or even dangerous, as follows:
1. The dose may not be right
According to Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), United States, alcohol levels that are effective for warding off microbes are 60-95 percent. Thus, if it contain alcohol under it, it may not effective to ward off microbes, such as germs, bacteria, and viruses that cause disease.
Some homemade hand sanitizer recipes circulating on the internet even suggest the use of 2/3 glasses of alcohol. With the aim to produce 66 percent content of antimicrobial active ingredients in the final product. In fact, it can cause measurement errors if done by ordinary people. Especially if the glass used as a measuring instrument is different.
2. The Mixture Is Not Naturally Right
Some recipes for hand sanitizer also include other ingredients. The problem is, the mixture formula are not yet clear to ward off viruses. For example, some formula include essential oils as aroma. The fact that, its effects are still unknown when mixed with alcohol.
In fact, according to Birnur Aral, PhD from the Good Housekeeping Institute, the effect of additional essential oils into the formula for hand sanitizers as antimicrobial agents is still being debated. According to him, the content of essential oils or other ingredients used for the mixture of homemade hand sanitizer mixtures need to pass clinical trials first, to ensure its effectiveness in fighting the virus.
3. Your Hands skin becomes dry
Instead of preventing infectious diseases, the use of homemade hand sanitizers with alacar materials actually risks making the hands dry. Professor from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine in the UK, Sally Bloomfield, said that hand sanitizer products available on the market are usually accompanied by moisturizing ingredients. Hand sanitizer products use moisturizer to anticipate the harsh effects when using alcohol directly to the skin.
Those are some risks that need to be considered, before you try to make your own hand sanitizer. If you want to try making it, you should just follow the WHO formulation, with notes, make sure you make it based on the exact same size, mixture and equipment. If it seems complicated, don’t panic.
Because, you actually still have another way to protect yourself from the risk of corona virus transmission, by washing your hands using running water and soap for at least 20 seconds. This method is no less effective with the use of hand sanitizers, to make hands clean from germs. Make sure to rub the fingers and the area under the nail when washing hands.
In addition, also avoid the habit of touching the face when not washing hands, and increase endurance by implementing a healthy lifestyle and taking vitamins if necessary.
WHO. Accessed 2020. Guide to Local Production: WHO-recommended Handrub Formulations.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Accessed in 2020. Handwashing and Hand Sanitizer Use – at Home, at Play, and Out and About.
Men’s Health. Accessed in 2020. Experts Say You Shouldn’t Make Homemade Hand Sanitizers.