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You can try to make hand sanitizer from booze, but that doesn’t mean you should

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Hand sanitizer is currently difficult to find on drugstore shelves due to fears surrounding the coronavirus and COVID-19. It’s out of stock online at CVS, and is marked up to borderline usurious prices on some websites.

The dearth of Purell and products like it has led some to attempt to make their own DIY hand sanitizer. And at least one enterprising person tried to use Tito’s vodka instead of rubbing alcohol to make their own:

The tweet prompted Tito’s to respond. “Per the CDC, hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is 40% alcohol,” it wrote.

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So what happens when you try to make your hand sanitizer with stuff you got from BevMo? Columnist Lucas Kwan Peterson sat down with science writer Amina Khan and a bottle of the strongest stuff available in the state of California: 151-proof rum.

The result? Even with a bottle that’s over 150 proof, or 75% alcohol, a resulting hand sanitizer made with two parts liquor to one part aloe vera gel won’t be strong enough to meet the 60% CDC threshold.

Just wash your hands instead.


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