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In times when the prevention is increasingly important, and in a context where it is not always easy to find a hand sanitizer at the supermarket nearby, it may be useful to know how to make a DIY hand sanitizer.
But why is it so important to wash your hands? And how can we make it happen without making mistakes?
The importance of washing your hands
Even outside the health emergency induced by the new coronavirus and the resulting pandemic, it should be clear how to wash hands it must be a routine for adults and children. But why?
It's simple: the most important step in containing infections is the hand washing, especially before eating, after using the bathroom, and after treating someone who is thought to have symptoms.
According to experts, hands should be washed carefully, on both sides (back and palm) with clean, running water. You should lather with soap, pay attention to easily negligible spaces (between the fingers and under the nails), rub for at least a minute, rinse and dry.
In this sense, it is essential to use a soap that has anti-virus capabilities: the molecules of these soaps are in fact ideal for fighting coronaviruses and other viruses, because they contain substances that can disable the pathogen.
In the event that you cannot wash your hands as described above, you can however also resort to the action of a good alcohol-based hand sanitizer, capable of targeting viruses, albeit in a technically different way than soaps.
In fact, if soap physically "dismantles" the virus using "brute" force, alcohol instead aims to change the chemical properties of the same, making it more permeable to the outside world. In addition, alcohol can also penetrate deep inside the pathogen, destroying the proteins of the virus.
Health authorities recommend purchasing hand sanitizers that have at least 60% alcohol content (conversely, as a little water is needed to unravel the pathogen proteins, 100 percent alcohol is not certainly a good option!).
Further, as well as for hand washing, Timing is also important with disinfectants. After having sprayed a drop on the palm of your hand, it is therefore advisable to rub it on all hands, front and back, until they are completely dry, without drying them on a towel (because this could prevent the disinfectant from finishing its work).
However, hand sanitizers also have some disadvantages. For most people, the use of these products is less intuitive than hand washing, so much so that many of them do not follow the instructions for a correct application. Furthermore, hand sanitizers do not eliminate microbes from the skin like soap.
Read also: Do-it-yourself hand sanitizer
How to make a good hand sanitizer
With the above in mind, one can try to understand how to prepare a good hand sanitizer. To do this, we have chosen to follow the directions of the World Health Organization which, on the basis of its studies, has provided a good recipe to follow.
The ingredients are:
- 135 ml of 96% ethyl alcohol (this is "white" alcohol, which is used to prepare liqueurs, and not "pink" alcohol);
- 8.5 grams of 3% hydrogen peroxide (at 10 volumes);
- 3 grams of glycerin or 98% glycerol;
- distilled water (alternatively you can boil some water and let it cool).
In addition to that, get a plastic or glass bottle or container. You will need it to be able to pour the ingredients. You will also need a ladle or other metal, glass or plastic tool, which allows you to mix the product.
Now, once all the ingredients have been recovered, you can proceed with pouring the alcohol into the container and adding the hydrogen peroxide. At a later time it will be possible to add glycerin or glycerol, always with the help of a measuring cup. Finally, distilled water can be added, in order to reach the 200 ml of the recipe.
Once the ingredients are all present in the container, they need to be mixed calmly and gently. The disinfectant thus obtained must be left to rest for at least 72 hours before use. In any case, it must be kept away from heat sources.
Evidently, one can prepare such DIY hand sanitizer from WHO even for larger quantities. The procedure is the same: the doses of the ingredients will change proportionally. We also remind you that later, in order to use it inside and outside the home, it will be advisable to pour it into smaller containers.
The disinfectant made in this way can be stored correctly for several months, without losing its sanitizing properties. Finally, it can also be used to disinfect surfaces, where no specific product for cleaning furniture is available, and so on.