Does Hand Sanitizer Work? What You Should Know

Who would have ever thought that in the 21st century you wouldn’t be able to find basic necessities like toilet paper and hand sanitizer – anywhere? With a national shortage of hand sanitizers, people are pulling out their own chemistry sets, rolling up their sleeves and searching on Google for the best DIY recipes because they don’t want to pay the inflated and outlandish prices for a basic household item. We don’t blame you! While many people are making their own, it raises the question of whether or not they are effective and what problems might DIYers encounter when making at home sanitizers. If it’s your first instinct to create your own sanitizer when our grocery stores, Targets, and Amazon are sold out, there’s a lot you’ll need to know before whipping out your Tito’s Vodka and a beaker.

Does Hand Sanitizer Kill Viruses?


According to the CDC, hand sanitizer is a fine temporary replacement for soap and water when it’s impossible for you to get to a sink or water supply. If you are going to use it, it should be at least 60% alcohol - like most store-bought brands. That does not mean that hand sanitizer is a substitute for plain old soap and water. Hand sanitizer can “quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations” according to the CDC, but they can’t get rid of every type of germ. Soap doesn’t just clean your hands of germs, it actually kills coronavirus. Soap dissolves the fat membrane of COVID-19, and the virus falls apart. So although hand sanitizer can work in a pinch, it’s not something that’s going to completely protect you from coronavirus. But, it’s better than nothing if you don’t have access to soap and water. 

Tips You Need To Know

If you’re going to create your own alcohol-based hand sanitizer, you’ll need to make sure you have all of the right ingredients. Keep in mind that even then, there’s room for error. Most DIY recipes include 99% Isopropyl alcohol and Aloe Vera, so if you don’t already have these at home they could be a hot commodity at your local drug store. Due to the high demand, the prices for these ingredients are ramping up and they can be extremely difficult to find. There are some recipes that use drinking alcohol, but even Tito’s Vodka themselves asked consumers not to use their vodka in hand sanitizers because it only contains 40% alcohol. According to Tito’s, it’s probably better to use the vodka to kill time rather than to make DIY sanitizer. To that, I say, Amen. When you’re creating an alcohol-based hand sanitizer at home, it’s difficult to control the many variables you can run into. If your workspace isn’t sanitized itself, you risk getting germs and bacteria into your tools, container, and the sanitizer itself. You could have trouble calculating how much alcohol gets diluted in the sanitizer. If your ratio is off, you can cause damage to your skin or simply waste your entire batch. If you don’t use enough aloe vera, the alcohol can suck the moisture out of your skin and cause your hands to crack or bleed. If you use too much aloe vera, the alcohol could get diluted and cause your homemade batch to be useless. If you add essential oils or other liquids these will impact the total alcohol concentration of your solution. So, you can see that there is a bit of science behind this hand sanitizing thing and might be a good idea to find another alternative. 

The FDA and WHO both have released DIY “handrubs,” which is the agency word for hand sanitizer, but they’re directed specifically for medical professionals. The FDA released an update on the “production of alcohol-based hand sanitizer to help boost supply, protect public health,” where they reiterated that they were aware of consumers producing their own hand sanitizers but that the “Agency lacks information on the methods being used to prepare such products and whether they are safe for use on human skin.” The update also includes that if you as a consumer are unable to follow WHO’s instructions for medical professionals, you actually put your safety more at risk. WHO’s guidelines were designed for communities that cannot implement the suggested hand-washing techniques, most likely due to lack of running water. Their guide is NOT for individuals. MOONMag is stepping up to help provide clean, effective and affordable hand sanitizers to everyone. You can check out our 64% Alcohol (Ethanol) Hand Sanitizing Cleansing Gel or our 70% Alcohol (Ethanol) Hand Sanitizing Spray

How Do I Stop Dry, Cracked, Painful Skin?

If your hands are hurting from using hand sanitizers and washing them so much and you can’t seem to find a moisturizer that works for you, look for lotions that contain goat milk. There is no need to sacrifice your skin for clean hands -- you can have them both with goat milk-based soaps and lotions. Goats Milk is the ultimate ingredient for dry, unprotected skin. It contains precious minerals necessary for skin health, like Selenium and Magnesium, that protect and nourish the skin. High amounts of protein, fat, and vitamins like A, B6, B12, C, D, E, -- the Goddesses of all skin care. These vitamins and minerals offer anti-inflammatory properties to soothe irritated and inflamed skin. Goat milk is the only milk that contains naturally occurring Capric-caprylic triglycerides which are an effective moisturizer that helps contribute to skin softness by forming a barrier on the skin to inhibit the loss of moisture. Goats milk contains natural glycerin which increases the moisturizing properties. Lactic acid works as a gentle exfoliant and moisturizer. These super ingredients keep the skin from drying out. They immediately go to work to calm, heal and cool down the skin.

Hand Soap and Lotion Set 

Our Goat Milk And Kefir Soap Bar and Milky Magic Goat Milk Lotion are the perfect duo you need to protect and nourish your hands.  Goat milk soap bars deliver that 1-2 punch as they are a moisturizing disinfectant! Goat milk contains antibacterial properties that kill bacteria, viruses and germs. These antibacterial properties are great for killing viruses, bacteria, and germs while soothing skin infections, such as acne, eczema, rosacea, and psoriasis. Goat milk lotion doesn’t remove the natural oils from your skin like many of the other soaps and alcohol-based moisturizing products, hand sanitizers and gels do. So, there’s no dry, tight feeling after use and your skin is soft-to-the-touch. Goat milk contains naturally occurring probiotics that restore the skin's acid mantle and build up the skin’s microbiome – the body's first line of defense. Switch to goat milk-based soaps and lotions to prevent and relieve dry, cracked, painful skin and kill bacteria, viruses, and germs.

Protect your health, and protect your skin. Instead of investing in your own homemade hand sanitizer, consider investing in a soap that keeps your skin healthy, moisturized, and germ-free.