Experts warn against making DIY hand sanitiser at home

16th of March 2020
Experts warn against making DIY hand sanitiser at home

Recipes for home-made sanitiser have been appearing online as people try to keep themselves safe from the coronavirus.

But a public health expert has warned that some are hard to follow and the results could potentially damage the skin if the alcohol is diluted incorrectly.

As the number of coronavirus cases increases around Europe, pharmacies have reported a rising demand for hand sanitiser products while some people are turning to the internet for advice on how to make their own.

Even the World Health Organisation offers recommendations for home-made handrub formulations. However, according to Nottingham Trent University public health expert Professor Robert Dingwall these WHO recipes are chiefly designed for communities with no access to clean water or sanitation.

"We should really be leaving stocks of sanitiser for people who don't have an alternative," he said. "And that alternative is high-quality hand washing."

Professor Dingwall says it is easy to make errors when balancing the concentration of alcohol with that of other substances when making home-made sanitisers. Besides potentially damaging the skin, they could also pose safety issues. "There is the risk that you put it on, turn on the gas - and then your hand goes up like a Christmas pudding," he said.

He added that thorough, regular hand-washing was more effective than sanitisers and that the average person should be washing their hands between six and nine times a day.

"We need to re-enforce the message to wash the hands as soon as you come into your house and after holding hand rails on the bus, using the toilet and eating food," he said.



Our Partners

  • ISSA Interclean
  • EFCI
  • EU-nited