According to federal health organisations, such as WHO and the CDC, one of the most effective methods for preventing the spread of germs is thoroughly washing your hands. However, if you do not have access to soap and water, hand sanitiser with at least 60 per cent alcohol can be used.
The influx in purchases of sanitiser has subsequently led to shortages as people attempt to stock up on household supplies, with the heightened demand leading some stores to implement limits on the number of hand sanitisers customers can buy, while other retailers have increased prices of the containers.
Fortunately, if you are not able to find sanitiser in stores, experts say you can make your own at home - but there's one key aspect you must get right to make sure it is effective.
“Homemade hand sanitisers are just as effective as what you buy as long as you use the right percentage of alcohol,” Dr David Agus told CBS News. “This is a good way to get around people price-gouging.”
According to Dr Stephen Morse, a professor of epidemiology at Columbia University, DIY sanitiser is “about as effective as using soap and water” when made correctly.
“We know it works - just make sure it has enough alcohol on it,” he said.
How do you make hand sanitiser at home?
To make hand sanitiser, you need Isopropyl alcohol, known as rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel, a bowl, a spoon, a funnel, and either a spray bottle or liquid soap container, according to CBS.
The first step is pouring ⅔ cup of alcohol and ⅓ cup aloe vera, which will make the sanitiser easier to apply, into the bowl and mixing well.
Once the mixture is blended, you can use the funnel to pour the mixture into containers.
If you want to mask the scent of alcohol, you can add five to 10 drops of essential oil such as lavender, according to the outlet.
How else can you limit the spread of germs?
In addition to regularly washing your hands or using hand sanitiser, the CDC recommends that people avoid touching their face, mouth or nose and avoid close contact with anyone who is sick.
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