While thorough hand washing with soap remains the frontline of defense against the bugs and viruses that are currently circling the globe, it is valuable to carry a hand sanitizer when you need to travel or leave the house. This is a particularly good backup to have when you know you’re going to be on the move and you won’t be able to get to a sink in order to wash.
It is easy to make your own homemade hand sanitizer using only natural ingredients. You can feel comfortable that it contains none of the harsh chemicals found in most industrially produced sanitizers. Store-bought products tend to be laden with parabens, synthetic fragrances, and sodium lauryl sulfate, all of which are detrimental to the human bio-system.
How To Use Hand Sanitizer
Just as with washing your hands, alcohol-based hand sanitizer is only effective if it is used properly. Rub it into your hands for a minimum of 30 seconds, making sure you get cover your palms, the back of your hands, between fingers, and round the fingernails. In light of the spread of coronavirus, it is worth noting the CDC recommendation in relation to the use of hand sanitizer:
“CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because hand washing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. But if soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. The guidance for effective handwashing and use of hand sanitizer in community settings was developed based on data from a number of studies.”
What Are The Benefits Of An Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer?
Alcohol has long been used for medical purposes owing to its germ-killing powers. Alcohol is a natural disinfectant and is used as a standard for cleaning wounds and injuries. Alcohol dissolves bacteria through a process called denaturation, breaking down the membranes of the bacterial cells so that they die off with speed. A minimum level of 60% alcohol is needed for a solution to be effective enough for disinfection, while higher percentages can also be used for a stronger and more potent effect.
Which Essential Oils Should I Use?
Even mainstream science acknowledges that essential oils have potent antibacterial and antiviral capacities. It is a good idea to mix several essential oils together so that you end up with the most effective broad-spectrum formula. Tea tree oil has a reputation that stands out and is definitely worth including in your blend. Here are a number of oils that are known to have both antiviral and antibacterial properties:
- Tea tree (Here is our recipe for tea tree oil)
A Natural DIY Hand Spray Recipe
The following recipe is incredibly quick and easy to make. It involves only the simplest ingredients that are straight forward to the source. Not only does it smell wonderful thanks to the essential oils, but it doubles up as a natural surface cleaner too!
- 2oz glass or plastic spray bottle
- 1/2 tablespoon essential oils (organic if possible)
- 3 tablespoons of 75% proof alcohol (for example rubbing alcohol)
Optional Extra Ingredients:
- 15 drops vitamin E oil
- 1/4 tablespoons Aloe vera gel (organic if possible)
- Pour 3 tablespoons of 75% proof alcohol into your spray bottle using a funnel.
- Add 10 drops of essential oils.
- Shake vigorously.
Please note that keeping your hand sanitizer in a blue or amber glass bottles is best practice for maintaining its potency. A darker colored glass helps to protect the essential oils from UV damage in a way that a clear plastic or glass bottle won’t be able to do. Personally I also prefer to store my spray in a glass bottle because it is guaranteed not to leach harmful synthetic chemicals into my hand sanitizer, as many plastics will do.
Recipe Adaptions For Dry Skin
Alcohol can be drying to the skin, so if you suffer from this issue it is worth experimenting with your recipe in order to make it more moisturizing. I prefer to keep things simple by following the above recipe and taking the time to moisturize my hands when needed, but here are two alternatives you can try out for yourself if the all-in-one approach suits you best.
Organic Aloe vera gel is another option for nourishing your skin, though some people have found that this is less than ideal because it has the tendency to clump. If you include aloe vera gel, make sure you blend the mixture thoroughly and consider putting it in a hand pump bottle rather than a spray bottle. Alternatively, try adding 15 drops of vitamin E oil into your sanitizer as this will alleviate the drying effects of the alcohol.
Editor’s Note:Thank you so much for your comments. Unfortunately there was an error in the proportions of the ingredients. I am very sorry for this mistake. I’ve edited the article and now you have the correct recipe. I promise I will be more careful next time.
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This article begins with stating that the CDC calls for an alcohol based sanitizer of at least 60% alcohol.
Your recipe calls for 3 tablespoons of 60 proof which is has two problems.
1) 60 proof is only 30% alcohol
2) You then proceed to thin that 30% with distilled water so the final product has even less alcohol
If the alcohol is isopropyl the percentage is as it reads in terms of strength. But your point is correct that in the stated recipe it says “60% proof” – which is technically inaccurate. 60 proof = 30% alcohol. If the alcohol is ethyl (i.e. vodka) you want to start with 180 proof to equal 90% alcohol as a starter. Then any additional ingredients will dilute the final alcohol percentage further. FINAL product dilution needs alcohol (of whatever type) to be >60%.
In a day of specificity with what we’re facing, and as a health professional myself needing this accurate in the clinic, this matters!
Thank you so much for your comments Michael and Lee. There was an error on the proportions of the ingredients. I have edited the recipe. Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention.
Careful. They’re liable to hit you with the stupid “it’s better than nothing!” Excuse. As if that makes it work better or invalidates what you say.
This is hardly the time for half baked theories on unproven products.
This is nowhere near a high enough concentration of alcohol to sanitize anything. The END MIXTURE needs to be at least 60% alcohol. Isopropyl is typically 70% alcohol. As a result, it would need to constitute 90% of the end product to result in a 60% alcohol mixture. Aloe and essential oils should make up no more than 10%. If you find a higher % alcohol, you can use more filler.
Local drug chains in SoCal are carrying IPA in three strengths. 30%, 70% and 90%. 30% is useful as a body wash to help reduce fever. it is at 70% that the anti-bacterial properties kick in.
The posters to this article are absolutely correct. The author was careless in describing the percentage used and in her terminology.
It casts doubt on the authenticity of an article the such egregious errors are made.
Thank you so much for your comments and for bringing this to my attention. We have fixed this error and I promise I will be more careful in the future.
This recipe will not be 60% isopropyl alcohol when finished. You must start with a higher percentage if you are going to dilute it with water and other excipients.
Thank you so much for your comment. You are absolutely right. I have modified the article. Thank you again for bringing this to my attention.
Where do we find the modified recipe?
We have a supply of liquid dishwashing soap. Wondering if there are any recipes out there to make hand sanitizer out of it.
How much rubbing alcohol would need to be added for example? Thanks for reading.
Get a glass measuring cup that will hold 1 liter. Use 800 ml of 90% IPA and add 200 ml of boiled water. That will give you an approximately 67% IPA solution. If you want to use soap too, just add about ten drops of dishwashing soap to the solution. The 67% solution will remain because now you have more than 1 liter of solution. You don’t need giant quantities of soap to make a washing solution.
If all you have is 70% IPA, I would use that straight. I wouldn’t try to dilute it so that it was 65% or 63% because that calls for measurements that have to be too closely monitored. l always want to use a higher percentage of IPA than 60%. I my estimation, you are asking for trouble if you try to use the absolute minimum. If 60% is all you can find in the store, I would use it but all the while bearing in mind that it is the minimum. After I used it, I would wash the item with hot soapy water.
If you are using higher than 60% IPA I don’t see the need to add soap. If you want to wash the objects after disinfecting with the IPA solution, you can just go ahead and do that.
I don’t think CoVD is a real danger from items already in your home unless you are not careful when you come back from being out to make sure you don’t infect your home. I have written an article about how I handle coming home and Claude has promised to post it, so that will describe at least my activities of decontamination.
Obviously anything you bring into the house needs to be decontaminated but dishes and silverware and such need not be decontaminated unless they have come into direct contact with something from the outside. If someone is sneezing and coughing in your home then they need to wear a face covering until they recover from whatever is making them expel droplets of body fluids around the house.
LCC Your 1st example (w/ 90% IPA) actually yields a 72% final product, which is even better. As fot the math w/70% IPA just mix 9 parts alcohol with 1% other (soap, aloe, water) to yield a 63% final product :-}
sanitizer? anti bactireal vs x?
sanitizer? anti bacterial vs x?
I am not sure what you meant by what I think you felt was a witty comment, but it doesn’t help with an intelligent discussion of a serious current topic.
If you have some cogent thoughts on the subject we all would welcome them. There are too many serious aspects to the current situation in our country and the world generally to be trying out your nascent comedy club routine.
lcc, not sure but he may have meant x=virus. Mike
Perhaps my poor old brain just wasn’t able to decode his cryptogram. In any event, if he was questioning whether IPA kills viruses, the answer is clear: It does. A chemical that is just a bactericide will not kill viruses, but I assumed that was pretty common knowledge. A GP sanitizer or sterilizer to earn that definition must kill both bacteria and viruses.
This article has a problem. It says you can use “60% proof alcohol” to make hand sanitizer, but % and proof are different. 60 % alcohol would work to make sanitizer, but 60 proof is only 30% alcohol and would not sterilize anything. You cannot mix up these terms!
Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. You are correct, there was a problem in the article but we have corrected the recipe. Thank you again for your comment.
You cannot add water to the recipe. Once you do that, the 60% alcohol that you started with, will be diluted by the water and the content of the finished product is not 60% alcohol.
Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. We have modified the recipe. Thank you again!
You may want to rethink this formula, “60% alcohol is needed for a solution to be effective”, adding water to 3 tablespoons of 60% alcohol will reduce it effectiveness considerably.
Thank you so much for bringing this to my attention. We have edited the recipe. Thank you again.
Anti bacterial hand sanitizers cause more harm than they cure. Soap and water us all you will ever need. Thinking that you can kill any amount of germs that will help is foolish and ignorant and so is this post. If you are truly a prepper, learn the truth and quit pushing this pandemic nonsense. You can start here: It’s a hour long and you need to see it. https://youtu.be/dFczfwW99kU
Wow, they deleted my first comment. This post is strife with propaganda.
We don’t delete comments. Please refresh the page. It might take a while for the comment to get posted. If your comment still doesn’t appear please send us an email.
Our spam filter might have caught it by mistake.
Rubbing alcohol being in short supply or sold out in many parts of the country, an alternative is high proof alcohol, like vodka. Just remember that the “proof” of alcohol is essentially twice the percentage of alcohol in the liquor. For example 120 proof means that the bottle contains 60% alcohol, 140 proof = 70% alcohol, and so on.
Everclear is sold at 180 proof. The problem is that many states don’t allow alcohol to be sold at that concentration that is potable. The PDRK is one such state. We used to be able to buy high proof alcoholic beverages, then our masters in Krazymento decided it was bad for the serfs to be drinking such potent beverages and made it illegal to sell anything over 100 proof. Wild Turkey at 100 proof apparently is a favorite drink in Krazymento, so it remains legal.
Note: For hand sanitizer solutions to be effective the final alcohol concentration after all ingredients are mixed together needs to be above 60%. Whatever you add to the alcohol base will dilute it so the final strength will fall below that threshold percentage. Its best to start with alcohol (ethyl or isopropyl) that is greater than 90%. Adding Aloe vera, water or whatever – it doesn’t matter the formula – will then dilute it to a weaker concentration. But as long as the final is at or greater than 60% it is good.
Keep up the good posts.
AntiBacterial is just what it is named. Anti Bacterial.
COVID19 is Not a bacteria.
It is a virus. Regular soap removes this virus because it penetrates the viral cell. AntiBacterial gels
Do not remove a viral cell.
Isopropyl alcohol (IPA) is used industrially as a degreaser, among other uses. In the printing industry we used its surfactant properties as a wetting agent to make the non-image surfaces of the printing plate more receptive to water so that we could run less water. In addition, because the alcohol had a lower vapor point than water, the printed sheet would dry faster as it came off the press, minimizing offset and allowing further handling of the printed sheet for folding or whatever to be done sooner. Everybody wants their booklets printed, folded, stapled and bundled today.
Because IPA is a degreaser, it removes the oil from your hands if you use it unprotected on your skin. While you may add all sorts of stuff to IPA to help minimize that drying effect, what you are doing is setting two opposing forces against each other — degreaser vs. oils. The degreaser wins in this contest because in order for it to be effective, it must remain at concentrations over 60% of the solution.
My remedy for excessive use of IPA (other than nitrile gloves) is to use O’Keeffe’s Working Hands. I have absolutely no financial interest in O’Keeffe’s. Sometime back one of our regular posters had complained about eczema and inasmuch as I had the same problem and found the Ok’s hand cream to be effective on the eczema I recommended it to him for that purpose.
It isn’t instantaneous, it will take applications each day and couple of days but it will clear eczema and dry hands. It is not really oily. Hard to describe how it feels on the skin but it does dry within what I think is a reasonable time frame.
Because the effect of IPA on germs is mechanical, they don’t become acclimated to it. It’s like squashing spiders. They never get used to it. It has worked on generations of spiders and will continue to work far into the future until the spiders are bigger than we are, then watch out.
That is different from hand sanitizers that use antimicrobial chemicals in their compound. The bugs get used to this compounds and they become less and less effective. They have been one of the sources making all our antibiotics less effective. I avoid using a hand sanitizer that had antimicrobial chemicals.
I think that O’Keefe’s feels waxy. That is the best descriptive I can think of.
Unfortunately, it doesn’t work too well for me when my fingertips begin to crack in the winter. However, I have found that SuperGlue is a better way to hold the skin together until it can heal, as opposed to wrapping fingers with bandaids that just fall off whenever you wash your hands… yes, even the ones that claim to be ‘waterproof.”
The O’Keefe’s does work fairly well at healing the tiny cracks on the other parts of my hands, though. And it doesn’t smell all flowery and “froof-y.”
Try a mixture of coconut oil and a few drops of lavender essential oil for your fingertips. I’ve had friends who used it for this purpose with great success.
Why a thumbs down to this message. The lady is commenting on a product that helps with dried out skin. If you are older your skin doesn’t contain the oils it did when you were younger. That is a blessing because all the pimples you had as a teenager are long gone by the time you are in your 50s. It is a curse because if you are washing your hands a lot more frequently with soap, the soap is a degreaser and dries out your hands. Just plain washing with hot water will dry out your hand.
I recommended a product that I found helpful in that regard. Sabel commented on her experience with the product. I can’t understand a thumbs down on her comment. Just having a bad day and against the world? Get up on the wrong side of the bed?
Sabel: Yes, I agree. Waxy is the adjective I was reaching for but could not quite get a handle on. Thanks for the assist.
I agree about waterproof bandaids. I think the water they mean is a light sweat. They certainly don’t mean immersion in hot soapy water. Now, if you put them on a very hairy part of your body, they stick like crazy, especially when you go to pull them off. LOL
So reading today that warning was given to military about the virus in Nov. 2019 has been denimed , however why did the California governor sign a bill BANNING Isopropyl/ denatured alcohol on Nov. 18 2019? Where did all the millions of gallons they took from the shelves go? Just saying
Just Saying: What is the number of the bill so I can look it up on line? It had to be emergency legislation because otherwise, non-emergency legislations doesn’t take effect until January 1 of the year after the bill was signed. So a bill signed on November 18 wouldn’t have taken effect until January 1, 2020. It will be listed in current 2019 legislation. Who was the author of the bill and the bill number and I can find it and quote it verbatim as signed.
I don’t know it for a fact, but I have a feeling if this silliness ends, when I visit the local printing supply store I will find 98% IPA available in gallon and 5 gallon cans and eventually all the 1 pint bottles of IPA on the shelves of Safeway and CVS, Walmart etc will be back on the shelves as soon as the panic buying stops.
A conspiracy to take IPA off shelves is not high on my list of conspiracies. I am more concerned about the 7 trillion, with a T pork bill that was spawned by the dems and of course, happily joined in by the reps who never saw a pork item they didn’t love which forced Trump into the position of signing a bill which defeats everything he has been trying to work for.
Just think of the propaganda the dems would have promulgated if Trump had vetoed the “bailout” bill. “Trump denies aid to front line emergency workers.” “Trump abandons workers forced from their jobs by HIS closure of businesses.” You get the idea.
In order for IPA to be used successfully, it is not necessary to flood the surface to be sanitized. A fine mist will do just as well as long as the concentration is over 60%. 70% IPA misted on a surface will appropriately kill existing microbes.
I use a 3-ounce TSA approved bottle that came in a bottle pack of travel size TSA approved bottles. Don’t you get a warm fuzzy feeling just knowing that your conduct has been approved by our masters in the District of Corruption?
In any event, any spritzer will work. Last night I found a lavender spritzer for spritzing pillows to induce restful sleep in my wife’s stock of potions and lotions.
Both my TSA approved spritzer and the lavender spritzer eject a fine mist. I use that mist on all my mail, including two newspapers that we get by mail. I only spritz the outside page of the newspapers because papers are untouched by human hands until they hit the post office. All the collating and folding is done in a continuous operation by mechanical equipment and is not touched by humans hands. Even the tying of the bundles is done by machinery.
It does make the paper a little wrinkled but still legible. I also spritz any money that I receive as change. It goes into a baggie at the store from the clerk’s hands and is handled with nitrile glove protected hands at home in the kitchen sink. I allow the money to dry in the sink before I place it in my wallet. The sink can be sanitized with plain soap and water or Clorox solution if I think soap and water is insufficient.
Money is probably the most potent source of infection that you will encounter in your daily activities and needs to be treated as such in my opinion.
This is a little off topic but apropos to what is happening currently and why so many of us have time to be posting on the internet.
I am currently reading a book entitled “Deadliest Enemy” by an MD names Osterholm. He is an epidemiologist by trade and so things like the CoVD epidemic we are presently experiencing is directly in his line of work. This book was written a couple of years ago, so he didn’t know about our present fun and games at the time of the book.
He discusses influenza and breaks them down into two categories. I quote from his book, “The first is seasonal flu: the kind that makes you feel miserable . . .and kills between 3,000 and 49,000 people each year in the United States.”
Yesterday the female mouthpiece that shown up every time Trump is on TV stated that hospitals are counting as a CoVD death, anybody who dies while infected, even if they happen to be on death’s door from some other pathology, such a renal failure where they are hooked up to a machine with tubes in every natural orifice as well as several medically created orifices.
So your great uncle who was admitted to the hospital with end stage renal disease which the docs said would take him any time, but because he did not have a medical power of attorney in place they had to keep him alive as long as possible, picks up CoVD in the hospital and dies. He doesn’t die from end stage renal disease according to the present protocol, he dies of CoVD.
Remember, approximately 2 million people who are infection free at the time they enter the hospital are infected while in the hospital and of that 2 million infected some 90 thousand die each year from the hospital contracted infection.
With that background information, we are left to wonder how many of the CoVD cases are actually from the flu and how many are from some underlying previous pathology.
Why do hospitals do that? Well, it seems as the mouthpiece announced, that there are federal funds available for hospitals with CoVD cases. Aha! Follow the money. It reveals all every time.
All this is not to say that influenza of any variety is not serious, but it makes me wonder what is ultimately behind making this particular variety cause all of the disruption to our economy just when it was humming along quite nicely?
What is the effect going to be when things settle down — if they do.
What is going to be the effect of the seven trillion with a capital T in monopoly money when it starts to hit all the happy recipients of that pork money on the status of the dollar. Are we going to see Weimar Republic effects on the dollar? Are we going to join Venezuela as a glowing example of rampant inflation?
I don’t know the answers to the questions I posed but perhaps some of you who are brighter than I can ponder them and propose some thoughts.
Started using O’keefe’s Working Hands recently, great stuff.
I’ve been reading articles on the economy by way smart er than me people writing from different perspectives and the consensus appears to be that nobody has a clue what is going to happen. That Trillions bill you speak of originated in the Senate and was written by Senate Republicans with no input from Senate Dems. Then your Cali girl Pelosi loaded it up some more in the House, business as usual. The whole thing is less significant than the Fed taking over the ‘creation’ of money from the Treasury Dept., they are clearly ready to over lubricate any squeaky wheel they hear with limitless Trillions of $$$. It looks like a great deal of the money isn’t even going to be listed as debt. It’s all insane but very similar to the way China has built their economy.
I also scoff at the death tally for covid, I think with the flu they double count, if you die of a heart attack while being treated for Flu they count you in both columns. I also wonder why people dying of flu don’t go on ventilators but Covidians do even though 80% die while ventilated.
Haha I’m out in the country grilling ribeyes on a beautiful spring evening drinking 80 proof Vodka and don’t have a care in the world, because I Prepared.
BTW, tough guys clean their hands with 3% sodium hypochlorite.
What about using Vinegar?
Vinegar helps in cleaning up messes and kills ants by the handfuls but it doesn’t do anything for bacteria nor viruses. Even the popular water filters will claim that they kill 99.99% of bacteria and other nasties but remain silent on the subject of viruses. They are tough buggers to kill.
99% alcohol, pure organic aloe vera and tea tree oil.
mix alcohol and aloe vera 50/50 in spray bottle ,add 1/2 oz. tea tree oil. shake and you have the best protection you can have . buy all on amazon.
Maxie: If you cut 98% alcohol by 50 percent it isn’t 98% alcohol any more, it is 50% alcohol and will not kill bacteria or viruses. Aloe vera is a moisturizer and while some claim that tea tree oil will cure everything from halitosis to pancreatic cancer, its value as a germicide or even a bactericide is yet to be validly tested.
I personally have never seen 99% pure IPA. The most I have ever seen is 98% IPA for the printing industry.
I don’t know if anybody els did this but we used sanitary wipes on the trolly before and after we used it. these things are at least as unsanitary as bathroom door handles.
I neither got up on the wrong side of the bed, nor am I having a bad day. When I went to click on the reply link, my computer screen jumped and I accidentally clicked on the “thumbs down” button. Sadly, clicking on it again did not allow me to remove it, which is a first for me. However, I did very much enjoy the gentle lady’s reply and remarks about the product she was discussing, and I apologize to her, as there was nothing condescending or disrespectful about her reply. In fact, quite the opposite.
You have a nice day.
Annie D: Thanks for the explanation. I really wondered about a thumbs down on such a helpful reply. I didn’t know you can’t undo a thumbs down if you inadvertently clicked on it. Perhaps Claude can fix that problem, maybe not. I do see that the thumbs down has been removed somehow, so maybe he was able to remove it or has changed the program. I know that whatever screening program he uses is slow to react, so maybe your de-clicking worked sometime later — a lot later.
Perhaps some of the thumbs down we see are the result of the same phenomenon. The thumber meant thumbs up and just aimed wrong because sometimes I see a thumbs down on a reply that just puzzles me no end.
Even after all the comments, when I go back and read the article , I am STILL confused as to the ingredients….the alcohol that I buy is 91% so maybe I would be ok to follow the recipe…..I think I am just gonna chunk this article into the delete bin!! WOW So disappointed…
Mimi: Sorry you found this list confusing. Here is a practical way to figure. There is an algebraic formula for figuring this sort of thing out, but I slept through most of my algebra classes, so algebra and I are not on especially good speaking terms. Here is what I do:
First I figure that I am using 100% IPA. I pick an arbitrary number for the IPA and add enough water to equal 10. or You can use milliliters to equal 1 liter. So let’s use ounces.
I picked 7 ounces and 3 ounces of water to equal 10 ounces. I then multiply 10 by the percentage of IPA I have on hand. In this case, you are using 91% IPA, so I multiply 7 would be the amount of alcohol you would have if it had been 100% but it isn’t it is 91%, so I multiply 7 x .91 which = 63.7% IPA, enough to kill nasties. I know this is a kluge way to do it, but as I say, algebra and I are not on speaking terms. Someone who stayed awake in algebra class may have a neater and simpler way to do it than this kluge way and if so, please do not be shy, speak right up.
I hope this helps you, If you have more alcohol, you can do the same same sort of exercise, but using my kluge system, it works better if you make it a unit of one. After that, just use multiples of the 7:3 ratio, ie, 14:6 21:9 etc. This system locks you into the ratio I have set out and I know the algebraic formula will allow far more flexibility. Unfortunately, at that young age, sleeping seemed more practical than algebra. Too soon old, too late smart.
all is well. we just all need to check facts. all of us. be safe be at home. be happy!
Thank you so much for sharing this article on it is good knowledge tankut bringing it to my attention
Great article and great comments. Just a few things to add into the mix.
Not all alcohol is good for people. Remember that anything you put on your skin is absorbed into your body and is not the best for taking care of yourself. My rule of thumb is if I can’t take it internally, I prefer not to put it on my skin. Isopropyl is not the best product. Just because IPA (always thought that was India Pale Ale!?) is “medically approved” does not make it good. Yes, it’s been used for ages as rubbing alcohol. You can’t drink it and it’s still better to get ETOH (ethyl alcohol/ethanol). We have found a source of high proof organic cane ETOH available on Amazon. You just have to be persistent when researching. It’s not cheap, but it’s worth it because you can use it for any alcohol applications, including extracts.
NEVER use denatured alcohol of any kind internally. They “denature” it so it CAN’T be drunk. Why would you put it on your skin? It takes some calling around and pushing people for answers, but not everything labeled Ethyl Alcohol is strictly ETOH. Either because of regulations (California, where else!) or because it’s cheap, the ETOH is cut with other alcohols. We found a nationally available hand sanitizer that claimed ETOH, but on checking, we found it also contained methyl alcohol! Sure, poison in small amounts can be used homeopathically, but this is larcenous. Loads of things are allowed depending on percentages. Caveat emptor!
Bottom line, if you want an alcohol for medical purposes, us good quality ETOH and save yourself the potential problems.
Run out of hand sanitizer gel? Pour a little Listerine into your hands and rubs them together. Listerine won’t be as easy to use as regular hand sanitizer because of its watery consistency, but it’s effective when normal hand sanitizer or hand-washing facilities are not available. An ad folded up in the 1906 cookbook for Listerine that said it killed a specific virus (B. Typhosus) in less than 15 seconds. Given the date of the cookbook and the photos used in the ads, it would have been prior to 1930. The ad said to cleanse your hands with Listerine to avoid that virus: “Your hands are a big carrier of germs, and any chance you get you must cleanse your hands. Listerine is one of the strongest cleaning products there is. It is useful in killing germs, and a good way to fight the spread of illness is washing your hands with Listerine before every meal,” and after every restroom use, and quite honestly when you just think about it.
1929 Ad Listerine Gargle Mouth Wash Antiseptic Lambert Pharmacal Hand Sanitizer