Will homemade hand sanitizer protect you?

Why DIY sanitizer might do more harm than good

HOUSTON – Coronavirus is causing some shortages of medical and cleaning supplies. Hand sanitizer is one product that is hard to come by, sparking social media videos teaching you how to make your own.

Mixing essential oils, aloe and alcohol is the gist of how you make hand sanitizer but health experts warn if you don’t do it right, you could end up damaging your skin more than protecting yourself from germs. The concoction needs to have at least 60% alcohol to be effective but also an emollient to counteract the harshness.

Most experts agree you’re better off washing your hands with soap and water.

Although soap is pretty easy to come by, a lot of cleaning products like disinfectant wipes and sprays are a little more challenging to find. Employees at one store told KPRC they can barely put products down before customers pick them up.

Customers have noticed that Clorox and Lysol claim to kill the coronavirus. Since the coronavirus is a type of virus that has been around, it has been tested against the disinfectant. Although the novel coronavirus that everyone’s talking about has not been tested, the health department said they believe all commercial products will work to keep your household germ-free. The catch is, you need to read the directions.

For example, Lysol wipes say to sanitize an area and let the Lysol sit wet on a surface for one minute and then wipe dry. To disinfect the area, it says to let it sit on the surface for four minutes before you wipe dry.