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Coronavirus: Should I make my own hand sanitizer?

A woman uses hand sanitizer in this stock image. (Courtesy Pexels/Anna Shvets)
Summary

Health Canada says it's best to stick with approved hand sanitizers

Homemade sanitizer may be too weak to kill coronavirus

NEWS 1130 is working hard to get you the information you need about the COVID-19 pandemic.

When you have questions, NEWS 1130 Gets Answers.

Question: 

Is it a good idea to make my own hand sanitizer?

Answer:

While the internet is abound with recipes and instructional videos for making hand sanitizer at home, Health Canada says you’re better off sticking with store-bought products.

“Health Canada does not recommend making your own hand sanitizer, no matter what the recipe is,” the agency says on its website.

Even the formula provided by the World Health Organization shouldn’t be used at home, Health Canada says.

“That recipe is intended for use by licensed producers, which manufacture it in a controlled environment so the final concentration of ingredients is accurate,” it says.

If you’ve already made hand sanitizer at home, Health Canada says you should stop using it because it likely doesn’t have a high enough concentration of alcohol to kill the coronavirus.

“Homemade formulas may also present other health risks, such as skin irritation, increased sensitivity or allergies,” the agency says.

You’re better off washing your hands with soap and water. When that’s not possible, use Health Canada-approved sanitizer with an alcohol concentration of at least 60 per cent. The agency maintains an updated list of approved hand sanitizers.

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