Please Don’t Use Tito’s Vodka to Make DIY Hand Sanitizer, Begs Tito’s Vodka

published Mar 5, 2020
We independently select these products—if you buy from one of our links, we may earn a commission. All prices were accurate at the time of publishing.
Post Image
Credit: shutterstock/Africa Studio

Sanitize, sanitize, sanitize. The recent coronavirus outbreak has brought on a more-than-usual urgency to maintain cleanliness—although this should always be a priority—and has resulted in hand sanitizer flying off the shelves. And while homemade sanitizers are a thing (a complicated thing), people on Twitter have been spreading that can be made using Tito’s Vodka—and the company politely but bluntly shut down that theory. 

Many users have been tweeting about mixing Tito’s Vodka with other ingredients (mostly aloe vera) to create a DIY sanitizer, which the vodka brand confirmed as not effective through a public service announcement. In their statement, the Austin-based distillery refers to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) magnate that hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60 percent pure alcohol, to which their product only contains 40 percent and therefore shouldn’t be used for sanitization.

“Many studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers,” the CDC mentions on their website. “Hand sanitizers without 60-95% alcohol 1) may not work equally well for many types of germs; and 2) merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright.” For preventing the spread of the new coronavirus specifically, the CDC recommends your solution contain at least 70 percent alcohol.

Tito’s Vodka Twitter account has plugged the PSA when tagged in posts in relation to creating DIY sanitizer, hoping to spread the word that it is not a suitable alcohol to create an efficient sanitizer. Other companies such as Smirnoff have also stepped up to spread awareness that their products will not efficiently sanitize.

But should you really be making your own sanitizer in the first place? The safest bet: don’t do it, as DIY hand sanitizers need to be precise to be effective, and even many of the recipes circulating using rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol are recommending ineffective ratios.

“When you buy commercial hand sanitizers, they are manufactured to have a specific concentration of alcohol,” Dr. Elizabeth Scott, associate professor of biology and founder of the Boston-based Simmons Center for Hygiene and Health in Home and Community, says. “At home, I have no idea how you would even begin to figure that out.” 

So please, folks, be smart and wait for sanitizer to be restocked at your local drug store. And in the meantime, wash your hands for 20 seconds.