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With the entry of coronavirus in our lives, nobody is short of being a clean freak. Excessive cleaning, sanitizing, and using disinfectant has become commonplace words. It has become essential to disinfect spaces in our homes like bathrooms and kitchens multiple times in a day. Panic buying episodes have left shelves empty of commercial disinfectants in the market.
If you’re facing a similar situation or just want to experiment with making your own disinfectant, we are here to take you through the process. It’s possible to DIY a disinfectant and use it as hand sanitizer, wipes, or spray. Here’s how to make your own disinfectant for protection from COVID-19.
Things you’ll need
When planning to make your own disinfectant, it’s essential to follow the recommendations published by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). For instance, you must use EPA-registered disinfectant ingredients that have proved effective against the virus. Few of them are given as follows:
- Hydrogen peroxide: As per the CDC, hydrogen peroxide has proven effective against several types of microorganisms, including viruses, bacteria, fungi, yeasts, and spores. 3% content of hydrogen peroxide in a solution will kill the microorganisms, including viruses, after exposure of at least six to eight minutes.
- Isopropyl alcohol: It is popularly known as rubbing alcohol. It is the most effective when exposed to an infected surface for 30 seconds at the least. It is water-soluble alcohol, so it can easily be diluted. However, the concentration of alcohol needs to be 70% to disinfect against viruses. Make sure you do a spot test before using the solution on surfaces because isopropyl has discoloring properties.
- Bleach: Bleach has proven effective against several viruses and bacteria when it is properly diluted. According to instructions published by CDC, the appropriate dilution concentration is 4 teaspoons of bleach per each quart of water. Make sure you leave the solution sit for ten minutes on the surface before wiping it away. Be cautious not to use bleach with anything other than water. It can form hazardous compounds when mixed with chemicals like rubbing alcohol, ammonia, or any acidic compounds.
How to DIY your own disinfecting products?
1. Hand sanitizer
Washing hands with soap and water or handwash and water are the ideal method to keep your hands virus-free. However, you don’t always have access to a sink. In that case, hand sanitizer is your next best bet to keep COVID-19 at bay. When you’re making your own hand sanitizer, it’s crucial to keep your ratios precise. Otherwise, the solution wouldn’t be effective against viruses.
We spoke to experts in the chemical field and bring you an effective recipe to make hand sanitizer. It is as follows:
To begin, you’ll need isopropyl alcohol. It’s easily available at Walmart, but if you don’t want to go shopping, you can order it online on Amazon. Make sure you get the alcohol with at least 90% concentration for making an effective hand sanitizer.
To make the sanitizer, you need to have aloe vera gel. If you don’t have it at home, then you can make your own from aloe vera leaves. Follow the steps given below:
- Scrape out natural aloe vera gel from the leaves of an aloe vera plant.
- Cut the leaf’s sides and eliminate the top layer of skin.
- Scrape the gel out of the leaves using a spoon.
- Take out your high-speed blender, and blend your scraped-out aloe gel for two to three minutes.
- Then, filter out the blended gel using a strainer and eliminate the debris left by leaves.
How to make the sanitizer: It’s a fairly simple process, once you have the ingredients. You just have to take one-part aloe vera gel and mix it with three parts of alcohol. Aloe vera will make sure your skin doesn’t dry out from using the sanitizer. For a nice and refreshing scent, try adding a few drops of any essential oil.
Take an empty and clean container to transfer your hand sanitizer in, so you can carry it around easily. If you notice any sedimentation in your sanitizer inside the container, make sure you shake it before use.
2. Disposable wipes
If you’re worried about running out of disinfectant wipes, or your local store has a shortage of the product, then you can make your own disinfecting Clorox wipes very easily. You’ll have to follow the method given below:
- Take a roll of paper towels and cut it horizontally from the middle. The cut pieces should look like two rolls similar to toilet paper.
- Put 2 tablespoons of bleach in 2 cups of water and mix the solution.
- Place one of the rolls flattened into an air-tight container. Pour the mixed solution on top.
- Make sure that the paper towels are completely saturated, and the container is big enough to keep all the liquid in.
- Take out the center cardboard roll, and fresh paper towels will be ready to be pulled out from the middle.
3. Reusable wipes
Instead of using hardly available disposable disinfectant wipes, if you want something which is reusable but just as effective, then reusable wipes are the way to go. They are also not complicated to make on your own. Follow the steps given below:
- Take an old t-shirt or any other cotton fabric and cut it into squares the size of regular wipes.
- Either use a bleach solution or make a mixture of 2/3 cup of isopropyl alcohol with 99% concentration and 1/3 cup of water.
- Soak the square-shaped pieces into your preferred solution.
- Place your used wipes sealed in a container until you wash them. Make sure you wash them in a hot setting.
- Use the washed wipes again by re-soaking them in the solution.
Although you might be worried about using harsh chemicals for disinfection in your home, that’s the only legitimate way to kill the deadly virus. You may have heard that natural ingredients like vinegar, tea tree, and essential oils are natural disinfectants.
However, they haven’t proved effective against COVID-19. Therefore, you must not rely on them for your safety.