How to Wash Your Hands
The New York Times has a terrific video showing how to wash your hands. You’ve probably been doing it wrong all these years.

How do you Disinfect?
The Journal of Hospital Infection has noted that all standard disinfectants are effective with known coronaviruses, such as sodium hypochlorite, hydrogen peroxide, or ethanol solutions. As of Mid March, 2020 they have not be tested on COVID-19, but it is likely such solutions will work as well for it and the WHO is recommending their use. As of mid-March, 2020 they have not be tested on COVID-19, but it is likely such solutions will work as well for it. Specifically, the Journal has noted that all household cleaning products can help kill viruses. The Journal also noted that all standard disinfectants are effective with known human coronaviruses which can be efficiently inactivated by surface disinfection procedures with 62-71% ethanol, 0.5% hydrogen peroxide or 0.1% sodium hypochlorite” or bleach used for a minute.

Your Phone
The most likely source of infection that people overlook is their cell phone as both hands and face come in routine contact with it, often many times per day.  Read this helpful NYT article for info. and how to clean a cell phone.

Making your own Disinfectants
If they are hard to find you can make your own, for example one to two table spoons of bleach in a quart of water can be put into a standard (used) spray bottle and used. Soap and water are very effective sanitizers and should be used first. Hand sanitizers should contain at least 60% alcohol and should be rubbed all over the surfaces of the hands (not into the hands, this is not lotion) until they are dry. Don’t wipe off the sanitizing agent before it dries. Here’s a recipe from Wired to make your own.

Wired’s favorite recipe involves glycerol, a pure 100% grade substance used in medical applications, but when this writer checked Amazon (03/19/20) there was none in stock anywhere. There was plenty of glycerin (also called glycerol and glycerin) which is a manufactured product that contains ≥95% glycerol; however, it is not necessarily “pure” medical-grade glycerol. Glycerin is a by-product of soap manufacturing. It can come from any source of oil or fat, animal or vegetable. It can also be synthetically produced by processing petroleum. propylene and chlorine. It is used in many cosmetic products and “could” be safe for making hand sanitizer. Pure glycerol should be used in unguents used to treat burns and cuts, however. In general glycerol and glycerin are pretty much the same thing.

Glycerin is used in hand lotions, sunscreens, facial masks and soaps as it has moisturizing qualities. This combats the drying effect of alcohol rubbed on the hands or face. It is very common in baby skin products. If you get into it, this
article offers nine recipes for making various skin care/beauty products out of glycerin; however, all advise using VG or vegetable glycerin. A good company that makes the stuff is 18C, or consider kosher products. 18C’s recipe for facial cleanser might be perfect. Start with these ingredients:
  • 1/2 cup distilled water
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon vegetable glycerine
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon cornstarch
  • Glass jar with lid, heatproof
Then make the product:
  1. Mix the water with the glycerine and cornstarch in the jar
  2. Put the lid on the jar
  3. Place the jar in a pot of water on the stove
  4. Bring the water to a boil
  5. Heat the jar until the mixture becomes clear
  6. Remove the jar and let it cool
Finally, to make it antiseptic, mix it with 60% or more pure Ethanol Alcohol. Pour the resulting solution into a old, empty hand sanitizer bottle.

One thing to watch out for is some glycerin is derived from animal fat, whereas if you are looking for cosmetic grade (to use on your body) you will probably want vegetable glycerin (VG). Looking for USP (complies with the United States Pharmacopoeia) says nothing about the source and means only that it is Pharma Grade Glycerine. Food grade is actually somewhat lower in standards, still that is what is used in products applied to skin. Searching the internet for 100% food grade or kosher should yield only VG products.

Do not use baby wipes. BTW, keep any sanitizer away from children who should be supervised when and if they use it, between 2011-2015 US poison control centers received about 85,000 calls about possible poisoning in children by hand sanitizer swallowing and other exposure. They can’t get you drunk, but after just a mouthful or two they can cause severe alcohol poisoning. Here’s a good deal of
information about hand sanitizer from the CDC.

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