In the world of coronavirus, what happens if all the hand sanitizer gets taken?!

As of this week, market research firm Nielsen is reporting that sales of the germ-killing gel have skyrocketed to 73 percent more than this same time last year! Priced are being cranked up because of the high demand, but people are still buying it, leaving stores with empty shelves and people with empty pockets. The picture below shows some other items from my local grocery store ... $8.15 for Lysol—whaaat?!

Grocery store prices

If you (like me) are experiencing anxiety from the outbreak but can't shell out $10 or so for a tiny container of sanitizer (you know, if there are any) because you got kids to feed, check out this advice from the World Health Organization.

“It is the consensus opinion of a WHO expert group that WHO recommended handrub formulations can be used both for hygienic hand antisepsis and for presurgical hand preparation,” WHO stated. 

They even offer their own DIY formula to replace hand sanitizer. Find it here or read it below:

Ingredients needed include:

  • Ethanol 96% or isopropyl alcohol 99.8%: 8333 ml or 2.2 gallons of ethanol or 7515 ml or 2 gallons of isopropyl alcohol
  • Hydrogen peroxide 3%, which is used to inactivate contaminating bacterial spores in the solution and is not an active substance for hand antisepsis: 417 ml or 1.76 cups
  • Glycerol 98%, which acts as a moisturizer: 145 ml or 0.6 cups
  • Sterile distilled or boiled cold water

Materials/equipment needed include:

  • Depending on how much you want to make, you’ll need anywhere from a 10-liter (2.6-gallon) glass or plastic bottle to 50-liter (13.2-gallon) plastic tank.
  • Wooden, plastic or metal paddles for mixing
  • Measuring cylinders and measuring jugs
  • Plastic or metal funnel
  • An alcoholometer


  1. Pour the alcohol into the large bottle or tank, up to the graduated mark.
  2. Add the hydrogen peroxide using the measuring cylinder.
  3. Add the glycerol using a measuring cylinder. (As glycerol is very viscous and sticks to the wall of the measuring cylinder, it should be rinsed with some sterile distilled or cold boiled water and then emptied into the bottle/tank.)
  4. Top off the bottle/tank up to the 10-liter mark with sterile distilled or cold boiled water. 
  5. Place the lid or screw cap onto the tank/bottle as soon as possible after preparation, in order to prevent evaporation.
  6. Mix the solution by shaking gently where appropriate, or by using a paddle.
  7. Place the solution in quarantine for 72 hours before use. This allows time for any spores present in the alcohol or the new/re-used bottles to be destroyed.

The items and instructions above are suggested from the World Health Organization. You can read more about their take on the coronavirus here.

Remember, be safe and be sure to have enough hand sanitizer on you, whether you make it yourself or purchase it!

Have any other recommendations about the coronavirus? Comment below!