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Why Vodka Isn’t an Alternative to Hand Sanitizers

In these worrying times, with hand sanitizers either unavailable or crazily priced, some people seem to be using home-made ‘sanitizer’ with alcohol such as vodka. The advice from the experts, however, is don’t. Spirits such as vodka don’t work as a cleanser because, to be effective, the alcohol content for hand use needs to be 60% or more.

The good news is that you might have the answer right there in your bathroom cabinet without realising it: your fragrance.

Angela Stavrevska, a scientist and creative perfumer from CPL Aromas, said: “We are hearing a lot of stories about using vodka as a hand sanitizer but at only 40% alcohol it is not concentrated enough to work effectively.

“Hand sanitizers need over 60% alcohol to be effective. This made us realise that many of you might already have an alternative at home – fine fragrances. Most fine fragrances – be they colognes, eau de toilette, aftershave, or fragrance splashes - are made with much higher levels of alcohol than 60%; they are easily portable; and easy to apply. They are also safe”.

Many high street options are also affordable. For those struggling to buy hand sanitizers, but who need something portable because hand washing is not possible, then fine fragrances might be a temporary solution.

So the advice is: keep the vodka if you have some for its intended purpose.

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