With Coronavirus cases now confirmed in the US, Americans have quickly and predictably entered into a state of panicked purchasing. Fac emasks (which you DO NOT need unless you’re already sick or treating someone who is sick) have sold out in the snap of a finger, and rumors of insane hand sanitizer prices have dominated Twitter timelines.
That’s led some desperate (thirsty?) folks to consider using vodka as a hand sanitizer, to which Texas brand Tito’s has said: please, we’re begging you not to do that.
As you could see from some recent examples from the Tito’s social media team, the Austin, Texas seller famous for its handmade vodka has actively worked to combat the misinformation leading some to believe that a 40 percent alcohol by volume could be the effective basis for a hand sanitizer.
Per the CDC, hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol. Tito's Handmade Vodka is 40% alcohol, and therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC. Please see attached for more information. pic.twitter.com/QNEFOXxYPQ— TitosVodka (@TitosVodka) March 5, 2020
Per the CDC, hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol. Tito's Handmade Vodka is 40% alcohol, and therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC. Please see attached for more information. pic.twitter.com/DtpfsAHZKJ— TitosVodka (@TitosVodka) March 5, 2020
Instead of appreciating the enthusiasm or saying something tone deaf like “Trade your Coronavirus for a Tito’s Virus!” Tito’s wisely chose to go in a different direction. Their replies cite CDC recommendations stating that “washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations,” while also noting that a good alcohol-based hand sanitizer should contain upwards of 60 percent alcohol, which Tito’s does not.
There’s been a lot of talk about homemade hand sanitizers, given the current situation. If you’re going to take your chances by going that route (don’t try this at home), most recipes—which, again, are not from the CDC—involve a mixture of very strong isopropyl/rubbing alcohol and aloe vera. But if you can just continue to wash your hands for a sufficient amount of time, stick with that.
Please, please, please just don’t try to rub Tito’s or any other vodka on your hands and call it a day. Not only is it ineffective, it’s a waste of perfectly good booze at a time when we could probably all use a drink. Cheers.