Here’s how to make virus killing clorox bleach wipes and hand sanitizer and advice from Dr. Jo Herzog on how to avoid contracting the coronavirus.
Update-April 12, 2020
Regarding shelf life for homemade bleach disinfection solutions.
In a product usage guide on the Clorox website, there is a Q & A regarding how often to make a new solution. This is the gist of the answer.
When you are cleaning up after things that are highly likely to spread bacteria (like raw meat), you would want to use a freshly mixed solution. smaller amount (2 tablespoons diluted in 4 cups water) that you use up over several days for general countertop cleaning.
the full article can be found here on the clorox website.
I sent the above info to Dr. Jo, and her comments are below. This is her opinion, not medical advice or a prescription.
Dr. Jo’s opinion: They are saying they don’t really know how long lasts so if you want to be super sure for really important things mix fresh . I would say if at normal temperature and not in light can probably last few days but not weeks.It is so cheap and easy to make should not be big deal . I am using same one for like a week and think fine for countertops and boxes etc. if I was cleaning a room with sick person or bathroom where someone vomiting, it would be different.
My opinion. What this means for wipes: only make enough wipes to use in the course of a day. If making this solution for disinfecting, just make what you need for the day.
What this means for the cleaning solution: For general cleaning, I plan to mix a quart to use for the week for general cleaning. If I feel the need to disinfect, I will mix a smaller amount for one 24 hour period.
UPDATE-APRIL 9, 2020
Hello friends. I had a phone conversation with Dr. Jo this morning. Hand sanitizer is almost impossible to find now. Here are some helpful tips and reminders from Dr. Jo.
- Hand sanitizer is NOT necessary at home. To quote Dr. Jo, If you have soap, water, and a sink, that is all you need; hand sanitizer is for when you don’t have these.
- Hand sanitizer does NOT require aloe. Straight alcohol (70% or higher) can be sprayed on hands from inexpensive bottle. This will kill 99% of anything on hands. It will just be very harsh on skin.
How to Use Straight Alcohol as Sanitizer
Dr. Jo shared her latest tips on using straight alcohol as a hand sanitizer if you cannot find hand sanitizer or aloe.
- Use spray bottles ($ Tree is fine; get several for everyone to use).
- Fill with 70% isopropyl alcohol. This is plenty strong; higher will be very harsh on hands.
- Let alcohol dry on hands.
- Apply moisturizer to hands. Rinsing not necessary.
- Repeat spraying after touching things or getting hands dirty.
UPDATE-APRIL 5, 2020
Dr. Jo gave me a helpful tip today on the phone regarding hand sanitizer. Now that most of us at sheltering in place at home, we can SAVE our sanitizer for the few times we go out. She said that washing properly (20 seconds, vigorously, up arms and all over, with warm soap) is sufficient when at home.
She also said that she is using a spray bottle with bleach + water (figure ratio based on your bottle) to spray packages, groceries, and other items that have gone through several hands. She is NOT mixing a new solution every day. This is just what she is doing personally; we all need to decide how far we go into the safety specificity.
I will be getting details from her later today about handling packages and will update this post as I get more tips. Stay well, friends.
How to Make Your Own Disinfecting Wipes + Hand Sanitizer
In this time of coronavirus pandemic, you may already be forced to make your own cleaning, sanitizing, and disinfecting solution. I teamed up with my friend, Dr. Jo Herzog, to gather accurate “recipes” for making bleach wipes and hand sanitizer that will work specifically to kill viruses (coronavirus included).
Dr. Jo suggested that we go to the clorox website to get accurate information on the ratio needed for effectiveness. Thankfully, clorox had a list of approved products specifically designed for coronavirus. The bleach solution below is the clorox approved ratio for killing coronavirus. I share a video showing how I use it to make wipes, along with a few other ways to apply the solution to surfaces + tips for how to apply it for guaranteed effectiveness.
How to Make Clorox Wipes
Update: I have included barcodes for every kind of Clorox below. Based on which Clorox you purchase, you will make your bleach solution with either 1/3 cup OR 1/2 cup bleach to 1 gallon of water. Please note that Clorox splashless bleach does NOT disinfect.
You can make clorox wipes (disposable or reusable) by making the Clorox bleach solution that is designed to kill viruses, specifically COVID-19. All Clorox bottles are labeled specifically. Below are the guidelines for which bleach should be used with which solution.
Once you determine which clorox solution to make using the barcode on your clorox, make the bleach solution. You can then use this to make wipes.
How to Make Clorox Wipes with Paper Towels
Note: Use regular Clorox bleach. Splashless will NOT disinfect.
How to Make Reusable Clorox Wipes (No Paper Towels)
- 1 roll paper towels
- 1/2 cup clorox or 1/3 cup clorox (see notes below)
- 1 gallon water
Add bleach to water; stir well.
Cut paper towel roll to fit into desired container.*
Pour enough solution over paper towel roll to fully absorb (2-4 cups).
Remove cardboard center from paper towel roll.
Pull pieces of paper towel (wipes) from center hole of the roll.
Cover surface; allow to sit for 5 full minutes.
Wipe with wet cloth; air dry.
Check which clorox you have (barcode). Then you will know whether to use 1/2 cup to 1 gallon water or 1/3 cup to 1 gallon of water.
Remaining solution can be put in spray bottle. Cotton towels can also be placed in the solution, used, laundered and reused.
How to sanitize surfaces and items without bleach.
Some surfaces and items cannot tolerate or would be discolored or ruined by bleach. You can sanitize without chemicals with certain appliances (washers and dryers with a sanitize cycle).. Some steam cleaners like this one, will sanitize by emitting heat (at least 170 degrees). Steam cleaning is a great way to remove germs from upholstered items like sofas, pillows, window treatments and other fabric or porous items that would possibly be faded or ruined by bleach. Steam cleaning is the best way to clean floors, especially hardwoods, which might be damaged by bleach.
How to make hand sanitizer
IMPORTANT UPDATE: According to the CDC, hand sanitizer without alcohol may only reduce the growth of germs rather than killing them outright. The CDC recommends hand sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol in them for maximum effectiveness.
- Best option is 91% or higher isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol, medical grade). This is the alcohol with which you mix 2/3 cup alcohol and 1/3 cup aloe vera gel for effective hand sanitization.
- If you have 70% isopropyl, you will use less aloe vera gel. For this strength alcohol, use 1 to 2 TB aloe vera to 1 cup alcohol. This is a very “liquidy” version but it is one that meets the 60% or higher alcohol content to kill COVID-19.
New information indicates that the end result of hand sanitizer, once mixed, should have an alcohol strength of 60% or higher to effectively sanitize. Using 70% will result in a more watery solution, as you will use a small amount of aloe vera.
NOTE: If all of these ratios are frustrating and confusing, the solution is easy. Spray either 71% or 91% alcohol directly from a spray bottle onto your hands. You can also use “mostly” alcohol with a few TB of aloe vera just to give it a little bit of gel consistency without diluting the alcohol percentage.
- I found this clear aloe vera gel on amazon for those who might not be able to find aloe vera gel locally. If you cannot find aloe vera gel at all, I share 2 options in the video below.
- 91% isopropyl l is available here at Target and here at Wal-Mart. If you can only find 70% isopropyl, you will use less aloe vera gel (1/5 c aloe vera gel to 1 cup 70% isopropyl alcohol).
- These leak proof bottles are travel size and perfect for homemade hand sanitizer.
- 2/3 cup isopropyl alcohol 91% or higher (see below if using 71%)
- 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
Add both ingredients into a small jar with tight fitting lid.
Shake vigorously until aloe vera gel is smooth.
Pour mixture into small bottles.
If using 70% isopropyl alcohol, use 1 to 2 TB aloe vera gel to 1 cup alcohol. Do not use any alcohol lower than 70%. The end result of the sanitizer must be 60% alchohol or more after mixing.
How to Avoid Contracting Coronavirus
Update: At the time of this video, the coronavirus was considered an envelope virus only transmissible via droplets (not airborne). It is now thought that this virus is airborne, and it is recommended that we wear masks in public. N95 masks should be reserved for our medical professionals. We can make our own masks. If you want to make your own, detailed instructions are in my recent post~ How to make face masks.
Practical advice from a doctor on avoiding coronavirus
I hope that this post and the advice and tips from Dr. Jo were helpful. As always, thank you so much for stopping by.Wishing you a joyful, blessed, an d saavy day.