Tito’s Vodka would like to remind the general public that you can’t douse your hands in vodka in place of using hand sanitizer.
As panic over the new coronavirus spreads, stores across the country are running out of face masks and hand sanitizer. While the shortage could be easily avoided if people just washed their hands correctly, it’s clearly not enough for concerned Twitter users. Some are resorting to making their own hand sanitizer, which consists of two parts 99 percent isopropyl alcohol and one part aloe vera gel. As the Verge notes, you can also swap out isopropyl alcohol with vodka, as long as it’s 180 proof or higher.
According to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines, hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60 percent alcohol to be considered effective.
In a world where we have to remind people to wash their hands regularly — and not just when we’re under the threat of a viral pandemic — we naturally have to remind people that Tito’s vodka is not a replacement for hand sanitizer.
The company took to Twitter to reaffirm that with an alcohol content of only 40 percent, it doesn’t meet CDC guidelines for hand sanitizer. “Tito’s Handmade Vodka is 40 percent alcohol, and therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC,” the company said in a statement.
It kept going. In replies to Twitter users, the company also reminded people to wash their hands with soap and water.
A Tito’s spokesperson told the Dallas Morning News that the company wanted to “set the record straight” after seeing misinformation about using vodka as hand sanitizer spreading on social media.
“While it would be good for business for our fans to use massive quantities of Tito’s for hand sanitizer, it would be a shame to waste the good stuff, especially if it doesn’t sanitize,” the spokesperson said. “Which is doesn’t, per the CDC.”
To effectively wash your hands, the CDC recommends lathering your hands with soap, scrubbing for at least 20 seconds — about two rounds of “Happy Birthday” — and thoroughly washing between the fingers and under the nails.
Then you can pour yourself a nice big glass of vodka.
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