Local doctor says to ditch the DIY cleaners and hand sanitizers after product shortages

Many retailers have empty shelves because of cleaning and sanitizing product shortages.
Many retailers have empty shelves because of cleaning and sanitizing product shortages.(WHSV)
Published: Mar. 6, 2020 at 5:17 PM EST
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The novel coronavirus has caused a lot of fear and worry, sparking what's known as "panic buying," and around the Shenandoah Valley and the nation, some are even making their own products to avoid dealing with empty shelves at stores.

Retailers have found themselves having shortages of cleaning supplies and hand sanitizer products, and now, some products are being sold for outrageous prices online, and even the products to make at-home are running low.

Some are resorting to making their own products at home, but Dr. Megan Imholt, a pediatrician in Rockingham County, said to ditch the DIY products.

"You don't want to go mix up your own hand sanitizers necessarily, because you have to use a strong enough rubbing alcohol to balance out with the gels that people are seeing over the counter," Imholt said.

She said if products are made incorrectly, they're not doing what they're supposed to.

"If you don't get at least 60 percent alcohol in your mixture, it's not going to work," Imholt said. "Soap and water is still your best bet."

Some consumers even tapped into their liquor cabinets to make hand sanitizer.

After a social media user posted on Twitter saying they used Tito's Vodka to make their own sanitizer, the popular manufacturer replied back.

The company reminded people that their product is only 40 percent alcohol, which doesn't meet the CDC's 60 percent recommendation.

Imholt said people don't need to make their own sanitizers, because hand soap works just as well.

"Hand soap will dissolve that capsule so that it can be washed off your hands," Imholt said, referring to the microscopic capsule containing the coronavirus. "If you use that hand soap, that will get your hands clean and it will protect you from coronavirus, flu, the common cold."

Imholt recommended singing the "Happy Birthday Song" or any song with a

while washing your hands.