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Hey, guys! I’m Krista Curry from Flaviar and we’re checking if booze kills the Coronavirus. Welcome to the show.
You’ve probably noticed there’s a pandemic outside like we’re in some kind of movie. Although, in movies, they get Dustin Hoffman in a hazmat suit, while we get people going full zombie mode, storming stores and buying all the protection masks, hand sanitizers, and for some reason, toilet paper. Leave some T.P. to us, you monsters!
When stores eventually ran out of germ-killing gels, people donned their MacGyver hats and started making their own. Everyone and their dog googled “alcohol as sanitizer”, “what the hell is going on” and “Everclear”.
No, not the post-grunge band; the rectified Spirit. There are hundreds of recipes out there telling us how to mix our own versions of Purell.
But, does booze really kill the Coronavirus?
Before we answer that, don’t forget to subscribe to our channel and hit that bell button. We’ll bring some ABV to your feed. Now, let’s see what’s behind the logic of using alcohol in the first place.
You probably saw a ruggedly handsome hero pouring perfectly good Whiskey on a wound, saying it will disinfect the wound before he winces and uses something burning to close the wound. We know booze is a great anesthetic, but a germ killer?
History tells us alcohol was used as an antiseptic as early as the 14th century, and alcohol-based hand sanitizers are supposed to be the best.
But: it needs to be at least 120 Proof, while only 180 Proof alcohol is strong enough to kill enveloped viruses. That’s what the Coronavirus is, an enveloped virus, meaning it’s snuggly protected by a coat of fat. Not body-shaming, though. You be you, Corona. Also, leave us alone?
Now, people have been using Tito’s Vodka to make DIY hand sanitizer, posting recipes and videos online. The company even had to do a PSA on how their otherwise great Spirit isn’t nearly strong enough to deal with viral invaders.
“Yeah, but you said 180 Proof! Everclear in our frat party cocktails is 190 Proof. Am I invincible now?”
Well, dear Kappa Sigma guy, no. You’re not invincible, but the diabolical strength Everclear has will definitely evaporate the virus - but only after it makes it drunk as hell. The thing is, though, alcohol will burn your skin and that’s not something you need in your life right now.
This doesn’t mean it won’t work, but it should only be used if there’s no other option. See, the problem with making your own hand sanitizer is the chemistry behind it and the correct ratio of stuff you put inside.
Red hands aren’t even the worst thing that could happen. If you screw up the precise recipe, you’ll end up with a completely useless product. You’ll still get infected, and your hands will stink.
The World Health Organization said a proper hand sanitizer needs denatured alcohol, glycerol, hydrogen peroxide, and sterile water. If that sounded gibberish to you, don’t be Professor Farnsworth and get yourself some soap.
Yup, the good old soap. It's been around since ancient Babylon, so we don't blame you if you forgot how awesome an invention it is.
It's the best weapon we have against viruses and washing your hands with soap for at least 20 seconds will have a better effect than any hand sanitizer. Well, setting yourself on fire would be even better, but please don’t do that.
If you really, really want a hand sanitizer that has some of your favorite booze inside, wait for distilleries to make their first batch. A lot of them stopped their usual production to make hand sanitizers, donating them to medical workers and those who need it the most.
Koval, Woodford Reserve, Old Forester, and Pernod Ricard are just some of the producers that pivoted from liquor to preventing you from getting sicker. No, the sanitizer won’t be aged in oak.
Look, I know these are scary times and we all want to do everything to protect ourselves and the people we love. But you shouldn’t believe everything you read on your aunt’s Facebook feed. Remember: wash your hands thoroughly with soap and don’t waste that lovely Whisky. Drink it, but use a clean glass.
That’s it for now. Cheers, stay at home and take care of each other. Bye!