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I’ve got 70% rubbing alcohol but no aloe Vera.....

55 replies

MelanieFrontage · 15/03/2020 00:13

And I refuse to buy aloe Vera gel at about £10 for 200ml.

Can I just decant my liquid into a spray bottle and use it without aloe gel?

If I do I’ll obviously have to use tonnes of hand cream but am I safe to spray the alcohol directly onto my hands?

OP posts:

StatisticallyChallenged · 15/03/2020 01:23

You're thinking the neat alcohol will strip your hands, literally hurting your skin cells, right? But diluting the alcohol will mean it won't do that - it won't hurt your hands.

Think of the virus as being like your hands. It has a protective coating that needs stripped. Moisturiser will help your hands recover but it'll do sod all to help the virus


MelanieFrontage · 15/03/2020 01:25

I tell you all what, I’m going to drink the stuff, I’m that confused.

I’m not going to, really I’m not...

OP posts:

Skippingabeat · 15/03/2020 01:33

Think of it this way. If you pour a teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in your greasy pan and you rub it in and then rinse it in a bathtub of water, it will get very clean.

Now if you pour your teaspoon of dishwashing liquid in a bathtub of water and then try to clean the greasy pan in it, it won't clean. That's because you need the concentrated dishwashing liquid to destroy the grease.

Same for the alcohol. You need the concentrated alcohol to kill the virus. Afterwards you can put as much cream as you want as the virus is dead already.


MelanieFrontage · 15/03/2020 01:38

Okay, I may have asked this before. If I spray 70% rubbing alcohol onto my hands that’s going to kill some bad stuff yeah?
Then I use hand cream to stop my hands from drying.
But, if I’ve combined my alcohol with moisturiser then how much do I now need to use?

How much spray and how much hand cream.

OP posts:

MelanieFrontage · 15/03/2020 01:42

Fuck me, sorry for being sooo thick. Im actually quite embarrassed that I don’t get this.

Ask me to programme manage an IT transformation programme and I’m your woman, but hand sanitizer is well beyond me!

OP posts:

GertieWooster · 15/03/2020 01:56

The reason the alcohol you have is 70% and not 100% is because it's already been diluted with something. If you add something else to it, aloe vera or whatever, you are diluting it even more.

If you use the rubbing alcohol and let it do its thing and then add moisturiser after, it won't effect the efficacy of the alcohol - unless the hand cream is contaminated.


Ginandplatonic · 15/03/2020 02:03

The problem with neat alcohol (apart from drying your skin) is that evaporates too quickly for the alcohol to be effective. So use enough so that it stays wet for 20 seconds or so.

The purpose of adding the gel (which you can’t do anyway if your alcohol is only 70% as pps have explained) is to stop it drying so quickly, and make it a better texture for spreading over your skin.


DressingGownofDoom · 15/03/2020 02:08

Could you soak some wipes in the alcohol and carry them about it a reusable zipped bag? I heard people are buying optical wipes because they have alcohol in them.


Toybox88 · 15/03/2020 04:54

You could fill 90% of your container with your rubbing alcohol and put normal hand cream in the final 10%.
The alcohol content only has to be above 60% to kill the virus doesn't it? So the overall alcohol content would be reduced but still over 60...
I did this and it turned out lovely


StylishDuck · 15/03/2020 05:19

I doubt very much that the cream will mix properly with the alcohol. You'd probably just end up with a gloopy mess. If it's 70% alcohol then there's not a lot of scope for adding anything before the alcohol concentration is too low. I would just go with spraying it directly and then using hand cream. I made my own but used 100% alcohol and aloe Vera gel (2/1 mix so it's approx 67% alcohol now) and it's still very drying. (I'm a chemist btw)


Clettercletterthatsbetter · 15/03/2020 05:27

Think about a swimming pool. Let’s say you need 5% chlorine in your swimming pool to kill germs (I have no idea how much chlorine you’d actually need, so don’t shoot me down for that - it’s just an example).

I’m all germy and I go for a swim in a pool with 3% chlorine concentration. I get out and I’m still all germy because the concentration of chlorine wasn’t high enough to kill the germs. We’ll call that swim 1.

Swim 2. I get back into the pool with 3% chlorine concentration and have another swim. When I get out I’m still all germy because, again, the concentration of chlorine wasn’t high enough. I could swim in that pool 50 times and I’d still be covered in germs.

Apply the same logic to the hand gel. Application 1 of the gel doesn’t have a high enough concentration of alcohol. Applying it a second time won’t make a difference because application 2 of the gel also doesn’t have a high enough concentration of alcohol. It wouldn’t matter if you applied it 50 or 150 times, it still wouldn’t be high enough because it’s the concentration of the alcohol that matters, not the amount.

Disclaimer: I’m shit at science, so this might be wrong.


itsalmostspringagain · 15/03/2020 05:33

The alcohol I had was only 70% so I've poured half a bottle into a packet of baby wipes rather than make up the spray with aloe vera


Cailleachian · 15/03/2020 05:50

I cant believe no one's suggested getting an aloe vera plant!

Most garden centres will have them and they grow pretty quick, just cut off a leaf, run a knife up the side and scoop out the gloop. That way you get pure aloe vera, and you only need to add a little bit.


ItsNotJustTheFuckingFlu · 15/03/2020 06:19

Holland And Barret deliver btw.


chatterbugmegastar · 15/03/2020 06:20


nellodee · 15/03/2020 06:33

Think about Molotov cocktails. The alcohol content is so high, you put a rag in it, light it, throw it, BOOM! Now imagine you dilute it first. Even if you used a bigger bottle so there was the same amount of total alcohol, you won’t get the BOOM anymore. You’re trying to “burn” the virus, not get it drunk Wink


nellodee · 15/03/2020 06:35

Obviously this is still a metaphor, no-one should be really setting fire to anything!


ChardonnaysPetDragon · 15/03/2020 06:48

The problem with using neat alcohol on your hands is also that it’s very drying and your skin will crack.

Cracks mean that the virus will get in easily, hence the need to moisturise.


ChardonnaysPetDragon · 15/03/2020 06:49

Moisturiser will prevent the cracks, it won’t do anything to the virus.


Batfurger · 15/03/2020 06:50

Op, you can't dilute it and still have effects on the virus. Stop asking because it won't change. Posters here have been very patient but you don't seem to believe them.


cyclingmad · 15/03/2020 07:17

Just buy an aloe vera plant, I have one and take what i need and apply it fresh to my skin. Its amazing


kshaw · 15/03/2020 07:34

Anything above 60% alcohol will kill viruses. 70% is effective quicker. Above 70% it evaporates too quickly to have killed anything.
Biomedical laboratory manager here. Trust me don't go below 60% total alcohol content. It won't work. You can use it as a spray on your hands but spray well and let it dry off before doing anything. We use it more on surfaces to clean but we use it in sterile areas.


kshaw · 15/03/2020 07:41

Also, putting moisturiser in the alcohol would spoil the moisturiser, you're better spraying hands to kill everything then putting moisturiser on.


Lweji · 15/03/2020 07:44

If I used 70% alcohol neat and then immediately used a shed loads of moisturiser why is that different to adding the moisturiser to the alcohol?

With the first rubbing with alcohol, you inactivate the virus. The lipid (fat) layer is destroyed.

Then you rub with cream to keep moisture in your skin. You mustn't use this immediately. You have to rub your hands thoroughly with the alcohol mixture first.

But if you have liquid hand cream, rather than gel form, you can mix them at 9+1, alcohol+cream.

My main worry is that you'd have to get the proportions exactly right or you could end up with a non-effective mixture.

70% is what we use in labs and I wouldn't want to go lower than 60%.

Can you do proper measurements at home?


lovelyupnorth · 15/03/2020 07:50

Just wash your hands. Much more effective then fucking about making hand sanitizer

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