Given the demand for personal care products, such as sanitizers and wipes, these items have disappeared from store shelves at an alarming rate.
However, there are many viable alternatives to sustain hygienic practices and prevent the spread of germs.
Simple homemade products and behavioral changes can help keep you and your family healthy.1. Make your own hand sanitizer
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention say hand sanitizers should contain at least 60% alcohol.
Effective DIY hand sanitizers can be made with 2/3 of a cup of alcohol, with concentrations ranging from 60-99 percent, and 1/3 cup aloe vera.
If you use a solution with a higher alcohol content, such as rubbing alcohol, you should include a small dose of water.
Mix the solution together and store in an easily dispensable container.
Make sure to avoid contact with the eyes and do not consume this product.
Use sanitizers to supplement regular hand washing, not in place of hand washing. 2. Follow specific instructions
When making your own hand sanitizers or alcohol wipes, it is important to follow specific instructions.
If the ratio of alcohol to aloe and water is not correct this can impact the effectiveness of the solution.
You can also opt to add tea tree oil, which has antibacterial properties, to your mixture. You may also want to include a few drops of essential oils for fragrance.
The World Health Organization has a medical grade manual for creating DIY sanitizers which can be accessed here: https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf.3. Wash your hands regularly
The CDC recommends lathering up with warm water and soap for a least 20 seconds.
It is important to scrub the hands thoroughly and keep them under warm water until the entire hand washing process is complete.
Even after washing your hands, you should avoid touching your face as this can contribute to the spread of germs.4.Take your shoes off at the door
Upon entering your house, take your shoes off at the door.
Have a designated spot where household members and visitors can leave their shoes, that way regular cleanup of this specific area will be more manageable.
Not only will this simple habit keep you from traipsing dirt throughout your house, it will also help to limit the distribution of microbes that have attached to the bottom of your shoes during the day.
Check to see if any of your shoes are machine washable. Regular shoe washes can help to mitigate the spread of harmful bacteria throughout your home.5. Keep your distance
Social distancing is a public health measure designed to prevent the spread of illness by limiting the physical closeness of individuals.
For the time being, keep greeting exchanges verbal and avoid shaking hands with others.
Due to the current public health emergency caused by coronavirus, the CDC recommends avoiding large gatherings of 50 people or more for the next eight weeks and limiting close contact with others. Gov. Ned Lamont, along with the governors of New York and New Jersey, issued an order banning crowds of 50 or more.
These are general public health guidelines geared toward symptom-free individuals looking to avoid the spread of germs.
Any questions about personal health should be directed towards a medical professional.
For more information visit www.cdc.gov.