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Kerven

Hand Sanitizers?

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With all the coronavirus fuss, I've found myself increasingly interested in soaps and sanitizers. If things get too bad, I imagine I'm not going to be leaving the house without a travel size of both liquid hand soap and sanitizer. So, what better way to go about that than to make my own.

 

Does anyone have any formulas or suggestions?

I'm thinking AloeThix from LotionCrafter, which would cover the gel structure. Then, at least 60% ethyl alcohol, a little isopropyl myristate as an emollient, some glycerin as a humectant, maybe some isopropyl alcohol if using fragrance oil or essential oil (to emulsify?), a preservative (tocopherol seems to be the go-to), and distilled water to fill in the rest. I'm tempted to go a different route and look at cellulose gels but... IDK. Sepinov EMT 10 at LotionCrafter looks interesting. Don't want to go overboard on fancy emollients, humectants, moisturizers, etc. as they'd probably defeat the purpose.

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I use a carbomer and alcohol.  Off the top of my head pretty sure I used sodium carbomer since it does not need neutralizing. 

 

you could probably short cut with aloe thix or aloe gel that already containers gellants and just add alcohol. 

 

supposedly to be effective the alcohol portion needs to be greater than 60%

 

or, just pick up a base like this from essentials by catalina

 

https://essentialsbycatalina.com/rinse-free-hand-wash-base
 

for soap, cut up a bar and stick slivers into a baggie for quick effective hand cleaning.

 

the one good thing I have read about this virus is that it is in a lipid coating, so simple hand washing will go a long way toward protecting yourself. Soap and water on solid surfaces and door knobs, etc. will help too. 
 

in my house for true sanitizing I use Star San in the kitchen and peroxide pretty much anywhere else.  

 

 

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I was reading earlier that contracting the virus is going to be more likely through contact than through air (was reading about the effectiveness of the N95 masks and why they're not the silver bullets many people believe), which got me thinking about sanitizers and soaps. It's being said that washing hands is going to be the best deterrent and hand sanitizing less effective but still good if washing isn't an option. Good thing I'm a borderline compulsive hand washer. Can't say the same about the rest of the household.

 

The sanitizers I looked at ranged from 62% to 70%. I'm wondering if a mixture of alcohol, aloe juice, glycerin, and water would work. It would significantly cut costs and should be thin enough to spray. Hmm! A travel size multi-use, skin-safe sanitizing spray... disinfect your hands, disinfect the tabletop at a restaurant...

Out of curiosity, are sanitizers regulated as drugs and require the whole independent testing and submittal of results for FDA approval?

 

I use peroxide everywhere too (peroxide + Dawn works great on stains!). Sometimes I'll break out the vinegar (vinegar + Dawn works great on soap scum and grease!). Rarely the bleach (not a fan). Lysol wipes are a staple.

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I buy unscented babwipes from Costco and add 70 percent alcohol to them. They make great cleaning wipes. Don’t use 91 per cent, it dries too fast. You just add a big splash in a package.

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@TallTayl Do you use aloe as well? I'm wondering if the stuff at the grocery store will work (Fruit of the Earth Aloe Juice - Kroger has an awesome price for 128floz) even though it has citric acid in it. Would the citric acid interfere with the neutralized carbomer? The pure aloe juice from Making Cosmetics does mention that it could lower the pH and require balancing with TEA. I'd like to avoid messing around with TEA and aminomethyl propanol... if I can.

Trying to cut down on shipping costs by using locally acquired ingredients, especially for heavy ingredients like aloe juice and ethyl alcohol. I can't work up the nerve to order a premade base as I'd be paying (including shipping costs) for something that's primarily alcohol and water, which I can get from several places within a mile or two.

Maybe 100x aloe powder? It appears to have maltodextrin in it and I'm concerned about that. Would the alcohol be enough of a preservative to keep things from feeding/growing off the maltodextrin? 200x doesn't contain it but is more costly and requires more precise measuring.

 

I guess I could do without the aloe and go with straight water. Or a sprayable liquid formulation rather than gelled; wouldn't need carbomer so the pH would be less of an issue.

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I think a spray is much easier. And less tacky feeling than the gels

 

i used  some aloe gel after sun I had on hand and added to 60% ethyl alcohol and it became really watery. added about 0.5% sodium carbomer and it is holding fine. 
 

It is not clear, since I shook the bottle forcefully to mix,  but it feels fine to use.
 

here it is being squeezed from a PET bottle onto a paper towel. It holds the shape without moving so maybe a little less sodium carbomer would do the trick. 

67017F67-A5A4-4A3A-83C1-188EA349C5FA.jpeg

Different aloes might perform differently. 
 

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Oh and I used some long leaf pine essential oils so it smells like I just left a wild Christmas tree forest 😅

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More thoughts, you can also pick up baby wipes in travel containers and add some alcohol to wipe up periodically. I’m using them to quickly wipe off my hands after leaving stores and wiping down the steering wheel too. 

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I've seen aloe gels at drug stores. You confirmed my suspicion that they'd turn watery if diluted with alcohol. I think I'll order some of the sodium carbomer to give that a try and to have on hand before it's sold it.

The AloeThix is already sold out. The demand is real! Some stores have removed big brand hand sanitizers from their sites and others are limiting order quantities.

Sprayable sanitizer idea was inspired by the The Honest Co. hand sanitizers. Their base formula seems to be alcohol, aloe juice, calendula and chamomile extracts, glycerin, and water. The others are scented with natural ingredients. That'll give me an excuse to try the overpriced WSP EO-based FO's. Might even try to make a Thieves Oil blend. My only issue with the spray sanitizer is that it seemed to evaporate before it could be rubbed over the skin. I wonder if a little PG might help with that.

 

Going to grab some baby wipes and try that too. Hopefully, those don't sell out.

 

I just realized that I need to find a source of ethyl alcohol with high enough ABV. High proof grain alcohol isn't going to work. Need a permit to purchase that here. Denatured alcohol? Isopropyl?

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The aloe gel and isopropyl makes great sanitizer, the issue all of it’s gone online! I have made the sanitizer with both, the key is you must with stick blend of use hand blender and then works perfectly. You can use high proof vodka too. The aloe has carbomer  and tea.

I have preneutralized carbomer but honestly mixed the two above was perfect just like Purell.

There is shortage of aloe, and isopropyl everywhere. People went nuts.

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Unfortunately, here in VA, ABC requires an industrial, commercial, culinary, or medicinal use permit for grain alcohols as strong as Everclear. Going to have to go the isopropyl route... for now. It's sold out -everywhere-, but I have a few bottles stashed away for first aid. Even alcohol prep pads are starting to sell out. This is becoming ridiculous.

Edited by Kerven

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hope it gets sorted fast!

 

for home sanitizing Star San is nice. And peroxide. I’d better stock up before word gets out 

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You can blend the aloe with isopropyl, the alo can only hold so much alcohol. Also you MUST blend it with a hand blender or it will stay watery. Do not expect plain string for it to incorporate. The carbomer in formulas needs a good blend.


 

 

 

 

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You can blend the aloe with isopropyl, the alo can only hold so much alcohol. Also you MUST blend it with a hand blender or it will stay watery. Do not expect plain string for it to incorporate. The carbomer in formulas needs a good blend.


 

 

 

 

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Anyone know where I can get travel size (2-4oz) bottles, sprayers, and disc or flip caps individually? I've had my eye on BA, since I can get CP/HP and other supplies, but almost all of their closures are sold out. SKS has plenty in stock but their package counts are more than I need, considering I need a mix of closures.

 

Patiently waiting for sodium carbomer to arrive. Got an order through just in time. Now, all sodium carbomer is sold out. Supplies are selling out fast. The 2 day processing delay is now 3-4. I guess either people are stocking up since they're going to be cooped up indoors or they're catching on and making necessities from scratch due to shortages.

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I just got a bunch of 2 oz bottles and lids from Nature's Garden.  You can get them in 10 pks pretty inexpensively.   Their shipping is generally pretty fair as well.   I purchased a gallon from Catalina of their sanitizer and am packaging it to give to family and friends who cannot access it since the shelves are empty. 

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Usually packaging from WSP is easy.  NG as noted above is pretty reliable too. 
SKS bottle, specialty bottle have various sizes. 

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If you do blend commercial aloe gel which has carbomer in it already, it holds only so much alcohol before turning into watery mess.

You  MUST blend not shake, to get the gel and alcohol to be cohesive. It works very well, but keep in mind you are blending alcohol 😳

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Helpful Post From the Unicorn Chemist:

 

https://www.facebook.com/chemist1994/posts/3047045265345968?__tn__=K-R


“Hand Sanitizer and the chemist... I'm tired and obviously those in back aren't getting it.

This chemist is annoyed and perplexed at the crazy homemade hand sanitizer formulations circulating the globe like a dangerous wildfire. I have been in the business of new product development for over 20 years, and one thing I wish is that people would stop circulating or sending me DIY hand sanitizer formulations to “check over”. Not one of them has passed my basic standard of requirement.

Here are some basics required to make an effective sanitizer:
1) Improved contact time for alcohol to work and ideal concentration for mitigation.
a. Alcohol requires contact time, depending on the microbe minimum required contact time of 1 minute may need to be achieved. We know that even simple microbes require time to get the alcohol inside to denature the protein within studies show 20 seconds when blended with other known antimicrobial agents like Benzalkonium Chloride (notice I did not say tea tree essential oil). 
b. Ethyl Alcohol is generally preferred and 60-90% is generally considered safe and effective (notice, I did not say 100%). When you start to get over 95% alcohol content studies show that microbes can limit the ability of the alcohol to denature the protein within. I really don’t care why, I’m a chemist and that is biology.
2) Do not burden the sanitizer with ingredients that add a burden. 
a. Ingredients like Aloe and homemade plant extracts add a microbial burden. If you have amazing proof it doesn't forward it to me. 
b. Finished products like Aloe Gel that are not properly handled potentially add a microbial burden.
3) Do not make unsubstantiated claims
a. Statements that have not be substantiated with testing such as “kill COVID 19” need to be tested. 
b. Hand Sanitizer in the US is a drug and requires a Drug Facts Box. These products need to be tested for identity and content. 
4) Don’t burn the babies. This is the number one rule of formulations, and I am dead serious about this. Do not, I repeat do not burn the babies. 
a. Essential oils in uncontrolled % risk harmful skin interactions
b. Essential oils in combination with materials that they do not readily mix with such as alcohol and water create a non-homogeneous solution that can again cause harmful skin interactions. 
c. Repeated use of ingredients like alcohol dry out the skins’ acid barrier which in turn causes irritation that can actually increase the risk of microbial fiesta (this is my favorite description of infection).

So how does a REAL chemist formulate hand sanitizer? 
We use polymers to help increase contact time and help reduce trans epidermal water loss (TEWL). These polymers are largely synthetic (carbomers, vinyl acrylates, etc.). But you are wanting them to be sustainably sourced natural agents? Sorry, they aren’t. We have tried Guar, and Xanthan but they just don’t go pass the rigors of testing like the synthetic polymers do. 

I’ve read some DIY blogs saying these polymers are emulsifiers- no they are not. They are rheology modifiers. They have these amazing traits that thicken and create what we call rheology. Yes, they make things thicker but its more complicated than that. 

In addition to thickening, some of them can lay down a microfilm and improve contact time of the disinfectant used as well as reduce the subjects TEWL. 

In order for these polymers to work, first we hydrate them and then neutralize them. Most people don’t have the materials at home to mix a polymer for extended periods of time and then use a pH meter to optimize the effect. Yes, there are some rapid polymers (I personally like one by 3V Sigma called Rapid EZ), but most DIYer’s don’t have access to these. 

In addition to the polymer, sometimes we add a humectant to help draw moisture to the skin or a pleasant fragrance (which we add a solubilizer, so it doesn’t separate over time). 

Before this magic is released for sale, we run a bunch of testing. 
1) Stability to satisfy the FDA’s monograph on hand sanitizer (yes there are rules)
2) Microbial testing and challenge testing against a selection of organisms. 
3) Identity and concentration testing on the actives used.
4) Human Repeat Insult Patch Test HRIPT. Verifying that their products do not cause irritation when repeatedly applied to human subjects over time.

Next time you see one of those DIY formulations recommending vodka and aloe with some essential oils, think for a minute. 
1) Do you really think you are at a minimum of 60% alcohol content when you complete making the formulation? 
2) Are you using someone else’s aloe gel that you know nothing about the microbial activity or preservative efficacy on? 
3) Are you confident that the essential oils you drop in won’t cause an unintended skin reaction? 
4) Do you have a solubilizer to keep this whole thing together? 
5) And finally, are you willing to keep this concoction wet on your hands for a minute while it works? 

Last thing I know someone out there is just itching to ask… But don’t essential oils have antimicrobial properties? I have never found essential oils diluted properly to be skin safe improved a preservative efficacy test. Just like I have never found that adding some red raspberry seed oil to a properly formulated sunscreen added any SPF factor via real testing. 

Can you believe we follow up these claims with REAL testing? We don’t just look at something and say- it looks great! We generally shy away from confrontation of the EWG, fearmongering, and DIY crowd because its not worth our breath to try to change anyone’s mind. 

Enjoy your life and let the chemists formulate your products to the best of the science they understand intimately. 🍷🦄

FYI: The FDA has come out with emergency guidance. They are apparently as annoyed as I am. Please note the rules and who it applies to. 

UPDATE: I had to remove the link as people were reporting they could not share the post. You can find it on the FDA website.”

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Noticed that Lotioncrafter put up an announcement saying that sodium carbomer will not gel 70% isopropyl but HPMC will. Ordered the HPMC. Will save the carbomer for summer aloe gel or use it with the ethyl rubbing alcohol. Wondering if Polymulse requires neutralizing; have read conflicting information. Worse case, ditch the gel and go with a spray.

 

Interestingly, some commercial sanitizers list carbomer but no pH modifiers or buffers. What sort of carbomer could they be using?

 

Midwest Bottles has a lot of bottle sets that would work. Trying to decide which to go with - NG or Midwest. I guess it'll come down to shipping speed/cost.

 

Was thinking of subbing aloe for a diluted hydrosol. Not going to do EO's but will try skin-safe fragrances at .5-1% since they'll give me a reason to use up a few samplers.

 

Sanitizers are supposed to stay wet on the skin for 1min? Uh... No commercial sanitizer I've used has ever lasted more than 10-20sec unless I used a giant glob of it, which usually glides off and makes a mess.

 

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I used a foaming feminine wash from dollar tree. The bottle was 103g I used 15g of the soap base 3 grams of 4% Chlorhexidine Gluconate solution and  85g of distilled water. In a pinch you could use the same amount in something like lysol concentrate as the biocide or even clear iodine in a pinch. (well, I wouldn't have a problem with the lysol)
The CHG is a residual biocide so it stays on your skin kill'n junk after it dries. It's a common surgical scrub. 


@TallTayl star san is 50% phosphoric acid so the concentrate can do some harm. (pour some on some junk concrete and you'll see what I mean) It's TOTALLY safe diluted though.


Sponiebr
The Executor of Bad Ideas and Sundry Service. 



   

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@Kerven Carbomer will gel alcohols, but there’s a technique to it. You can’t just dump it in alcohol and expect it to work.it will clump.
 

 Probably best that a lot of newbies to formulating aren’t using these products anyway. Ironically I have trouble with HPMC usually, and not carbomers or polymers. 
 

3D87503D-7144-4B13-B370-3FA0B6CCC835.jpeg

 

 

 

 

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I was able to use preneutralized and gel it by mixing it with glycerin, to prevent fisheyes and clumping, adding some di water then 70 percent. 
It was okay.

Carbomer is not the best for this.

This is better Acrylates/C10-30 Alkyl Acrylate Crosspolymer

There are other emulsifier types you can make aquaholics.

You do not want 91 alc. it dries too fast. Sanitizing is recommended 70 percent because it dries slower, kills more.

Remember Lab Rat?

 

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