From James Bond to The Hunger Games, movies have taught us that all you need to sterilize a wound and ward off a death from sepsis is a bottle of vodka (unless you’re Rambo, in which case you should pack that arrow puncture with gunpowder and light yourself on fire). It’s hardly a logical leap to assume that a shot of the good stuff will clean your hands at least as well as a pump of Purell, right? Wrong.
Leaving aside the issue of whether pouring hard liquor on an arrow wound does any good (you notice the characters doing so in films don’t exactly have a ton of options), it doesn’t sound so crazy. Alcohol kills germs, after all—heck, it’s the main ingredient in hand sanitizer! And vodka is pretty dang strong as alcohol goes. Wouldn’t it stand to reason it’d kill germs and viruses on your hands?
It won’t—as none other than Austin-based boutique alcohol purveyor Tito’s Handmade Vodka was quick to point out recently in reaction to a viral tweet offering a vodka-based homemade hand sanitizer recipe:
Per the CDC, hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is 40% alcohol, and therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC. Please see attached for more information. pic.twitter.com/plYf54HPLn
— TitosVodka (@TitosVodka) March 4, 2020
In case you can’t read the fine print, here’s Tito’s advice in full, as reported by the Dallas Morning News:
“As a reminder, the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) states, ‘washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label.’ Tito’s Handmade Vodka is 40% alcohol, and therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC.”
There you have it. There is no shortage of reasons to buy alcohol in bulk in this nightmare year of Two Thousand and Twenty, but making your own hand sanitizer shouldn’t be one of them.