Many of you have asked us if we will have a hand sanitizer soon. We've been working on formulating a hand sanitizer for a while now, even before COVID-19. Then when the demand increased we couldn't get the raw materials to further experiment with our formula. The good news is now we have the perfect supply of the raw materials needed to make a really awesome hand sanitizer! But here's the bad news -- we can't do it. Although it is physically possible for us to make hand sanitizer, we can't manufacture or sell hand sanitizer. Here's why.
Upon further research, we learned that hand sanitizer is considered an over-the-counter drug. It's not a cosmetic like lotion. It's not soap. It's in another class altogether. This means there's another whole set of rules. Both the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives (ATF) are involved in regulating hand sanitizer. The bureaucratic and legal processes we'd have to go through to be able to sell hand sanitizer are staggering, and it just doesn't make sense for our small business. Even with the FDA's temporary policies for hand sanitizer in response to COVID-19, it's still not do-able for us. The FDA's temporary policies allow for facilities such as distilleries to switch to making hand sanitizer to meet the current demand. The FDA also regulates the exact formula distilleries should use for their sanitizer. More about that in a bit!
What's In Your Hand Sanitizer?
This is where our frustration comes in -- we know we can make a cleaner, purer hand sanitizer than what's commonly out there. Each formula for each manufacturer has to be approved by the FDA as part of the process. Here's a snippet from the label of a typical hand sanitizer. This particular hand sanitizer boasts of having Vitamin E and Aloe added, which makes the consumer feel like they are getting a superior product. Let's take a look at the ingredients.
Obviously the active ingredient of ethyl alcohol is the key thing here. This is what is doing the sanitizing. So what are all the inactive ingredients for? They are there to thicken the sanitizer into a gel form, to make it smell a bit better, and to stabilize the formula. Here's a look at a few of the inactive ingredients that you may not recognize.
When Distilleries Make Hand Sanitizer
In conjuction with the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act, the FDA allowed for increased of production of hand sanitizer by loosening their restrictions. This is allowing production facilities such as distilleries and breweries to make hand sanitizer. This is a temporary policy during the COVID-19 public health emergency. The FDA dictated the formula (which is WHO approved) for these hand sanitizers. Here's what's in them.
If you are looking for this type of hand sanitizer, a Columbus-based company, Middle West Spirits, is currently making hand sanitizer. You can check out their website here. We aren't associated with this company (and I'm sure they have no idea who we are), but we thought you might be interested in knowing about them. Let us know if you have any other hand sanitizer sources we should know about.
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