Author: Brandon Bahr
DOES ETHANOL KILL HUMAN CORONAVIRUS?
Ethanol, also known as grain alcohol, or the liquor you drink on a Friday night, is used for several purposes, including, more recently, fighting germs and killing bacteria. Ethanol is also used in perfumes, to create gasoline, in food additives, and in various household cleaning products.
Ethanol contains various antimicrobial properties, meaning it can kill germs and bacteria. This is why alcohol is also used in medical products such as antiseptic. However, for ethanol to be effective at killing germs and bacteria, including the recent outbreak of the coronavirus, it shouldn't be used individually; it must be mixed in a solution, such as hand sanitizer, containing a very specific percentage of ethanol to actually work and be safe; more on this later. So, in short, yes, ethanol can kill coronavirus germs and bacteria, but only if used in the correct solution and format.
This article will discuss everything you need to know about ethanol and alcohol and just how effective the chemical solution is at fighting off germs, bacteria, and, of course, the recent and ongoing coronavirus pandemic.
HOW IS ETHANOL EFFECTIVE AT KILLING GERMS & BACTERIA?
Alcohol molecules join to the fat membrane enclosing a cell, such as a virus. Then, as the fat membrane is slowly broken down, the contents of the cell become exposed to the alcohol, quickly killing the cell or virus.
This is why ethanol is a key ingredient in many alcohol-based hand sanitizers, thanks to its germ and bacteria-killing capacity. In recent months, hand sanitizer has been a staple for all households and businesses, required to kill the virus known as the coronavirus. Furthermore, a recent 2020 study found alcohol to be effective against the coronavirus, killing the cells and neutralizing the virus. However, for ethanol/alcohol-based hand sanitizers to be effective at killing Covid-19, the hand sanitizer must contain a minimum of 60% ethanol to be effective, according to the Centre for Disease Control (CDC).
If the hand sanitizer contains too little ethanol, the sanitizer will not kill the virus. Adding other simple ingredients like hydrogen peroxide makes the product even more effective. But here is the kicker... there is data proving the efficacy of ethanol in killing unwanted germs, bacteria and viruses but that does not allow every sanitizer producer to make claims on their product. The product must be made with the correct ingredients, in the correct FDA approved facility, and bottled / stored in the right settings. Any product making claims must prove these in the form of an independent study while providing sufficient info on the manufacturing process.
Also, not all ethanol is equal! Check out our blog talking about the purity specifications needed to maintain a quality product.
THE BOTTOM LINE
Towards the beginning of 2020, a new virus was discovered, known as the coronavirus. Over the next few months, the virus spread, creating a worldwide pandemic and sending the world into disarray.
One of the most effective methods of killing the coronavirus is washing your hands with soap, or antibacterial hand wash for a minimum of twenty seconds. However, an alcohol-based (ETHANOL OR ISOPROPYL ALCOHOL) hand sanitizer is also an effective method of killing the virus, so long as the right concentration of ethanol is used (based on guidelines released by the CDC).
Although ethanol-based hand sanitizers may not be as effective as soap and water, ethanol-based hand sanitizers are currently a lot easier to access on the go, especially with people panic buying essentials. For this reason, the CDC themselves recommend using alcohol-based hand sanitizers when soap and water are not available as an effective means of killing the virus.
HOW TO FIND QUALITY SANITIZER & ETHANOL
Quality hand sanitizer starts with the ingredients. There are a lot of products on the market that have a very poor smell due to the use of low quality ethanol. At the minimum, the ethanol should pass the FDA's purity guidelines and, ideally, pass the purity guidelines proposed by USP. Both FDA & USP grade ethanol is available in bulk, hassle-free, from Bahr Supply.
In addition to providing quality ethanol to hand sanitizer manufacturers, we distribute sanitizer and sanitizing wipes that use our quality ethanol supply.
Inquire now about our supply of ethanol and sanitizer. Production capacity is large and available as we see an increase in cases throughout the USA and world. In addition, we often have flash sales of finished product that is stored and manufactured in the USA.