Amid coronavirus fears, Tito’s makes clear its vodka is for drinking, not sanitizing
With coronavirus fears leading to reports of hand sanitizer shortages, some people are turning to homemade remedies, like mixing alcohol with aloe vera gel. But at least one booze brand is telling consumers their product is not meant for cleansing.
In tweets today, Tito’s Vodka is warning followers that its product is not strong enough to get the job done. The tweets came in response to people who tagged the brand on Twitter saying they were about to buy its vodka for washing purposes.
Tito’s cites Centers for Disease Control and Prevention guidance. The government agency directs people to “wash your hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing.” It says that if “soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer with at least 60 percent alcohol.”
In the U.S., alcohol is often measured by “proof,” which is double the alcohol-by-volume percentage. So, liquor would have to be at least 120-proof to make the cut as a sanitizer ingredient. Most mainstream vodkas are too weak. Smirnoff’s main brand is 80 proof, for instance, while Absolut is also 80 proof. Rubbing alcohol is probably the safest bet—unless you’ve got some 190-proof Everclear lying around.