FDA warns on DIY disinfectants, sanitizers

April 02, 2020
Mixture of alcohol and bleach is harmful and (could be) a deadly combination the public must not try amid shortage of disinfectants on the market.

A LOT of do-it-yourself hand sanitizers and disinfectants instructions and tutorial are being circulated on social media amid the scarcity of alcohol, hand sanitizers and disinfectants.

However, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) warned the public against these DIY tutorials which may not help them at all.

Among the popular videos circulating on the internet are on how-to formulate disinfectants using a mixture of rum (an alcoholic drink), bleaching agent and hand sanitizers.

“Be mindful of what you see and share through online/social media, as this may result in misinformation, and potentially cause more harm than good,” the FDA said in its advisory.

According to the FDA, bleaching agents we usually use in laundry and cleaning hard surfaces contain chlorine compounds intended only for bleaching clothes and disinfecting inanimate articles and surfaces.

When mixed with rum that contain ethyl alcohol it will produce a more dangerous and hazardous chemical that poses risk to one’s health once ingested, inhaled, or absorbed through the skin, the FDA said. That is, such concoction of chemicals “may result in physical harm or injury to you and your family”.

According to experts, rubbing alcohol and bleach when mixed together make chloroform. The mixture produces vapors that can cause severe damage to the respiratory system.

The FDA suggests that proper and frequent hand washing using soap and running water is much better and one of the most effective means to prevent the spread of bacteria or viruses.

It said that hand sanitizers and rubbing alcohol may only be used as alternatives when washing facilities are unavailable or inaccessible.