Out of control
There are so many things out of my control at the moment that it feels really unsettling on a daily basis. I try hard not to stress about things I cannot change but being in the third trimester of pregnancy in the midst of a pandemic this can be challenging!
So far I have coped with the uncertainty by keeping myself occupied and expressing my worries as they come up (also known as oversharing on the internet). This works pretty well day-to-day but when I have to tackle a bigger anxiety-provoking challenge it is not so effective. This week I have to attend a planned scan appointment at my local hospital and whilst the logical side of me knows that they have put in place every measure to keep patients safe my primal brain says ‘panic!’
Whilst I know I cannot control other peoples actions I know that I can manage my own behaviour. I can take steps to feel protected and safe. So I did what I do best and began researching recipes but not the kind I usually make. As there is a shortage of effective hand sanitisers/gels in shops (thanks stockpilers) I have none to take out and about with me which has left me feeling pretty vulnerable.
After a decent amount of reading about what makes an effective (ie/ virus killing) hand sanitiser I realised I could make my own. I went on the hunt for the most evidence-based formulation and came across the WHO ‘recipe’ for hand sanitiser, the only problem being it makes gallons of the stuff which is a bit beyond my personal need. A bit more research and some maths and I made my first batch of sanitising spray!
It may seem silly that a little spray bottle can give me some much-needed calm but it does. Yes, I still have (many) anxieties about attending a clinical environment after spending 18 days on ‘lockdown’ in my home but at least now I feel like I can look after my health a little better.
If you fancy making this ‘recipe’ you will need to find some fairly obscure ingredients, I found most things on eBay and a few on amazon. I got most of the ingredients a few weeks back so they were still readily available and not too expensive, this may be different now as supply chains seem to be ever-changing.
Homemade hand sanitiser (WHO formulation)Print This
- 235ml (1 cup) of 99% isopropyl alcohol
- 15ml (1 tablespoon) of 3% hydrogen peroxide
- 5ml (1 teaspoon) of 98% glycerin
- 60ml (¼ cup) of sterile distilled or boiled cold water
- Optional: 10-15 drops of tea tree oil
- You will need several small spray bottles to store this in. I used brown glass bottles with a plastic 'atomiser' spray top
1: Pour the isopropyl alcohol into a container with a pouring spout, I used a glass jug. For this formulation to be effective it is important to use 99.8% (or above) alcohol, less than this will result in an ineffective sanitiser that is unlikely to kill bacteria and viruses.
2: Add the hydrogen peroxide
3: Add the glycerin and stir well to combine. Glycerin is a thicker liquid than the others so you may have to stir for a few minutes to properly combine it.
4: Add the distilled water and stir again
5: Optional: add the tea tree oil, I found this balanced the very alcoholic smell of the sanitiser and the bonus is that tea tree has natural antibacterial properties!
6: Pour the sanitiser into clean dry bottles, you can sterilise your bottles by pouring a small amount of isopropyl alcohol in, swirling it around and waiting for it to evaporate.
7: Make sure you add labels to your bottles and keep them out of reach of children as ingesting the contents could cause harm.
*The recipe is easily halved or doubled *I made a half batch to start with as I only had two bottles available to me *A full batch is 825ml so make sure you have adequate storage before you begin