Distilleries are making hand sanitizer with their in-house alcohol and giving it out for free to combat coronavirus

A Tennessee man who stockpiled nearly 18,000 bottles of hand sanitizer has donated them to a local church after Amazon suspended his account. He is currently being investigated by the Tennessee Attorney General for alleged price gouging.

Posted: Mar 17, 2020 6:29 AM


Hand sanitizer is a hot commodity right now.

We all know the advice: Wash your hands often with soap and water to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. When you can't, use hand sanitizer.

But actually finding hand sanitizer anywhere is another story. Bottles of Purell and other sanitizers are few and far between on store shelves, and if you do manage to come across a solution with at least 60% alcohol, chances are it has a hefty price tag.

Enter liquor distilleries.

Distilleries are stepping in to help combat the hand sanitizer shortage by using the alcohol in their facilities to create their own alcohol-based solutions. Some are packaging it in small bottles while others are encouraging people to bring in their own containers for refills.

Old Fourth Distillery in Atlanta started making hand sanitizer and distributing it for free on Thursday.

"Due to the recent reports of outages and low supply in our community, We have decided to provide hand sanitizer free of charge to anyone in need. Made with aloe vera gel and 95% ethanol," the business wrote in an Instagram post last week.

"This is no substitute for washing your hands but in a pinch it will get the job done. Available at the Distillery starting March 12th at 5pm. If you have a container please bring it and we will be happy to fill it!"

But even that has run out.

Old Fourth Distillery's solution has been so popular that by Saturday, its supply of homemade sanitizer had been cleared out. The business said in another Instagram post that it was expecting another shipment of ingredients on Monday and would resume production after.

Moonrise Distillery in Clayon, Georgia, is making hand sanitizer using botanical gin infused with natural aloe vera.

"We are a community of huggers and hand shakers and we want to do our part to keep that warmth around but in as safe a manner as possible," the business wrote in a Facebook post over the weekend. "While washing hands with soap and water remains the best solution we hope the sanitizer will help when that is not possible."

Both Old Fourth Distillery and Moonrise Distillery said they were accepting donations to offset the costs of making the hand sanitizers.

Durham Distillery in Durham, North Carolina, is helping out its colleagues in the hospitality industry who are in need of sanitizing solution. The distillery developed a sanitizing solution of about 70% ethanol and distilled water and is donating it to hospitality workers so that they can wipe down high-touch surfaces like door handles and sink faucets, it said in a statement.

Shine Distillery in Oregon said last week that it was handing out free hand sanitizer while supplies last.

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