Can Ethanol 80 % be effective for Coronavirus?

FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
 Actually I can get Ethanol however can not get hydrogen peroxide and glycerin.
 So can I make effective spray sanitizer for Coronavirus with only distilled water and Ethanol?
  Waiting your precious answer @Perry @lmosca @Pharma @Agate @Cafe33 ;

Comments

  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    This subject has been covered here about a dozen times in the last few weeks... The short answer is yes. Reason why this is so: use the search function.
  • Oh yes, it's very effective against the coronavirus.
    Just don't drink it. It's not effective that way.
  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    @Pharma I already read all about Sanitiser here and my question about the effectiveness of Sanitiser for coronavirus without both of glycerin and hydrogen peroxide never talked in forum.
     I know that the only active ingredient in WHO sanitizer formulation is Alcohol however glycerin can be must have in WHO formulation cause it limits the evaporation of alcohol so may without glycerin alcohol will evaporate quickly and will not stay the needed contact time. (that is my scare about Sanitiser without glycerin)
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    edited April 2020
    You probably just missed it... with all those hundreds posts no wonder.
    Glycerol is just in there to make the sanitiser less drying regarding skin. Meaning, it acts as emollient and you don't get cracked skin that easily. Besides, WHO recommends their standard version which, with regard to corona viruses, turned out to be (most likely) less effective than versions with less glycerol. Here in Switzerland we use 10 times less glycerol than the WHO recommendation.
    H2O2 is, as stated more than a handful of times by different users, just added to kill spores which might already be in the raw materials. If you use good quality water/ethanol and intend using your sanitiser only against corona viruses, then there is no point in adding H2O2. The WHO formulation is basically intended to be used by healthcare professionals & stuff who work for example in field hospitals or if you can't get clean water. Like if you have to perform surgery in a refugee camp.
  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    @Pharma appriciate your feedback. 
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Benzalkonium chloride can replace the H2O2 with the same efficacy.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @Pharma - I've looked into the notion that ethanol is drying to skin and I'm not convinced. I contend that it merely evaporates off the skin and doesn't cause dryness. It's more of a myth. I'd be interested in seeing evidence that I'm mistaken.

    What evidence has convinced you that ethanol leads to dry skin? 

  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    Yes, I recall reading a study in which it was determined that Ethanol was not drying to the skin.  I ready another study that concluded that the addition of Glycerin to the Ethanol/Water mixture was actually less effective at killing microbes than mixtures without Glycerin.  A third study indicated that Wipes were more effective than either Gels or Sprays or Foams.  But, properly washing your hands was the most effective of all.

    As @Belassi correctly pointed out, Benzalkonium Chloride would be a much better addition to the WHO formula than glycerin.  Hydrogen Peroxide is a nice to have, but not critical.  Your best performing base formula would be Ethanol 60%-70% (v/v), Benzalkonium Chloride 1.2% (w/w) and Water.

    If you're concerned about drying the skin ... simply use a hand moisturizer after you have used the sanitizer.
    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    edited April 2020
    @MarkBroussard So according to you 60%_70% Ethanol will be better then 80%?!
    @Perry thanks for your add.
  • Belassi said:
    Benzalkonium chloride can replace the H2O2 with the same efficacy.
    Well, according to some studies it ain't as effective
    https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0195670120300463
  • Re glycerin, my understanding was that it’s added to extend contact of ethanol with skin as high % ethanol is pretty volatile.
  • @Perry, I think the idea that alcohol is drying comes from anecdotal experience shared by of many people. Alcohol is pretty good at degreasing. Degreased skin loses water faster than skin protected by a thin layer of sebum. So  it’s ‘drying’ in the same way as detergents. The misunderstanding comes from the fact that people with skin issues (read teenaged girls with oily skin and acne) would be willing to use alcohol toners more often that washing their face with soap and water. They also tend to share an opinion that oil is bad (see countless ‘oil free’ emulsions with esters and D5 marketed for oily skin) and don’t restore the protective layer of sebum after degreasing their skin 5 times a day with alcohol based toner. You approach this as a scientist and base your opinion on studies that show no evidence that alcohol is drying. Alcohol is drying not because there’s an underlying mechanism for this ingredient to be drying but due to improper use.
  • PerryPerry Administrator, Professional Chemist
    @ngarayeva001 - I agree that it comes from anecdotal evidence although a brand like Paula Beugon has helped propagate the myth.  

    I would agree that if you put alcohol on your face & then wipe it away with a cloth or towel, then it will remove oils from the skin. (I'm assuming that is what you & Paula mean by "degreasing.")

    However, hand sanitizers and other skin products are left on the skin. If you have oily skin, and you apply alcohol without wiping it off, there is no degreasing that happens. When the alcohol evaporates off your skin it does not bring any of the non-volatile grease or oil with it. Therefore, without the wiping off step, alcohol is not "degreasing" and thus not drying either. 

  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    edited April 2020
    @ngarayeva001 that's my thought also about the function of glycerin  in sanitizer. 
  • Surfactants in hand washes are so effective against viruses because they disrupt the lipids on the surface of the cells, and the longer we wash our hands for, the longer we give the surfactants to do this job. We also know that surfactants dry out our hair and skin by this mechanism. As lipids are soluble in ethanol, it works to kill viruses by this same mechanism, alongside denaturing proteins on their surface (presumably they then can't attach to a host cell).

    Would it not make sense that, like surfactants, ethanol does dry out the skin by the same lipid-solubilising mechanism? Whether the mixture is wiped away or not, surely this dissolving action will still "misplace" some lipids, disrupting the barrier action of the skin, and therefore reducing its tendency to retain moisture. I believe ethanol is used as a penetration enhancer for this same lipid-disrupting reason in topical pharmaceutical applications.

    However I think we can all agree that a little dry skin is definitely worth the risk when in a fight against something like Covid-19!
  • MarkBroussardMarkBroussard Member, Professional Chemist
    @Fekher

    The recommendation on ethanol is at least 60% ethanol (v/v) is required to be effective at sanitizing.  I don't know if 80% is necessarily more effective than 60%.

    If alcohol is applied to the skin any lipids that "dissolve" in the alcohol will simply be redeposited on the skin surface when the alcohol evaporates ... the lipids are not volative.  However, if you use an alcohol wipe, then of course you are going to remove some of the lipids through mechanical action.


    Chemist/Microbiologist formulating in the Organic & Naturals arena under ECOCert/Natural Products Assn/Whole Foods/National Organic Program guidelines focused skincare & haircare products. 

    See website for details www.desertinbloomcosmeticslab.com
  • FekherFekher Member, Professional Chemist
    @MarkBroussard thanks for your reply however have you any reference that proves 60% Ethanol is effective for Sars_covid 2? 
  • BelassiBelassi Member, PCF student
    Rather than glycerin, I tried 1% PEG-7 glyceryl cocoate. I prefer it.
    Cosmetic Brand Creation. Concept to name to IMPI search to logo and brand registration. In-house graphic design inc. Pantone specs. Cosmetic label and box design & graphics.
  • There hasn't been time to study the effectiveness on SARS-cov2 specifically, not in a formal and publishable way, and I wouldn't wait around for these studies to happen soon.

    However, other coronaviruses and other enveloped viruses have been used in most hand sanitizer studies over the past 20 years. From what I understand, it took years to find the time and funds to do a hand sanitizer study on SARS-cov1. This was in no small part because it had to happen in a lab equipped to handle that virus.
  • PharmaPharma Member, Pharmacist
    edited April 2020
    Sorry for re-joining so late when nearly everything has already been said.
    The only thing which doesn't add up with the theory that alcohol can not dry skin out because it evaporates and thereby redeposits lipids is a factor called 'user'. With proper usage, it does not dry out. There's even a study showing that repeated application of isopropanol increases skin moisture level (ethanol did basically nothing significant). Stupid thing is that people tend to disinfect, won't wait long enough to fully let their hands dry out (which takes minutes longer than visibly noticeable) and wash their hands with soap instead of doing it the other way round... Sure enough, the predissolved lipids (especially with products like Sterillium which also contain 'quats') will wash of way easier. Or they disinfect and before full evaporation put gloves on; lipids will then be washed off by sweat and stick to the inner surface of the gloves.
    Once hands start cracking, the alcohol also reduces healing. Adding glycerol does work a little bit to protect skin from going into a self-destructing vicious cycle because it keeps skin a bit moist and flexible. If only those people were to use hand or barrier creams on a regular basis to compensate for their misuse... but alas, you have to think for them and that's why adding glycerol really helps to reduce skin from drying out.
    BTW glycerol is a so called osmolyte. These compounds are widely used by extremophile species (microbes, plants, and animals) or during hibernation (but also for more mundane purposes). Osmolytes bind water and also compensate for water (act like if). This protects mostly proteins from denaturating due to heat, drought, freezing, or high salinity. Disinfection with ethanol aims at one thing, removing water and thereby denaturating proteins... It is therefore fairly obvious that higher amounts of glycerol are likely to protect cells from the effect of ethanol. How much glycerol is needed to protect which species from a certain % of an alcohol is a question which requires testing, not calculating.
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