Tito's Vodka Will Convert Distillery To Make Hand Sanitizer

Isabel Garcia, Kelly Corbett
Photo credit: Robin Marchant - Getty Images

From House Beautiful

As the novel coronavirus continues to spread, the demand for hand sanitizer is emptying store shelves. Even as retailers place limits on certain product purchases, hand sanitizer remains a highly-coveted item. Earlier this month, as Purell prices surged, some folks had attempted to create their own homemade hand sanitizer using vodka. After a recipe specifically featuring Tito's Vodka made rounds on social media, the distiller urged customers not to use its alcohol to make homemade hand sanitizer. But now, it seems good 'ol Tito's has had a change of heart.

On Sunday, @TitosVodka tweeted that while the general public should still not be using vodka to make hand sanitizer, the company will be. Tito’s Vodka reveals that its distillery is gearing up to begin production on an initial 24 tons of hand sanitizer, after getting the green light from industry and government officials. In an official statement attached to the tweet, it explains that last week the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau authorized the production of ethanol-based hand sanitizer by permitted distillers, allowing Tito’s the opportunity to add a new product to its repertoire. While the statement reveals there are still a lot of moving pieces in this project, the hand sanitizer that is produced will be free and distributed to those who need it the most. Tito's follows in the footsteps of luxury French brand LVMH, which began producing hand sanitizer in its perfume facilities last week.

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Earlier in March, after one person tweeted, "Gonna make some hand sanitizer from @TitosVodka to keep safe from the corona virus," Tito's Vodka explained in a statement why its product should not be used to produce hand sanitizer. “Per the Center for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), ‘washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. You can tell if the sanitizer contains at least 60% alcohol by looking at the product label,'' the brand wrote. The tweet goes on to say that since Tito’s Handmade Vodka is 40% alcohol, it doesn’t meet the CDC’s current recommendation.

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While we're still in the dark on how Tito's plans to boost its alcohol concentration to 60% in order to comply with the CDC, we'll just sit back (six feet away from everyone) and let the experts handle it. Bottom line: don't make hand sanitizer from Tito's Vodka, but yes, with the proper equipment and technique, it it feasible, which hopefully Tito's will show us soon.

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