It started with a casual conversation about hand sanitisers being out of stock when I went to collect my surgical masks given by the Singapore government at Bukit Batok Community Centre. I told the Constituency Director, Ms Ng Bee Cheng that we can make hand sanitisers ourselves and briefly shared the recipe. A few days later, I got a call from Ms Ng asking if I am available to conduct a workshop to educate the residents of Bukit Batok on how to make their own hand sanitisers. I am very happy to say yes. To get the opportunity to play a part in fighting the virus is indeed an honour.

We started the plan to conduct the workshop on 22 February 2020 for Bukit Batok Zone 10 RC. Here is the poster designed by the RC members.

DIY Hand Sanitiser Workshop

It was great working with the RC members headed by Mr Suresh Karanth. At first I thought getting alcohol was the challenging part. Turned out, getting plastic bottles was even more challenging. I was told by a few suppliers that the Covid-19 pandemic has caused factories that supply plastic bottles (in China) to stop working for the time being. For products like hand sanitisers, it is best stored in opaque or translucent bottles to prevent direct exposure to sun (if clear plastic bottles are used). However due to limited quantities, we had no choice but to mix different types of bottles. With the help of RC Members, we finally managed to purchase new 100x 100ML (for workshop participants) and 35x 500ML bottles (for the lifts at the flats within Bukit Batok Zone 10 RC).

Plastic Bottles
[L-R] 100ml bottles; 500ml bottles; 550ml bottles.
Four sessions were held on 22 March 2020 from 5pm to 7pm. The event was graced by Mr Murali Pillai, MP of Bukit Batok Constituency. There were almost 100 participants in total. Here is a video of the opening speech by Mr Pillai.

We love the enthusiasm shown by the residents who participated in this workshop. Each participants was allowed to bring home 1x 100ml bottle (per household) of the hand sanitisers they made. There were a lot of questions asked.

I have to say that my colleague, Jieyi and I are no expert in making hand sanitisers. We only came up with this recipe because we need to use them during our course of work when we do makeup and conduct makeup lessons. As this became out of stock early in early February 2020, we are left with no choice but to use the materials we have to create a mixture that can help sanitise our hands when we are on set and when water is not available. We tested many recipes. The recipe we shared in this workshop is the one we are happiest with.

I also shared a few points prior to starting the workshop.

  1. Washing hands with soap and water is always the best way to get rid of germs, bacteria and virus.
  2. Rely on hand sanitisers only when water and soap is not available.
  3. Over reliance on hand sanitisers can cause skin to become dry and cause skin irritation problems. Once skin becomes dry and damaged, it can be a breeding ground for bacteria and also increase the risk of viruses entering the body through cuts in the skin. Read more
  4. When commercially made hand sanitisers are available, please purchase instead of making it. These are made by registered chemical companies and approved for used.
  5. Make your own hand sanitisers only when the commercially made ones are not available such as during the outbreak of Coronavirus, when these products become out stock.
  6. When these products are out of stock, and you see them being sold by non-authorised distributors, be careful. There are some suppliers who just want to benefit from the situation. They might sell you products from questionable sources. The brand might be the same, but it might be produced by someone else which is not the original manufacturing plants. In other words, fake.
  7. In making hand sanitisers, you need to work with chemical like Isopropyl alcohol which is highly flammable. Do not place this product near fire such as stove, candle and lighted cigarette. Work in a highly ventilated area. A spacious room with window are highly recommended. Wearing mask and gloves help to protect the product from contamination.
  8. Some people might be allergic to ingredients like aloe vera gel, tea tree oil and lavender oil. If you are not sure, please do a patch test on your elbow to ensure there is no negative reactions on your skin.
  9. Ensure a clean and tidy working space.
  10. Once you know how to make your own hand sanitisers, please do not profit from this. This is DIY item. It has not gone through any lab testing. So do not make the hand sanitisers and sell them in the market. This knowledge that we shared is meant for personal use and in times of needs.
  11. This hand sanitiser recipe do not guarantee that it will kill the coronavirus (COVID-19). What we hope is – based on the ingredients used – it helped to prevent the spread or at least weaken the virus; and keep our hands clean.

Watch the short video clip of the workshop on 22 March 2020 here.

After the workshop, RC members helped to make more hand sanitisers and placed them in the lifts at Bukit Batok Zone 10 area covering block 185 to 194A/B of Bukit Batok West Avenue 6, Singapore.

DIY Hand Sanitiser
A 550ml bottle of hand sanitiser made by members of Bukit Batok Zone 10 RC and installed at Blk 188 Bukit Batok West Avenue 6, Singapore for use by the residents.

Here is the recipe we used. This recipe will ensure that the alcohol level in the mixture remains at 60% or more. This is very important, as anything less that 60% of alcohol will not be effective in getting rid of bacteria and virus. See previous article on this topic.

For making a 250ml mixture,

  • 70% Isopropyl Alcohol – 225ml
  • Aloe Vera Gel – 2.5 Teaspoon
  • Pure Tea Tree Oil – 40 drops
  • Pure Lavender Oil – 20 drops

Stir Alcohol & Aloe Vera Gel in a measuring cup. Add Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil to the mixture. Stir again. If the mixture does not make it to 100ml or 250ml mark (based on above recipe), add alcohol. Pour the mixture into spray or pump bottle. Avoid using clear plastic bottle (if you have a choice). Opaque or translucent bottles are recommended to prevent the mixture from being exposed to sun.

For making a 100ml mixture,

  • 70% Isopropyl Alcohol – 90ml
  • Aloe Vera Gel – 1 Teaspoon
  • Pure Tea Tree Oil – 20 drops
  • Pure Lavender Oil – 10 drops

Method

Stir Alcohol & Aloe Vera Gel in a measuring cup. Add Tea Tree Oil and Lavender Oil to the mixture. Stir again. If the mixture does not make it to 100ml or 250ml mark (based on above recipe), add alcohol. Pour the mixture into spray or pump bottle. Avoid using clear plastic bottle (if you have a choice). Opaque or translucent bottles are recommended to prevent the mixture from being exposed to sun.

If you are using this recipe, let us know how it goes. Take some videos and photos, and if you are posting them on social media, do hashtag #jrmakeupclass @jrmakeupclass.

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1 Comment

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