Does rubbing alcohol kill coronavirus?
Your hands are one of the main routes that viruses make their way from surfaces to your respiratory system, so keeping them clean is one of the most effective things you can do to stop yourself contracting the virus. Wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water where possible and if you can’t get to a sink, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer will do the trick.
While the effectiveness of alcohol gels depends on the virus being targeted – which is why some alcohol hand rubs aren't very effective against norovirus – the coronavirus has an envelope structure which alcohol can attack. Hand sanitizers with more than 60 per cent alcohol content are most effective at killing microbes, but don’t try and make your own sanitizer at home. At best, it’ll probably be less effective than high-street versions and at worse you could end up severely damaging your skin.
Many forms of alcohol, including rubbing alcohol, can kill germs. You can dilute alcohol with water (or aloe vera to make hand sanitizer) but be sure to keep an alcohol concentration of around 70% to kill coronaviruses, Duffy and Schaffner said.
Solutions of 70% alcohol should be left on surfaces for 30 seconds (including cellphones) to ensure they will kill viruses. Pure (100%) alcohol evaporates too quickly for such use.
Unlike bleach solutions, alcohol solutions will remain potent as long as they're kept sealed between uses. But a 70% alcohol solution with water is harsh on the hands and shouldn't be used as a substitute for hand-washing and/or hand sanitizer, Duffy and Schaffner said.
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