Free Hand Sanitizer at Church Street Brewery in Itasca


Lisa and I heard about people selling small sanitizer bottles for ridiculous prices on-line. As a way of sending them an obscene gesture, we decided to make some sanitizer, put it in small bottles, and then give them away.

We had a hard time finding bottles, but our can supplier was able to find five hundred 2.5 ounce bottles. We did a bunch of research on hand sanitizer, using information from the CDC, FDA, and WHO.

We buy solvents and sanitizing chemicals for the brewery on a routine basis, so we knew where to get bulk supply of 99 vol-% isopropyl alcohol. Next, we scoured around for hydrogen peroxide. We were going to add aloe vera, but it was too hard to fine. We ended up using glycerin (food grade, kosher, 99.7% pure). We were thinking about lanolin, but it is not vegan compatible and our daughter would never forgive us otherwise.

We got some great assistance from two local pharmacists regarding skin product formulation, blending, and label wording. We have also had great support from Congressman Raja Krishnamoorthi (D/8th Dist. IL)

We are putting two ounces of sanitizer in each bottle. We mix the sanitizer component using well-calibrated laboratory glassware. They are available for free, and no purchase is necessary. Just ask for sanitizer, or else call us from the parking lot and we will walk it outside. We are available to hand out sanitizer at our brewery from 12 PM to 8 PM every day except Sunday when the hours are 2 PM to 6 PM.

In addition to the free bottles, we have been supply police officers and EMS providers with customized blends. Some blends are better for surfaces (steering wheels, seats, desks, hand rails). One particular formulation is an FDA-approved blend with 75 v/v% isopropyl alcohol concentration. It is approved as a hand sanitizer, but it is really tough on the skin when applied over and over in my experience.

We have donated sanitizer to over 50 different first responders (police and EMS). We have provided sanitizer in small sample bottles and larger spray bottles.

If first responders’ hands get cracks, sores, or rashes, then we are defeating our own purpose with the sanitizer. Therefore, we have another blend available that has been defined by the US Government (TTB) that is 70 v/v% isopropyl alcohol, but with a lot more glycerin to protect the skin when sanitizer is being applied many times a day. We work with first responders to understand their specific needs and then blend accordingly. We make every attempt to customize, as long as we stay within published information from regulatory sources (mostly FDA and TTB).

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