As I wake up this morning, I find myself really disturbed about what I have heard and seen in the marketplace during this past week. I have been in the business of manufacturing detergents, sanitizers and disinfectants for over 25 years.

In the mad scramble for everyone to find sanitizers, suddenly everybody is able to manufacture high alcohol sanitizers. Not only this is substandard product making people think they are sanitized when they are not, some of these new products are downright dangerous.

I have seen products made with meths, acetone and printing grade ethanol to give their products an alcohol smell. None of these substances should be used on skin. They are not safe.

If you are looking to buy sanitizers, please ensure that it comes from a reputable source. It should be made buy a company that has a traceable history and is able to produce certified product. This way you can be sure that the product is actually doing what the label says it can do. There are so many fly-by-nights profiteering and charging ridiculous prices for, at best ineffective, and at worst, dangerous, products due to the shortage of market supply.

To anybody who is making hand sanitizers, do not under any circumstances, accept alcohol directly off a tanker, unless of course, you have underground tanks. Without underground tanks you are risking a very serious accident. Please thoroughly check and test the raw materials you are buying. Stringent testing procedures should be in place and not following due process will put you, your staff and the public at huge risk.

What should you look for in a hand sanitizer? Firstly, a high alcohol product will have an alcohol smell. If your product smells like flowers, it is most likely not high enough in alcohol to protect you fully. Secondly, look for an SABS mark on the label or a medical registration number. Any manufacturer that is making proper product is not cutting corners and is making sure their product is correctly labelled. We stand to lose our certifications if we don’t label our products correctly – we’re not taking a risk like that. It is a LEGAL requirement to have the manufacturers name and contact details on the label. If there is no label or it has no contact information then you can be sure that you are not looking at a certified product.

Please do some research before you buy. There are so many products available on social channels that is suspect. Right now, there is a real risk that people will be needing medical care for use of unsafe sanitizer and potentially exposing your self even more to the coronavirus.

If you are struggling to get proper hand sanitizer, rather follow good hygiene practices. Washing hands for 20 seconds with liquid soap is still your best line of defense.  This doesn’t need to be anti-bacterial soap because it is the foam that attaches to the virus and washes it away. Any soap will do the job!

Yours in cleaning

Judy Sunasky

Blendwell Chemcials