DALLAS — Vodka is a sought-after remedy for many things, but the coronavirus panic-driven lack of hand sanitizer is forcing one Texas vodka brand to clarify its limitations.
Austin, Texas-based Tito’s Vodka appears to have spent time recently notifying a number of fans on Twitter that its spirits don’t contain high enough concentrations of alcohol to properly fend off germs.
“As soon as we saw the incorrect articles and social posts, we wanted to set the record straight,” a spokesperson for Tito’s said in a statement provided to The Dallas Morning News. “While it would be good for business for our fans to use massive quantities of Tito’s for hand sanitizer, it would be a shame to waste the good stuff, especially if it doesn’t sanitize (which it doesn’t, per the CDC).”
The company’s social media team, commendably, has identified tweets suggesting the use of Tito’s in homemade hand sanitizer recipes and replied with recommendations Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
“Per the CDC, hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol. Tito’s Handmade Vodka is 40% alcohol, and therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC,” Tito’s Vodka tweeted.
The number of articles offering advice on how to make homemade hand sanitizer have spiked (naturally) in the last week as stores across the country have seen their shelves cleared of Purell and other brands. The shortage has also led to complaints about price gouging.
Popular recipes for homemade hand sanitizer recommend combing either isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or spirits that are at least 180 proof with aloe vera.
And while the CDC does acknowledge you can use alcohol-based sanitizers with at least 60% alcohol, health experts say washing your hands with soap and water is a more effective way to prevent the spread of germs.
In 2019, Tito’s Vodka unseated Smirnoff for the first time in over a decade as the best selling vodka in the U.S., according to beverage market analysis firm IWSR. The company was founded in 1997 by owner Bert Butler “Tito” Beveridge II.