Tito’s vodka is warning consumers that it can’t be used as a hand-sanitizer replacement as the coronavirus spreads across the US

Tito’s cannot be used as hand sanitizer. Robin Marchant/Getty Images
  • As hand-sanitizer shortages continue across the country in response to the coronavirus, Tito’s Handmade Vodka is warning it cannot be used as a replacement disinfectant.
  • According to the Centres for Disease Control and Prevention, hand sanitizers must be at least 60% alcohol to kill germs. Tito’s vodka is 40% alcohol and “therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC,” the brand said.
  • The response comes after several Twitter users said they were making their own hand sanitizer using the vodka.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

While alcohol is the key ingredient in hand sanitizer, Tito’s Handmade Vodka is warning Americans on Twitter that it is not an effective replacement for Purell.

Over the past day, the spirits company has been dispelling misconceptions that its vodka can be used as a disinfectant in place of hand sanitizer as shortages continue across the country because of the coronavirus. In a statement shared on its social-media channels, Tito’s wrote that its vodka is made with 40% alcohol and “therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC,” which says that effective hand sanitizers must be at least 60% alcohol.

The official response came on Wednesday after several Twitter users shared that they were planning to use Tito’s to create their own hand sanitizer because of the lack of availability of popular brands like Purell. A Tito’s spokesperson told Business Insider that as soon as it saw the misguided information it “wanted to set the record straight.”

“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 spokesperson said.


“If you drop below 60%, the effectiveness drops very dramatically,” Miryam Wahrman, a biology professor at William Paterson University and the author of “The Hand Book: Surviving in a Germ-Filled World,” told Insider’s Anna Medaris Miller earlier this week.

As the coronavirus continues to spread across the US, consumers have been stocking up on disinfectants and essential items. As a result, many third-party vendors have dramatically raised prices to meet demand, with two-packs of Purell selling for upward of $US350 and more in some cases.

Still, Purell is working to meet increased demand, a spokesperson for its parent company, Gojo, told Business Insider earlier this week.

“We have experienced several demand surges in the past during other outbreaks – and this is on the higher end of the spectrum but not unprecedented,” Samantha Williams, a Gojo spokeswoman, said. “We have added shifts and have team members working overtime – in accordance with our plans for situations like this.”