The World Health Organization has named isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol) as one of the tools that can be used to treat coronavirus infection COVID-2019. Let’s take a look at what viruses isopropyl alcohol kills, how to use it, and how effective it is.
Application of isopropyl alcohol for disinfection
This product can be used not only on your hands but also on all the surfaces and objects we touch, including bags and packages from the store. For convenience, you can fill a plastic container with it for spraying. In addition, isopropyl alcohol can treat airborne viruses with this method.
Which concentration to choose?
To combat bacteria, 99% isopropanol is used as a base, which is subsequently diluted with water to a concentration of 70%. The concentration is reduced so that the solution is normally accepted by human skin. Glycerin and various flavorings (fragrances) are also added to reduce the pungent smell of alcohol so that the skin does not dry out too much.
Important: solution with a concentration of 70% effectively kills viruses that have a shell.
These include many caught infections as well as coronavirus. But there are also non-shell viruses that are not affected by 70% isopropyl alcohol. In this case, you should use the 99% concentration.
We can say that there are no viruses that are resistant to antiseptics containing isopropanol, this applies to any alcohol. However, to achieve the effect, the time of contact of the solution with the virus may vary, while the specific feature of isopropyl alcohol is that it evaporates quickly, leaving no trace.
Isopropyl alcohol should not be taken internally — it is a deadly solution that damages the mucosa. It is not advisable to use it in its pure form to treat the skin, as it dries the skin severely and has a pungent odor. Also, isopropanol should not be used by young children.
How does isopropyl alcohol affect the coronavirus?
The principle of action of isopropanol on viruses, including COVID-2019, is approximately the same for all shell viruses: first it dissolves the outer, lipid shell, degreasing the surface of the virus; then it deforms the supramolecular bonds, thus destroying the viral structure.
But are there any viruses resistant to isopropanol? In fact, any virus, gradually mutating, can completely adapt to the action of alcohol-containing solutions and medicines. To understand which viruses are not affected by isopropanol, laboratory analysis of specific samples is required. Today, however, it is completely effective in preventing coronavirus (if used correctly).
The WHO recommends the following recipe for an antiseptic:
- 200 g isopropyl alcohol;
- 100 ml of 3% hydrogen peroxide or water (preferably distilled or boiled);
- 50 g glycerin.
To use the composition, apply on the hands and rub for at least 60 seconds. Isopropyl alcohol kills coronavirus better if there is less dirt around. Therefore, before using the antiseptic, it is better to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water first.
The advantage of the substance is that it not only kills old viruses that are on the surface, but also neutralizes microorganisms that are there for half an hour after treatment.
In addition, the composition is suitable for disinfecting the screen of phones and other personal items that we regularly touch with our hands. You can use the following recipe for this:
- 150 ml of water;
- 300 ml of isopropanol;
- 300 ml of vinegar;
- 3-5 drops of essential oil or liquid soap to eliminate the smell from the vinegar and alcohol.
In order for isopropanol to destroy the virus, you do not need to apply too much solution, it is enough to wipe the surface with a cotton swab or tissue soaked in the composition.