Ethyl Alcohol: A Defendant against Covid-19

hand sanitizer ethyl alcohol covid 19

An Effective Commodity

Ethyl Alcohol, or ethanol, yes that household item we commonly call rubbing alcohol, is an effective disinfectant.

Ethyl alcohol shares the moniker ‘rubbing alcohol’ with its 3-carbon cousin, isopropyl alcohol.  Ethyl alcohol has found itself right in the center to fight against Covid -19 proving its effectiveness in the fight against this global pandemic.

Effective in killing germs as long as it is used above 50% solution, it is common to find ethyl alcohol being sold right off the shelf at 60% or 70% solution.

Ethyl Alcohol as a disinfectant relies on its ability to denature proteins.

The NIH published a study that the Covid-19 virus, much like all the coronaviruses, latches itself by its spikes. These spikes are made of proteins. Ethyl alcohol denatures these proteins.

Without the ability of the COVID -19 virus to latch onto its target cells, it will not be able to reproduce more Covid-19 viruses – Stopping it in its tracks.

Atomic-level structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein

Atomic-level structure of the SARS-CoV-2 spike protein. The receptor-binding domain, the part of the spike that binds to the host cell, is coloured green. UT Austin, McLellan Lab

The Covid-19 virus was also found to be 10 to 20 times more likely to bind to the human cells they target compared with the SARS virus that wreaked havoc back in 2002. Eliminating the Covid-19 virus before they reach the airways is key to preventing contracting the disease.

Ethyl Alcohol, the Commodity in Use

As a raw material, we can find ethyl alcohol in higher concentrations, it exists as a 95% solution when used in formulations.

Higher concentrations of ethyl alcohol will find use in the manufacture of other sanitizing products like hand sanitizers and sterilizers, though this is usually watered down when used in the formulas because ethyl alcohol dries up the skin at higher concentrations.  It is never advisable to use this neat for disinfecting bare skin.

Below we describe a formula to make an ethyl alcohol-based hand sanitizer.

Phase Material INCI Name Supplier % W/W
A Ethanol (95%) Ethanol (95%) 65
Deionized Water Deionized Water 30.54
Aloe Vera Extract Aloe Barbadensis Leaf Extract TEN 2
SuperGel™CE Carbomer Sino Lion 0.6
B AMP-ULTRA PC 2000 2-amino-2-methyl-1-propanol ANGUS 0.36
C Sinopol 25 Polysorbate 20 Sino Japan 1.2
D Fragrance Fragrance 0.3


  1. Disperse Carbomer into Phase A and stir to mix well
  2. Neutralize with Phase B under agitation.
  3. Add Phase C under agitation.
  4. Add Phase D under agitation, and then obtain the product.

While this is just a simplified version of one type of hand sanitizers, read more on how the final product should appear as well as other types of disinfectants and formulations available.

What can Maha Offer?

Dealing with the COVID-19 virus is the new normal. Be it for personal use or for your business, Maha is here to help in your fight against COVID-19.

Contact us today at to find out more about disinfectants and sanitization solutions offered.

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