A Local Distillery Is Making Free Hand-sanitizer

Mar 15, 2020

In the outbreak of COVID-19, hand-sanitizer has become a rare find as stores across the country sell out. But, a Eugene distillery has come up with their own substitute.

Thinking Tree Spirits, a craft distillery, regularly produces rum, gin and whiskey. Founder Emily Jensen said their in-house operation allows them to make high-proof ethanol, or ethyl. It’s one of the main ingredients found in hand-sanitizers like Purell.


“We said well let’s make some hand-sanitizer here in the distillery. So we whipped some up with some aloe juice, xanthan gum, and some delicious essential oils,” Jensen said. Water and glycerine are also used in the mix.


Thinking Tree Spirits founder Emily Jensen holds a bottle of the house-made sanitizer.
Credit Melorie Begay/KLCC News

 After combining all ingredients, the DIY sanitizer comes out to be about 68.5% alcohol, Jensen said. The Centers for Disease Control recommends using sanitizers that are at least 60%.

While the distillery is capable of making enough ethyl for the substitute, Jensen said they’re limiting the amount people can pick up to 4 ounces. They also ask that people bring their own bottles. 

“We’d like to be able to offer this back to the community,” she said, “It's a resource that we have and it seems like the kind of time where we need to be sharing and working together.”


Jensen adds the distillery’s happy to offer a solution in a time of crisis, but she stressed their sanitizer is not a replacement for washing your hands. 

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