Coronavirus: Ministry of Health urges Kiwis not to make their own hand sanitiser

Hand sanitiser is hard to come by these days after pre-lockdown buyers snapped up stock. 

This has left shops charging high prices, for not always legitimate products - and people at home are even making their own. 

Along with bread and toilet paper, hand sanitiser is one of those golden items at the top of a panic buyer's list, leaving retailers with empty shelves or no choice but to charge more.

In some cases, retailers have turned to selling products that consumers aren't even sure are legitimate.

In the days leading up to the lockdown, one Kiwi couple spent $20 on a brand of sanitiser - but now, they're apprehensive to trust it.

"It was $20 for just one sanitiser - that's nearly four or five times the price, but we were pretty desperate so I told him to just get one," Gracia Lock said.

Newshub tried contacting the brand, but the number advertised online was disconnected.

"I started getting pretty dubious because it really looked homemade," Lock continued.

"I'm not even sure it's effective. Here I am putting my health and safety in the hands of something I'm not even sure of."

A mix of perhaps boredom or panic, but ingenuity has kicked in for some, as people across the globe are concocting their own sanitisers at home.

But will a mix resembling your pre-lockdown Friday night cocktail provide protection against COVID-19?

Lincoln University professor Craig Bunt has a simple message: "If it's got vodka in it, don't touch it."

In a statement, the Ministry of Health said that hand sanitiser containing at least 60 percent alcohol can be used when soap and water are not available. 

"We do not recommend people make their own hand sanitiser," it said.

Pharmaceutical sciences lecturer Shyamal Das is struggling to get his hands on the hot commodity.

His solution is to enlist his University of Otago students to make 100 litres of their own, following World Health Organisation guidelines.

Number one is alcohol, two is hydrogen peroxide, three is glycerol and four is sterilised water," Dr Das said.

"Us in the pharmacy department are all experienced. I don't think people should be trying this in their homes."

So while the country remains in lockdown, focus on the DIY projects like fixing the broken fence or hemming those pants - but don't try this one at home.