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Local manufacturer offers make-your-own kits to help alleviate hand-sanitizer shortage

By Adam Rombel


Photo credit: Zoey Advertising

SYRACUSE, N.Y. — It’s obviously difficult to find hand sanitizer anywhere amid the coronavirus pandemic.

Clean All, a 95-year-old Syracuse company that produces swimming pool sanitizing chemicals and janitorial cleaning products like bleach, says it can help by offering make-your-own liquid sanitizer kits.

Sev Gonnella, division manager at Clean All, a unit of Salina–based Solvents and Petroleum Service, Inc., says a number of area businesses and organizations that deal with the public have been calling, asking about hand sanitizer.

The problem is consumer-hygiene products, like hand sanitizers, are regulated by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). The chemicals Clean All produces are regulated by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). “We don’t have an existing relationship with the FDA,” says Gonnella.

He says it would take at least a few weeks of paperwork to obtain FDA approval in order to package and sell a finished hand-sanitizer product to consumers.

The company came up with another solution that could help immediately. Since Clean All already works with all the chemical ingredients needed to make hand sanitizer, it decided bundle them up into kits with instructions that allow buyers to make their own.

The one-gallon and three-gallon kits include the raw materials, in the correct strengths and proportions, according to the World Health Organization (WHO) formula. That includes isopropyl alcohol (99.8%), hydrogen peroxide, glycerin, directions for mixing and WHO references, labels for the finished product, and an 8-oz refillable spray bottle (three in a case).

Clean All is charging $32 for a one-gallon kit (equivalent to $2 for an 8-oz bottle) and $84 for a three-gallon kit (which equals $1.75 for an 8 oz bottle).

The company is selling the kits through its store at 838 Erie Blvd. West on Syracuse’s near westside and taking bulk orders over the phone.

In the production facility in the back of the building, Gonnella says he has a crew of seven employees working two shifts a day. He expected them to produce roughly 150 three-gallon kits and 50 one-gallon kits in their first full day at it.

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Photo credit: Zoey Advertising