Covid 19 Response — March

Wow, y’all.  This last 3 weeks have been a wild progression, and we are working to keep up along with the rest of you.   Here’s a bit of what we’ve been up to, and some resources to move forward with us.

  • We cancelled our first street medic training ever and turned it into resource distribution weekend, with education (see video of Missy Rohs’ Herbal First Aid Workshop ).
  • Started a hub for production and distribution of hand sanitizer, modifying the CDC recipe with available ingredients (in consultation with a chemist) and surface disinfectant (Lysol brand Benzalkonium).  To date we have shared >32 gal and thousands of bottles to community groups for free (Please support this work with our Gofundme or use the DONATE button, which allows us to keep a bigger cut)
  • Collaborate with partner organizations in producing, receiving and distributing personal safety, food, OTC meds, hygiene, and other necessities–prioritizing services for houseless, harm reduction, and higher risk community members

Moving forward, we will seek to update our website with a COVID-19 resources and projects, and ways to plug in.  We’ll start here with a few neat recipes we worked out as we went along in our manufacture.

Hang in there community. We’re here for one another.

With Love,

If you have money to help us cover some of these out-of-pocket expenses, please visit and share our Gofundme or push the button to donate directly

Rosehip’s Day-by-Day Pandemic Response

Rosehip is very proud to share the work we are doing to help our community, and especially it’s most vulnerable members, during this time of crisis.  We’ve been preparing as a group for 12 years for moments like this, and we are doing all we can to participate in and expand mutual aid efforts in Portland.

Primarily, we have been working on supply distribution.  We started with a two-day supply fair in mid-March, before the public was fully understanding what was happening.  Our idea was to help our communities be prepared with cleaning supplies, hand sanitizer, gloves, OTC medications, thermometers, and other medical gear.  The first day we targeted getting supplies to our network of trained medics so they could take care of themselves first, and therefore be prepared to help others.  The second day we opened it up more broadly to our wider networks, and were able to supply several direct-service groups as well as many individuals and community houses.

We realized that the need for hand sanitizer was so great, and that over the weekend we’d had so much fun “mixing down” the last of the commercial sanitizer and the rubbing alcohol we had in our clinic supplies in order to bottle it individually, that we looked into making more of it.  Thus sparked days of gathering supplies from the community (by this time, stores had been sold out of sanitizer for weeks, and also the ingredients to make it).

Over the first few days we made many batches of hand sanitizer from ingredients gathered from people’s medicine (and liquor!) cabinets.  Luckily we have a close contact with a chemist, and were able to check our math every time to ensure that everything we made was producing a final product of over 62% alcohol content.

By day 3, our chemist contact had secured us 15 gallons of lab-grade alcohol.  We set up an assembly line production system at Q Center’s mutual aid hub and started making gallons of hand sanitizer.  Below, you’ll find our recipe and some pictures of our process.

We are incredibly busy, not just producing sanitizer, but also sourcing the ingredients (alcohol is getting very hard to find, even for labs!) and fundraising for bottle (and other ingredient) purchases.  If you have quantities of ingredients and aren’t sure if you can substitute them, you can send us an email and we’ll do our best to get back to you within 24 hours with advice from our experience and from our chemist.

Transcript of Recipe Image

[Rosehip Medic Collective      Portland, Oregon
Having made 32 gallons of hand sanitizer in 8 days, with consultation from a chemist, here is our recipe and best practices:
(contact us if you have different ingredients, we have made many many batches with other ingredients including lower alcohol content, all in consultation with a chemist, and may be able to advise you)
Types of alcohol, common names/terms: isopropyl/ISP (“rubbing alcohol”), ethanol, “denatured,” everclear.  Any of these over 91% work in this recipe. Do not use methanol.  
BULK- requires stove, immersion blender.  
Final product 61% if 91% alc. used, 66 % if 99% alc. used
  • Pre-make xanthan gel (cool overnight, or at least 2 hours):
    • 20 cups of water
    • 5 tablespoons xanthan gum powder
    • Bring water to almost a boil, reduce to simmer
    • Add xanthan 1 tb at a time, whisk in well, let settle, add more
    • Simmer 5-10 minutes, remove from heat, allow to cool and gel
  • Mixing hand sanitizer:
    • 2 cups xanthan gel
    • 2 tablespoons vegetable glycerin (optional)
    • Start immersion blender in the gel, then add-
    • 4 cups alcohol 91% or greater, SLOWLY
    • First 2 cups added ¼ cup at a time,  blend well
      Last 2 cups added faster
    • Pour off and bottle/package. Start new batch. Do not leave alcohol or hand sanitizer open to the air for more than a few minutes.
SMALL BATCH- no stove needed 
Final product 61% if 91% alc. used, 66 % if 99% alc. used
  • 2 cups tap warm/hot water
  • Start immersion blender in water, add 1 teaspoon of xanthan gum powder slowly
  • 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin (optional)
  • Add 4 cups of alcohol 91% or greater, SLOWLY
  • First two cups added ¼ cup at a time, blend well
  • Last two cups added faster
  • *with a stove, can simmer the water as in Bulk recipe, and use 1.5 teaspoons of xanthan for better gel texture
  • If no immersion blender, can add xanthan and water in a bottle and shake the hell out of it.  Let sit 20-30 minutes, shake the hell out of it again, and then pour into bowl and add alcohol while mixing with a whisk until your arms fall off.  Rest your arms, and mix again. 
  • Watch for settling and shake well if separation occurs during use. ]

We take care of us!  #wegotthisPDX

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