Hand Sanitizer Update
This project has kept us busy and grown beyond our wildest dreams! As of mid-May we have distributed over 17,000 individual size bottles of hand sanitizer. We are so thankful for all the community support and so glad to provide that service to the most vulnerable in our city.
Our production has slowed down as materials become harder to acquire and funding slows down, but we will continue producing around 500 bottles a week as long as we have the resources to do so.
Other parts of this project:
-We have provided over 200 gallons of Lysol to the same communities we have served with hand sanitizer.
-We have dded making disposable masks (from blue shop towels, paper clips, and rubber bands!) to our production and supplying them to people who live outdoors. So far we have given out over 300 of these and are on track to make another 300 every week.
-We have distributed approximately 300 cloth masks donated to us from other groups.
-We were major contributors to the SHaRE project’s cleaning supplies drive for the Warm Springs Reservation in early May, providing over 20 gallons of Lysol and 400 bottles of hand sanitizer to their 2,000 residents.
Pandemic Response- early April
Rosehip, in conjunction with Portland Action Medics, with consultation from Popular Mobilization and in space donated by Q Center, continues to mass produce hand sanitizer to provide, completely free, to anyone who needs it.
Who is this for? So far, we haven’t turned any person or organization away. We’ve supplied to groups ranging from healthcare offices (Outside In, a department at Providence, a local fire station), direct service organizations (Street Roots, Voz, Portland People’s Outreach Project, Free Lunch Collective, Springwater Corridor Outreach), food service organizations (Sister of the Road Cafe, Crisis Kitchen), transitional housing shelters, domestic violence shelters, and houseless encampments (CODA, Rapheal House, Home Porch, R2D2, Right to Survive), large nonprofit community organizations (Meals on Wheels, Janus Youth, YWCA), essential workers (Trimet drivers, Ubereats drivers), and other mutual aid hubs around the city as well as individuals in our neighborhoods and organizations.
How can you help? We need continued financial support to keep up with this project. As of April 7th we’ve given out over 7,000 individual size bottles, with more being produced and distributed six days a week.
With donated alcohol, our costs run about $1 per individual bottle. One gallon of donated alcohol costs about $65 to process and produces about 63 bottles of hand sanitizer (averaging 3 ounces each).
We process between 5 and 10 gallons of alcohol per day, making our per-day cost between $325 and $650, six days per week.
Our donated supply of alcohol has dried up (evaporated?? ;-) ) so after next week, we will need to also return to purchasing alcohol at a cost of roughly $30 per gallon.
Check back soon for a video tour of our lab and production process, and scroll down for previous posts for the recipe we developed from the CDC recommendations, substituting available ingredients after consultation with a local chemist.
To request hand sanitizer for your group, organization, or distribution, please send us an email at firstname.lastname@example.org
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.
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 www.rosehipmedics.org
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