Amid the current COVID-19 hysteria, demands for isopropyl alcohol have surged in the UK. Pharmacies are struggling to maintain the stocks that are wiped before they get on the shelves. At pharmacies like Boots isopropyl alcohol is constantly in demand since more people are making their hand sanitisers at home using this potent chemical. You can find it in varied percentages, from 70% to 90%.
Why Are the Demands Rising For Isopropyl Alcohol?
Isopropyl alcohol or rubbing alcohol (IPA) is an excellent disinfectant with potent bacteria-killing abilities. Even a 50% IPA can kill bacteria and viruses on various surfaces. With pandemic scare around the world, its demands are growing since IPA can be used as a vital ingredient in hand sanitisers. The supplies are dwindling in several parts of the world, especially in Europe and the US, where COVID cases are rising.
The worldwide market for isopropyl alcohol is expected to grow by 500,000 tonnes by the end of 2024. Leading producers like Ineos are building new plants in the UK and running the existing ones at the full capacity to meet the growing needs of this compound in the hand sanitisers. Some are even making their own sanitisers to meet the demands.
As a consumer, you can check out the shelves at leading supermarkets and pharmacies to try new brands. At Boots, isopropyl alcohol is available at competitive prices, but some pharmacies are struggling to maintain the right price points as well. That’s because of supply chain challenges and new regulations. Countries like France have restricted its export to fulfil internal demands.
Should You Buy Online?
Since supplies are limited at the local stores and pharmacies, you can check out the leading online platforms. They sell products from various producers and distributors. But, quality can be an issue. So, check the reviews and content before buying isopropyl alcohol from an online store.
If the reviews aren’t favourable, the seller may be offering fake IPA with misleading information. For example, the product may be promoted as 70% IPA while it has only 30% content.
Should You Buy 70%, 90%, or 99%?
Isopropyl alcohol comes with 60-99% of alcohol, and the rest is purified water. All these variants are excellent for fighting bacteria, viruses, and fungi. Water content destroys or inhibits pathogenic microorganisms on any surface. Extra water content slows down the evaporation process and increases surface contact.
Though IPA below 90% takes longer to kill bacteria, 70% IPA is the most recommended variety for general purposes. It is less flammable and more suitable for increasing needs. You can make more bottles of hand sanitisers, clean kitchen surfaces, disinfect cleaning sponges, or deodorise shoes at a fraction of the cost of 99% IPA.
How to Find the Isopropyl Alcohol for Your Needs?
Hand sanitiser may be a big reason to buy isopropyl alcohol; it’s not the only one. Rubbing alcohol wipes and swabs also use this compound. In some cases, it is essential to keep the surfaces around you disinfected to avoid severe infections. For example, diabetic patients need it for their regular medical routines. With limited supplies, you may not find isopropyl alcohol anywhere near you.
Avoid stockpiling it but buy a gallon at a pharmacy or supermarket near you. Some pharmacies ask for prescription due to crushing demands, but at Boots, isopropyl alcohol is available without a prescription. You can grab a gallon before it disappears from the aisles.
If you can’t manage to get one at the pharmacy, don’t hesitate to check Amazon or other leading online sellers. As mentioned above, you should be extra careful about the authenticity and quality before buying online.
Hence, refer to an expert’s reviews and recommendations. It will help narrow down your options, and you may even snag some deals through their affiliate links.