Michigan Distilleries Permitted to Make Hand Sanitizer for COVID-19 Outbreak

Licensed distilleries in the state are now permitted to produce ethanol-based hand sanitizers in order to help meet demand as the state works to mitigate the spread of COVID-19

Michigan officials announced Thursday that licensed distilleries in the state are now permitted to produce ethanol-based hand sanitizers in order to help meet demand as the state works to mitigate the spread of COVID-19.

After shutting down most of their operations, the Griffin Claw Brewing Company in Birmingham decided to begin using distilled spirits to make hand sanitizer.

The new rules are especially timely given many retail outlets are struggling to keep store shelves stocked with cleaning products.

On Wednesday, the Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau relaxed regulations to allow beverage distillers to make denatured alcohol. The production is not normally permitted unless a distillery has an industrial manufacturing permit, which no Michigan distiller currently has.

The rules were approved through June 30 with the possibility for extension as necessary. Any existing Distilled Spirits Permittee can immediately commence production of hand sanitizer or distilled spirits (ethanol) for use in hand sanitizer without having to first obtain authorization.

Distillers may manufacture sanitizer products that are comprised of denatured or undenatured ethanol, glycerol (not less than 1.45 percent of the finished hand sanitizer product on a volume basis) and hydrogen peroxide (not less than 0.125 percent of the finished hand sanitizer product on a volume basis).

Using hand sanitizer is not as effective as hand washing with soap and water.