Businesses of All Kinds are Pivoting to Making Hand Sanitizer

If you’ve been to a CVS, or a Target, or a grocery store or an…any store, anywhere, basically, you’ll notice a complete and utter lack of hand sanitizer. Trying to shop online? No chance. Out of stock. Ever since the pandemic kicked into high gear, people have been extra-committed to hygiene, which means that those among us who could REALLY use the germ-fighting properties of alcohol (first responders, the elderly, etc.)  are out of luck. Luckily, a variety of companies have changed up their production lines to start pumping out hand sanitizer — here are just a handful working to make the world a less germy place, one pump at a time.

The University of Maryland College of Engineering

The author might be a little biased since she is a graduate of the aforementioned university, but with the help of a donation from Northrop Grummon, engineers at UMD have turned out 100 bottles of hand sanitizer in just two days. The bottles were delivered to a fire station in Montgomery County, Md., where first responders are frequently in contact with potential cases of coronavirus. Go Terps! 

Heilala Vanilla


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Aside from making incredible, high-quality vanilla products, this small New Zealand company has diverted some of its product to make sanitizing spray for hospitals on the tiny island nation of Tonga, where the vanilla is grown. Although the country currently has no cases of coronavirus, epidemiologists warn that even far-flung islands are not safe from the spread of the disease. Heilala wants to make sure that its hospitals are prepared to treat any and all patients. If you’d like to support the company, make sure to buy some vanilla when the pandemic subsides — Heilala works with small farms to create a stable, sustainable business model (and their vanilla is delicious, too).


The luxury goods firm that houses Louis Vuitton announced in mid-March that its perfume factories would pivot to produce hand sanitizer for French hospitals. Chic, chic, hand sanitizer. Perfume companies are uniquely suited to this sort of product switch, as most rely on alcohol as a base — the same alcohol that kills germs. LVMH already had purified water, glycerine, and ethyl alcohol in their factories, three ingredients necessary for the production of hand sanitizer. Plus, the bottles are so elegant, it’s hard not to want one for yourself.

Koval Distillery

Koval Distillery Chicago Hand Sanitizer
Koval Distillery

This Illinois business known primarily for its organic and kosher whiskeys, gins, and specialty spirits has been working to make hand sanitizer in bulk for the medical community, retirement homes, and anyone else on the front line. They have also sought help from the community to keep their efforts going, raising more than $60,000 at the time of publication. The distillery has shipped hand sanitizer to organizations such as Lawrence Hall, Chai LifeLine, Little Sisters of the Poor, Mount Sinai Hospital, Cook County Sheriff’s Office, and many more. If you’d like to donate to their ongoing efforts, you can find their GoFundMe here.

Savage & Cooke Distillery


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This famous distillery on Mare Island off the coast of California is typically prized for its whiskey and bourbon, but now it’s being lauded for producing mass quantities of hand sanitizer for California hospitals. The distillery’s home, Mare Island, is no stranger to helping the United States — it was the first naval shipyard on the West Coast and has a long history of supplying aid to Americans.

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Jessica Suss is a native Chicagoan residing in Washington, D.C. She is currently getting her master’s degree in secondary English education at the University of Maryland. She enjoys petting other people’s dogs and is faithful to Lou Malnati’s alone. Jessica is also a supporter of MAZON and No Kid Hungry



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