In response to the overwhelming need for hand sanitizer to help combat the COVID-19 pandemic, Washington State University is now brewing its own FDA-approved “Cougar Clean.”
Some 50 gallons of hand sanitizer have already have been produced on the Pullman campus, with enough supplies on hand to make another 800 gallons, Jason Sampson, an assistant director with Environmental Health and Safety, said.
“We’ve followed a formulation that was recommended by the World Health Organization and the FDA,” Sampson said. “The FDA has stepped up and streamlined the process.”
The campus-produced supplies of Cougar Clean are intended to provide WSU’s essential employees with ready access to hand sanitizer, reserving the university’s remaining commercial-grade inventory for medical use by Cougar Health Services.
Environmental Health and Safety is offering to pick up empty sanitizer bottles from individuals on the Pullman campus, disinfect them, and return them refilled with Cougar Clean. Other campuses will work with their essential personnel and a case by case basis.
“We are committed to providing hand sanitizer to our essential employees doing vital work on our campuses, and for WSU students in public areas where they pickup food or receive other essential services,” said Environmental Health and Safety Executive Director Dwight Hagihara.
Essential employees that need Cougar Clean are asked to contact Sampson at 509-335-9564 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Cougar Clean is currently available at more than a dozen locations across the WSU system. Environmental Health and Safety officials are focused on getting Cougar Clean into the hands of custodial and dining staff, as well as folks in receiving and delivery, maintenance and others still on campus.
“We’ve been concentrating on places where running water and soap aren’t readily available,” Sampson said.
Cougar Clean is a combination of ethanol, glycerol, hydrogen peroxide and distilled water, resulting in a solution that is 80% alcohol. The CDC recommends using alcohol-based hand sanitizers with greater than 60% alcohol if soap and water is not available. The alcohol present kills viruses, the glycerol helps maintain the substance’s gel consistency, the hydrogen peroxide disinfects and the distilled water prevents the alcohol from evaporating.