Let’s get right to the bottom line: Starting immediately, we will add one free 1oz (30ml) Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer to every order, while supplies last. We recently discovered that we have the raw ingredients to make it, and after some retooling of our equipment, have started to produce it in two sizes. We are giving it away for free to try to help in this time of wild uncertainty. If you want to purchase any to help supplement our giveaway efforts, you may do so here, limit one SKU per person. Please do not buy any if you do not need it, you will still receive a free 1oz bottle with your purchase.
You’re welcomed to stop reading here, but if you want to know more about how and why we are doing this, as well as what our hand sanitizer is like compared to well-known commercial hand sanitizers, read on.
Cristina and I, the co-founders of the company, tend to watch global trends very closely. We first became aware of the COVID-19 virus the first week of January, when we saw an economic disturbance in China. We continued to watch it closely for a couple of weeks, and in the middle of January I started building growth models based upon published data (you might say I like spreadsheets more than the average person, you can view the version from March 1 forward here. It focuses on California and the U.S. compared to the rest of the world, since that is where we are located). We saw the potential for a large-scale issue, but at that time didn’t know the probability. However, as a precaution, we slowed production of certain lotions we make that use the base ingredients of hand sanitizer, just in case there was an issue. January and February are traditionally slow months for sales, so we saw no harm in this. If the virus came and went without causing a disruption, we could easily resume regular production of those lotions. As I type this today, we obviously know now what an issue the pandemic is, and are hoping, like you, that it will start to slow down around the globe.
In addition to the pure aloe vera juice and vegetable glycerin that we use for lotions, we also have a decent supply of 99% Isopropyl Alcohol, which we use to clean and sterilize equipment, bottles and miscellaneous supplies. When you combine those three ingredients and add a couple of other components, you have everything you need for an excellent and very effective hand sanitizer.
Since this pandemic has come to be, and since most places are sold out of hand sanitizer, we made the decision to divert our raw ingredients, retool our machines and start production. We’re a small company when compared to the massive breweries and chemical companies that are working on the same issue, so we cannot produce nearly as much as we would like, but if we can help save even one person, it’s all worth it. What we did not have on hand was packaging and labels that worked for hand sanitizer, since we have never made it in bulk. We managed to get several thousand flip caps from our regular packaging vendor, and when combined with the bottles used for CHUG Hydrate, you get a perfect 1oz (30ml) bottle of hand sanitizer! We scrambled and got a few hundred 3 oz (90ml) hand lotion/hand sanitizer bottles from the same vendor that we have a very good relationship with. We started creating labels that almost fit the bottles just right, but are off by a little. Although we are enthusiastic about quality control and little details, we knew that this is something that people wouldn’t care about … they need hand sanitizer, and they need it now!
What we have ended up with is a 70.95% alcohol hand sanitizer that not only won’t dry out your skin, it will moisturize it! Most well-known commercial hand sanitizers are 63% alcohol, and while effective for many applications, they aren’t strong enough to be ideal for disinfectants in pharmaceuticals and other contaminated surfaces not previously cleaned. (Citation)
We hope that a free bottle of hand sanitizer will help provide some comfort … and more importantly health … to everybody that gets one. We have opted to offer a small amount of the inventory for sale simply to help us recoup a portion of the costs associated with this effort. We are a privately owned company, with no VC or outside backing, so we don’t have the ability to simply “turn the machine up” and produce at a scale that we can give away to everybody that needs one. We wish would could, but hope that this round of hand sanitizers will stretch out enough for us to replenish raw materials and make more. Like you, we are uncertain of what the future holds, but we will continue to do everything we can to help others, for as long as we can. Perhaps the phrase, “we are all in this together” feels overused by now, but to us it’s something we’ve always believed in, and this global crisis doesn’t change that.
If we can do anything for you or your family, please let us know. Send us a note through our contact page, and we’ll get back to you as soon as possible. We have asked our employees to stay home with their families, and are paying their full wages during this time; to that end, if we don’t get back to you as quickly as we normally do, know that we are doing our best and are grateful for your patience.
Stay healthy, friends. This is a dark hour for all of us, but we will come out the other side.
Matt Singley and Cristina Chapman, Co-Founders