Koval Distillery producing hand sanitizer during coronavirus pandemic

ByJalyn Henderson WLS logo
Friday, March 20, 2020
Koval Distillery producing hand sanitizer during coronavirus pandemic
Koval Distillery in Ravenswood started making hand sanitizer for Chicago hospitals and nursing homes during the coronavirus pandemic.

CHICAGO (WLS) -- With Purell flying off the shelves, one local company is taking matters into its own hands.

Koval Distillery in Ravenswood is turning spirits into sanitizer.

"This is war, this really is war," said Koval Distillery co-founder, Sonat Birnecker Hart. "Like in any other war effort, people are asked to step up and right now hand sanitizer is needed a lot more than whiskey."

The bottles they make won't be for public use, however, they'll be given to Chicago hospitals, retirement homes and daycares.

"Police officers, firefighters, EMTs, these are people on the front lines that are dealing with this and if they're concerned with not having hand sanitizer that makes me worried, so I want to help them," Birnecker Hart said.

Distillers will make the sanitizer from one of the World Health Organization's published recipes. It's composed of four parts: ethanol, hydrogen peroxide, glycerol and water.

Mixed together, those ingredients become a WHO-recommended alcohol-based hand rub.

The organization describes it as "the only known means for rapidly and effectively inactivating a wide array of potentially harmful microorganisms on hands."

Birnecker Hart said Koval will continue making the sanitizer as long as they have the resources to do so.

Medical professionals, nursing homes and daycares can reach out to Koval to ask about the hand sanitizer by visiting their website.

Deliveries will begin next week.

Jalyn Henderson is a Community Journalist at ABC 7 Chicago. She tells stories on the north side of Chicago in neighborhoods like Uptown, Edgewater, Ravenswood, Lincoln Square, West Ridge and Rogers Park. If you have a story to share in these neighborhoods you can send an email to Jalyn.L.Henderson@abc.com