Saluki Sanitizer: Fermentation Institute produces hand sanitizer for SIU

By Janae Mosby, Reporter

During the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the price of  cleaning supplies such as hand sanitizer and other disinfectants have been driven up due to high demand.

The SIU Fermentation Science Institute decided they wanted to do something about this issue.

Fermentation Institute director Matt McCarroll has produced “Saluki Sanitizer” to combat the high price of store bought disinfectants.


McCarroll started to look into the process of manufacturing hand sanitizer in April after the American Distilling Institute sent out information about producing homemade sanitizer.

Institute lab manager, Amanda Rothert, mentioned that the supplies for making the hand sanitizer were hard to come by at the beginning  of the project. 

“The chemical that we used to denature it […] was out of stock from all the different chemical suppliers,” Rothert said.

One gallon containers were also out of stock and it took some time before they were able to secure these materials, Rothert said. 

The process of making Saluki Sanitizer is relatively simple and only takes three hours to make a single batch, McCarroll said.

“It is a mixture of 95% pharmaceutical grade ethanol, glycerol, and a little hydrogen peroxide and water to balance it to the right concentration,” McCarroll said. 

McCarroll mentioned that the ethanol is a class three flammable liquid, so special precautions were taken when making it. 


“The mixing of it had to be done in a closed loop system. If it was mixed in an open container, there would be so much vapor coming off it [that] it would be dangerous,” McCarroll said. 

There are currently two people working to produce this sanitizer, McCarroll and Rothert. 

The collaboration between these two involved purchasing the equipment, measuring, mixing, and packaging the sanitizer.  

When campus opens again, McCarroll hopes to get more students involved in the process and make it a learning opportunity for them. 

The first batch of Saluki Sanitizer was produced early this month and it is currently being distributed around campus.

“We are producing it in 55 gallon drums, they are picked up and delivered centrally,” McCarroll said,  “They are refilling smaller containers and these are distributed across campus.”

At the moment, SIU has purchased a commercial hand sanitizer that is being distributed around campus, but will soon make the transition to only Saluki Sanitizer. 

McCarroll also hopes to sell Saluki Sanitizer to other outlets in the community and stay competitive with other brands after sorting out product pricing. 

“We are working on the details for doing that right now, but we hope to have this for sale to the community,” McCarroll said. 

Reporter Janae Mosby can be reached at or on Twitter at @mosbyj.

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