Tito's Vodka caused a stir on social media this week as the Austin-based company diligently warned consumers — one by one — against using "the good stuff" as a replacement for hand sanitizer amid the spread of the coronavirus.
What are the details?
Dallas Morning News reporter Dom DiFurio posted a collection of tweets Thursday morning showing that Tito's social media team had been working hard to discourage people from using its product as a sterilizing agent.
DiFurio wrote, "Tito's Vodka has spent the last 24 hours explaining to people that it *cannot* be used as a replacement for hand sanitizer. God bless Texas."
Some folks were sharing articles containing recipes for homemade hand sanitizer that called for vodka. One gentleman posted such an article with the message, "Just made me some @TitosVodka hand #Sanitizer #GodBlessTexas."
Another person tweeted, "Thinking about making my own hand sanitizer out of aloe vera and Titos vodka #Coronavirustexas."
Others told Tito's it should capitalize on the outbreak, with one lady telling the firm, "@TitosVodka you're missing some advertising opportunities with recipes for homemade hand sanitizer...just saying."
To each individual, Tito's replied with the message, "Per the CDC, hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol. Tito's Handmade Vodka is 40% alcohol, and therefore does not meet the current recommendation of the CDC."
The company also provided a statement reiterating the CDC's statement that "washing hands with soap and water is the best way to get rid of germs in most situations. If soap and water are not readily available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol."
Within hours, "Titos" was trending on Twitter, as several users suggested using Everclear instead of vodka and others praised Tito's for choosing to fight the spread of misinformation rather than allowing the hand sanitizer "recipes" to help their profits.
A Tito's spokesperson told DiFurio in a statement, "As soon as we saw the incorrect articles and social posts, we wanted to set the record straight. While it would be good for business for our fans to use massive quantities of Tito's for hand sanitizer, it would be a shame to waste the good stuff, especially if it doesn't sanitize (which it doesn't, per the CDC)."