New York State is making its own hand sanitizer as consumers complain of nationwide shortages with some sellers price gouging customers for Purell and other brand-name products amid rising coronavirus case numbers.
The state will produce 100,000 gallons per week of the personal hygiene product, called "NYS Clean," Governor Andrew Cuomo said at a press conference Monday. The state will provide free supplies to government agencies, schools, the New York region's bus, subway and commuter rail system, prisons and other high-traffic facilities.
Cuomo lamented the "egregious" issue of price gouging for hand sanitizer because of its increased demand of late. "You can't get it on the market and when you get it it's very, very expensive," he told reporters.
The governor said it's cheaper for the staterather than purchase bulk amounts from another supplier. It costs the state $6.10 to make a one-gallon jug of hand wash and $1.12 for a 7-ounce bottle. An even smaller container costs just 84 cents to manufacture.
Two large bottles of Purell hand sanitizer, which usually sell for about $9 each, were recently offered on Amazon for $299. On eBay, one 10-ounce bottle of Purell is for sale for $99.99.
New York State's own hand cleanser is made by Corcraft, the brand of products that are manufactured in correctional facilities throughout New York State. The quality is top notch, Cuomo said at the press conference.
"This is a superior product to products now on the market," Cuomo said.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recommends using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol if soap and water are not available. "NYS Clean" contains 75% alcohol. Purell contains 70%.
The governor called out Purell, eBay and Amazon, saying that if price gouging continues, New York will start selling its hand sanitizer to the public.
Corcraft, however, can only sell its products to state and local government agencies, schools and universities, courts, fire and police departments, and some not-for profit organizations.