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The Hackney in Washington producing hand sanitizer in response to COVID-19

While many businesses are closed and/or employees are being instructed to work from home, The Hackney in Washington, makers of 1000 Piers gin, is finding a new way to help the community by producing hand sanitizer. The goal is to distribute 10,000 bottles free of charge.

Nick Sanders, co-owner of The Hackney restaurant and its gin distillery, said he was prompted to start making hand sanitizer because it’s a much-needed commodity right now.

CHANGE OF PACE: The Hackney gin distillery in Washington has made the switch from producing gin to producing hand sanitizer. Standing over the sterile vat being used to make the hand sanitizer are The Hackney owners, Nick Sanders and Susanne Sanders, in the distillery that normally produces 1000 Piers gin. (Vail Rumley / Daily News)

“We’re uniquely well-equipped to produce hand sanitizer,” Sanders explained. “There are a couple of outcomes we hope to accomplish with this. One is eliminating the community spread of the virus, and if we do that, it will save lives. The other reason is hand sanitizer should be something everybody has easily available to them, allowing everyone to keep their hands clean and free of the virus.”

The main ingredients for hand sanitizer are 99% isopropyl alcohol, 3% hydrogen peroxide, 98% glycerin and sterile distilled or boiled cold water. Sanders said he will produce the hand sanitizer for as long as there is a need in the community. He hopes that the production of the hand sanitizer will expedite the process of getting everyone back in business as soon as possible.

Sanders is asking that anyone in the community who has 2- to 4-ounce empty bottles donate them to the cause.

“If we can get more of those (empty bottles), then we can continue to produce the bottles for the general population in the area,” Sanders said. “That’s the only thing we haven’t been able to secure yet, is a large amount of small bottles. The goal here is to supply the hand sanitizer to anybody who needs it.”

A lot of the bottles of hand sanitizer that are produced will be delivered to local EMS squads.

To help with the estimated $6,000 cost of making the sanitizer, Sanders reached out to the Beaufort County community and the Washington-Beaufort Chamber of Commerce.

“We raised enough money to cover the cost of the 10,000 bottle goal in a little over four hours,” Sanders said. “We’ve found enough money to produce the first amount, but we may come back and ask the community to contribute if we need to supply more.”

The distillery can produce up to 100 gallons of hand sanitizer a day, and maybe more, according to Sanders.

To find out more about donating, call The Hackney at 252-623-2368.