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Portland Distillery Turns Its Spirits’ Waste Into Hand Sanitizers

Susie Steck

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  • Shine Distillery & Grill, a distillery company in Portland, has been making a cleaning agent out of its alcohol waste.
  • Thanks to a customer’s idea, the owners eventually started processing its own spirits and turned them into hand sanitizers.
  • Now the company is distributing free hand sanitizers for the community, amidst the shortage caused by the spread of coronavirus.

The owners of Shine Distillery & Grill Jon Poteet and Ryan Ruelos are making their own hand cleaner out of their alcohol wastes and are giving them away to customers for free. These two have been using the booze’s waste as a cleaning agent in keeping their place disinfected when a customer asked Poteet if “she could have some of the cleaning alcohol to use as sanitizer”.

Poteet then came up with an idea to reformulate them and turned them into a hand sanitizer to address the alcohol and hand sanitizer shortage in the area due to the spread of coronavirus.

In an interview, Poteet shared that he and his co-owner immediately started researching because of the lady’s question. They also checked with local authorities if it is safe to turn their alcohol waste materials to a hand sanitizer.

“As long as we’re not making a medical claim or selling it, we’re allowed to give it away,” Poteet said, citing his conversation with the authorities.

Poteet also explained that when processing their own spirits, the very first alcohol produced is not drinkable so the distillery recycles them as a cleaner. Now as a hand sanitizer, it is made with water, 80% alcohol, xanthan gum to make it thicker.

In it’s website’s post, Shine Distillery & Grill made an announcement that aside from giving the hand sanitizer for free to customers, they are also accepting donations in purchasing more hand sanitizer bottles and in paying their staff.

Shine Distillery & Grill is the first distillery company that thought of something outside the box in order to help its community in Oregon, Portland. Poteet and Ruelos also called on other distilleries around the world to take part by sharing their own recipe and process.

“Ultimately, I’m part of the community, I want my friends and neighbors to be happy and healthy. All my neighbors (are) getting sick and going down doesn’t do me any good. I want to be in a healthy community, and it feels good to be able to give back,” Poteet said.

Also, when you visit their distillery, you will also signs in their washroom about proper washing. They posted at least 11 20-second worth of lyrics to sing while washing hands such as songs from Prince, Beyonce, Dolly Parton, and Toto, among others.

Soon after announcing about the free hand sanitizers, more customers came to their restaurant and dined- in. And some of them left glowing reviews!

Watch the full news report here:
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