One of Randy’s first jobs was working as an autopsy assistant for Palomar Memorial Hospital in Escondido California. Protocol required that all transfer gurneys be wiped down with Isopropyl Alcohol, 65% solution, after transporting decedent patients from room to morgue. In time, he also began wiping his hands with isopropyl alcohol after removing gloves and for other cleaning. A friend and coworker suggested that it would be “really cool” if they added something to the alcohol to make it “not splash around.” The two friends began mixing it with a variety of emollients, including the juice from an aloe vera plant in Randy’s parents’ back yard, Surgilube Jelly and KY Jelly. At the time, the mixture was about 50% alcohol and about 50% emollient.
As hand sanitizers became more popular, Randy began using a much higher ratio of alcohol to emollient and incorporated the use of Carbomer 940 acrylic cross polymer as a suspending agent along with an aloe vera extract. Because Randy was born and raised in the southwest, he wanted to add cactus to the formula, so two species of cactus and California Ice Plant was added to the blend. In environmental circles, this plant is seen as an “invasive species,” yet it’s a plant that can be used to provide nutrients.