NORTH CHARLESTON, S.C. (WCSC) - With the government orders to shut down all non-essential businesses, one North Charleston distillery is staying open to make an entirely different product.
Nippitaty Distillery is an organic distillery that usually produces alcoholic drinks. Now, they are also making sanitizer solution.
"It was truly a new realization. My wife started researching what other distilleries in states were doing. How can we do our part to support this community? She researched it and found that people were giving away sanitizing solution. She asked me, can you do that? And I was like well yeah I can do that, let's go ahead and get it going,” Traxler Littlejohn, owner of Nippitaty Distillery, said.
Nippitaty recently started making a hand sanitizing solution that is about 80% alcohol.
The owner says 80% is now the FDA standard for sanitizing solution. He is currently in the process of becoming FDA approved so that he can get additional raw materials to make this sanitizer into gel and be allowed to sell it.
Littlejohn says the FDA is trying to streamline this process for distilleries to support local communities across the country.
He has already been giving the solution to folks in the community for free to use as liquid sanitizer.
The liquid can be used as a spray, to disinfect hands, surfaces and objects, and as an ingredient in a gel.
MUSC recently stopped by this North Charleston distillery to fill 43 gallons of solution. Littlejohn says MUSC used his solution to make their own sanitizer.
Littlejohn is asking everyone in the community who comes to get solution to bring their own 12-ounce container.
The owner says while his normal business is a little slow right now, he's just trying to do what he can to help the community during these circumstances.
"As of right now, yes we're giving it away for free. We do take donations and a lot of people have been generous because they realize it is a cost to us and they've been donating to our little cause and in the future we're hoping to be able to sell hand sanitizer to workplaces, not-for-profits, for profits, and to the public, here probably in about two to three weeks,” Littlejohn said.
He also wants to remind people that soap and water is still the preferred method of cleaning your hands, so if you aren’t really in need, please don’t take any sanitizer.
Nipataty Distillery will be open Friday and Saturday from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. just to give away sanitizer.