Steve Watts, owner of Mainland Whisky. (File photo)

South Surrey distillery producing free surface cleaner to help fight COVID-19

Mainland Whisky awaiting provincial approval to make hand sanitizer

Due to increased demand and lack of supply, a South Surrey whisky distillery has started giving away free surface cleaner to people in need amid the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mainland Whisky (107-3425 189 St.), which opened last year, saw what their American counterparts were doing and contacted the provincial government to get approval to give away surface cleaner.

Owner Steve Watts said they’re also waiting for provincial approval to start making hand sanitizer.

LIVE UPDATES: Lates on COVID-19 pandemic in Surrey, White Rock and beyond

“But what (the province) did was green light surface cleaner, so we actually use a dilution of our high-proof alcohol that we don’t use in our whisky,” Watts said.

“So we basically dilute it down to 70 per cent, because that’s what the Canadian authorities say kills a coronavirus, anything over 60 per cent kills it.”

Watts said they don’t have a supply of bottles, so people asking for free surface cleaner will be required to bring their own bottle.

Watts explained that there are four parts of a distillation run: foreshots, heads, hearts and tails.

“The heads we actually use as a cleaning product ourselves for all of our equipment.”

Watts said they had to close down their tasting lounge due to social distancing requirements of COVID-19, but are still doing bottle sales.

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“Going along with what the provincial government recommends we think is the right idea… you know, social distancing.”

Mainland started giving away the free surface cleaner Wednesday, and “we actually have quite a big stock-load of it.”

“Because you can’t really get it at the store anymore – it’s just been savagely taken – we thought hey, if we can help our community anyway… we can help give back and help people clean and keep their homes clean.”

Producing hand sanitizer – the company’s next goal – is a little more regulated because it touches the skin, he said.

“If you have a high proof alcohol that touches the skin, yeah, it’ll kill everything on your hands, but it will dry out your hands quite a bit,” he said.

“There’s other ingredients that you should add to moisturize your hands as well. So coconut oil, aloe vera gel. There’s a lot of different distilleries down south doing different things, but we would follow along kind of those guidelines where we would add moisturizer as well.”


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