VICTORIA -- A Victoria distillery and a local cosmetics business are partnering to create free hand sanitizer for health-care workers, dentists and nurses.

Victoria Distillers and B.C.-based Nezza Naturals have figured out how to convert leftover alcoholic byproduct from the distilling process into hand sanitizer.

"We have leftover alcohol byproduct, and with a hand sanitizer shortage, we thought now more than ever it is important to put it to good use,” said Peter Hunt, president and master distiller at Victoria Distillers.

The distillery brings its alcoholic byproduct, which is roughly 90 per cent alcohol by volume (ABV), to Nezza Naturals, which blends the solution with water, sweet orange essential oil and vegetable glycerin to create a hand sanitizer that is roughly 70 per cent ABV.

"So far the demand has been overwhelming," said Hunt. "We have received requests from all over, and though we wish we could help everyone, our supply is limited so we are going to focus on our local community first.”

The announcement comes as B.C. government officials remind residents not to hoard resources, with lengthy lines forming at grocery stores, and charities warning of panic-buying affecting vulnerable children.

In the meantime, Victoria Distillers and Nezza Naturals say they will continue to make free hand sanitizer for essential services staff. 

“We know that this situation is not going to go away overnight, so we are looking to make this an ongoing project for the months ahead," said Hunt.