woman holding hand sanitizer
Bright Ideas

Meet Lupe Hernandez - the Latina who created hand sanitizer

Lupe’s invention went on the revolutionize on-the-go sanitation

Forty-six years ago, Lupe Hernandez from Bakersfield, California made a discovery that years later would prove to be life saving to people across the globe. It is reported that this Latina nursing student had the idea for hand sanitizer after realizing that alcohol in gel form could be an effective way to clean hands when in a situation where there was no access to soap and clean water. After learning that her idea had a lot of potential commercially, she called an inventions hotline to find out more information about the process.

hand sanitizer©Kelly Sikkema / Unsplash
Hand sanitizer is said to have been invented in 1966 by a Latina student nurse

The Guardian published an article citing that she was the inventor of this life-changing invention on March 13, 2012. Since then, there has been very little written about her, her invention or anything else she has accomplished. Remezcla cited that Lupe was mentioned in The Growth and Development of Nurse Leaders, Second Edition, which was published in 2019.

hand sanitizer©Allie Smith / Unsplash
Hand sanitizer has gone on save many lives globally

Since the news of the coronavirus outbreak hit the global landscape, Lupe’s reported invention has been in very high demand and people have been relying on it more than ever — so much so that there have been reported outages of it. Brands like Dior and Puerto Rico’s Don Q Rum have announced that they would be using their plants to help fill the need for hand sanitizers.

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