#BYOBclean is an initiative to prepare and distribute free hand sanitisers to all households in Singapore, to help our community stay safe and healthy. Each household can receive up to 500ml of hand sanitiser.
#BYOBclean zero alcohol hand sanitiser contains a solution of 0.054% benzalkonium chloride, which disables germs like coronaviruses. It is non-toxic, non-flammable, non-corrosive, does not irritate or stain, and is biodegradable.
When soap and water are not available, we can use hand sanitisers to clean our hands to stop passing germs and viruses to others and to ourselves.
To collect your free #BYOBclean hand sanitiser, just Bring Your Own Bottle.
Your allocated collection day is indicated on the pamphlet.
On your allocated day, please bring along:
Your clean bottle(s) with capacity of 500ml or more, and with labels removed
You must bring these 2 items to any collection centre.
Operating Hours: 9am - 9pm (16 March - 5 April 2020)
Before you head out to collect your free #BYOBclean hand sanitiser, here are 7 easy steps you need to know.
PREPARE AT HOME
Re-use an empty bottle
- Shampoo or liquid soap bottle
- Plastic, PET or glass bottle
- Ideally 500ml size or larger
Clean and dry bottle
- Clean its pump or cap
- Remove bottle labels
On your allocated collection day:
Bring this pamphlet and your clean bottle to any collection centre
Present your pamphlet
- Use funnel provided
- Fill from beaker
- DO NOT MIX UP with drinks or other household liquids
- Store in a cool, dry place
Operation hours: 9am - 9pm (16 March - 5 April 2020)
1. Clean off visible dirt or grease
2. Spray or pump solution on palms
3. Follow 7 steps to sanitising your hands thoroughly
Palm to palm Between fingers Back of hand Base of thumb Back of fingers Fingernails Wrists
4. Rub until dry, for at least 20 seconds
5. Leave sanitiser on hands
Operating Hours: 9am - 9pm (16 March - 5 April 2020)
About #BYOBclean hand sanitiser
1. What is in the sanitiser? Is it safe and effective?
The sanitiser is water-based, with BKC or Benzalkonium Chloride (0.054%), and Polymeric Biguanide Hydrochloride (0.004%) as its active ingredients. BKC at 0.05% is effective against germs including coronaviruses.
This sanitiser is biodegradable. It has no alcohol, It is not flammable, not toxic, and not corrosive.
It is a safe disinfectant for your skin.
Keep away from children.
Do not apply to the eyes, nose or mouth. Do not drink it.
If you have rashes or allergies from frequent use, stop using it, and see a doctor if necessary.
2. How do I use it?
Spray or pump enough to rub all over your hands. Rub until dry, for at least 20 seconds and leave on. Re-apply every few hours if you wish.
3. Is there an expiry date for the sanitiser?
It is best to use within 6 months, as it is filled in a recycled bottle.
The cleaner your bottle, the longer the sanitiser will be good for. Dirty bottles reduce and shorten the effectiveness of your sanitiser.
Commercial sanitisers bottled in sterile conditions are typically good for at least 4 years.
When you no longer need it, empty and crush your bottle for recycling.
4. How should I store the sanitiser?
Store it in a cool, dry place. Do not mix it up with drinks or other household liquids, and keep away from children.
5. Are these hand sanitisers coming from our national stockpile?
The santisers are not from the national stockpile.
1. May I collect outside of my allocated date?
From 23 to 29 March, you can collect your hand sanitiser from any Community Centre/Club and participating CapitaLand malls.
Your pamphlet is colour coded for the day of collection, to avoid overcrowding. Priority will be given to those whose pamphlets match the day’s colour. For others holding different colour-coded pamphlets, you may have to wait a little longer to collect your sanitiser, and if there is a queue, you may be asked to come back another time to avoid crowding at the collection centres.
If you have missed your allocated collection from 23 to 29 March, you can still collect from 30 March to 5 April at any participating CapitaLand mall.
The last day of collection is 5 April at any participating CapitaLand mall.
2. May I collect on behalf of my friends or family?
Yes, please bring their pamphlets along to collect on their behalf.
Each pamphlet entitles you to 500ml of hand sanitiser.
3. I lost my collection slip. May I still collect?
Please call the hotline at 1800 738 2000 (16 March - 5 April 2020) if you need any help.
4. Is this on a first-come-first-served basis?
We have enough to supply 500ml of hand sanitiser for every household in Singapore. There is no danger that we will run out before you collect, but this is also why everyone needs to bring their pamphlet with them to collect.
5. On the day of collection, are there any documents to bring along for verification?
All households will receive a collection pamphlet with collection details and other key information.
To collect the hand sanitiser, you can just bring the pamphlet along to the collection centre, along with a clean bottle.
6. How will I know if this is my bottle of sanitiser?
Before filling your bottle, we will paste a special label to identify your bottle of hand sanitiser.
7. How much hand sanitiser can we get? Can I take more if I have more people in my household?
Each household will receive a collection pamphlet which entitles you to collect up to 500ml of free hand sanitiser.
8. Can I pay to buy from you if I need more than what is provided?
The #BYOBclean initiative distributes up to 500ml of free hand sanitiser to each household to help Singapore residents stay safe and healthy.
The free sanitiser is not for sale or resale.
500ml of sanitiser can typically last for about a month for a small household (4 persons).
1. What kind of bottles should I bring?
You are recommended to bring:
- Shampoo/liquid soap bottles, with a dispenser pump or
- Any plastic, PET or glass bottle, with a leak-proof cap.
2. How should I clean my bottle?
Wash, rinse and dry the bottle thoroughly, especially the cap or pump area before removing any existing labels on your bottle.
3. May I bring bottles of different sizes instead of a single 500ml bottle?
You may bring up to 5 clean bottles with capacity of at least 100ml each. We are sorry that we are unable to accommodate requests for smaller bottles, or more than 5 bottles.
4. Why do I need to bring my own bottle? What if I do not have a bottle?
To encourage all of us to be environmentally-conscious, we hope everyone can repurpose and re-use their own bottles. Any PET bottle such as mineral water bottles or shampoo bottles can be used for collection.
You can also check if your family, friends or neighbours have extra bottles to share with you.
1. Why is Temasek Foundation doing this?
The #BYOBclean project is part of Temasek Foundation’s Stay Prepared initiative to prepare for emergencies and build the community resilience of people in Singapore so that we can all be ready to respond and work together to minimise the impact of emergencies.
To ensure that people in Singapore, especially those in the frontline, stay prepared during this critical period, Temasek Foundation is working with partners to provide free hand sanitisers to the public.
2. What should I do if I do not need the sanitiser?
If you do not need the sanitiser, do consider giving the pamphlet to a friend or neighbour whom you think needs it more.
3. Is it safe to be gathering among crowds at the collection centres?
Volunteers at the collection centres will have their temperature taken before and after their shifts.
The collection schedules are planned such that the crowds at the collection centres are kept manageable and to avoid any overcrowding.
If you are feeling unwell, please see a doctor and rest at home.
Social distancing will also be practiced at the collection centres. If you come to the collection centre on a day other than your designated one, and there is a queue, you may be asked to come back another time to avoid crowding at collection centres.
4. Who can I call if I have more questions?
You can call the #BYOBClean hotline at 1800 738 2000 from 16 March – 5 April 2020 if you need any help. The hotline operates daily from 9am to 9pm.
Operating Hours: 9am - 9pm (16 March - 5 April 2020)
For more information on the various active ingredients in common cleaning agents, please visit:
- Allhealth Solutions, the distributor of the liquid concentrate present in the sanitiser solution
- National Environment Agency Interim List of Household Products and Active Ingredients for Disinfection of the COVID-19 Virus
- European Centre for Disease Prevention and Control interim guidance for environmental cleaning in non-healthcare facilities exposed to SARS-CoV-2
The coronavirus that causes COVID-19 might have a stronghold on newspaper headlines, but the truth is, it is pretty vulnerable.
Coronaviruses are “enveloped viruses”, which means they have a delicate coating of lipids (or fats) and protein spikes that surround their genetic material. While this coat may play a role in helping the virus infect cells, it can be easily destroyed by soap or disinfectants, inactivating the virus.
Good old soap and water is the best combination to do this effectively. The next best option is to use a hand sanitiser with the active ingredients mentioned.
Alcohol-based hand sanitisers are commonly found in hospital settings, because at concentrations of over 60%, alcohol effectively kills a wide range of microorganisms, including bacteria and some viruses. According to local infectious diseases specialist Dr Leong Hoe Nam, this makes them a quick and effective way to protect frontline healthcare workers who meet many patients every day, thus helping to minimise the transmission of microorganisms to patients.,.
For day-to-day use, however, hand sanitisers with other active ingredients, like benzalkonium chloride, or BKC as it is more commonly known, are effective as well, he says.
BKC belongs to a family of active ingredients called Quaternary Ammonium Compounds, or “quats”, which, like alcohol, ruptures the outer membrane of the coronavirus, causing the cell contents to spill out. BKC is used in everything from lozenges and mouthwashes, to spermicidal creams and surface cleaners. Concentrations differ according to the product – in hand sanitisers, 0.05% can render coronaviruses inactive.
When applied to skin and surfaces, sanitisers require time to work. Alcohol takes 15 to 20 seconds, while BKC can take longer. But because alcohol works by drying or desiccation – the same reason it dries skin out – it’s easier to sense when it is done, as opposed to counting down, says Dr Leong. You should also wait till a non-alcohol sanitiser dries before touching your face.
Non-alcohol sanitisers have their own advantages. BKC-based sanitisers, for example, are non-toxic, so they are particularly suitable for little hands that might find their way into little mouths, or if you are worried it might be ingested by your pets. It can also be less drying to the skin – alcohol can strip the skin of sebums and essential oils, necessitating the use of lotions or creams to rehydrate your skin.
Some studies have shown that benzalkonium chloride can have a longer-lasting effect. It is also non-flammable, making it safe to store and use anywhere.
Both types of sanitisers, however, do come with limitations. Some viruses like norovirus are not easily killed by either, and they do not work when your hands are too greasy or grimy. And as Dr Leong points out, nothing is cheaper and more effective at killing a wide range of viruses than the combination of soap and water.
However, both alcohol and non-alcohol sanitisers can help keep coronaviruses well at bay if soap and water are not readily available. Just make sure you have one with the right active ingredients, and you’re in good hands.
We thank all our partners for supporting #BYOBclean to prepare and distribute free hand sanitisers to all households in Singapore.
ABC World Asia
AETOS Holdings Pte Ltd
Asia Pacific Rayon
Asia Pulp & Paper Company Ltd
Azalea Asset Management
Centre for Domestic Employees
Certis CISCO Security Pte Ltd
Clifford Capital Pte Ltd
Development Bank of Singapore Ltd.
Ensign InfoSecurity (Systems) Pte Ltd
Eu Yan Sang International Limited
Football Association of Singapore & Clubs from the Singapore Premier League
Fullerton Financial Holdings Pte. Ltd.
Fullerton Fund Management Company Ltd
Giti Tire Pte Ltd
Gluu Life Pte Ltd
Golden Agri-Resources Ltd
Kuok (Singapore) Limited
Land Transport Authority
Life Community Services Society
Mandai Park Holdings Pte Ltd
MediaCorp Pte Ltd
Migrant Workers’ Centre
Montigo Resorts Pte Ltd
Nanyang Technological University
National University of Singapore
National Volunteer and Philanthropy Centre
NTUC First Campus Co-operative Ltd
NTUC Health Co-operative Ltd (Active Ageing Hub)
OKH Global Ltd
Olam International Limited
Pavilion Capital Holdings Pte. Ltd.
Royal Golden Eagle Group
RSVP Singapore (The Organisation of Senior Volunteers)
SBS Transit Ltd
SeaTown International Pte. Ltd.
Sembcorp Industries Limited
Sheares Healthcare Group Pte. Ltd.
Singapore Airport Terminal Services Workers Union
Singapore Hokkien Huay Kuan
Singapore Institute of Technology
Singapore Management University
Singapore Pools (Pte) Ltd
Singapore Technologies Engineering Ltd
Singapore Telecommunications Limited
Singapore University of Social Sciences
SMRT Corporation Ltd
Soilbuild Group Holdings Ltd
ST Telemedia Global Data Centres
Surbana Jurong Pte Ltd
Temasek Life Sciences Laboratory
Thye Hua Kwan Moral Charities
Tuan Sing Holdings Pte Ltd
Union of Power and Gas Employees
Vertex Ventures Holdings
YMCA of Singapore