With the shortage of hand sanitizer currently going on in the middle of cold and flu season and the Coronavirus (COVID-19) looming people are scrambling to try and keep themselves and their families protected.
When it comes to preventing the spread of viruses the best way to do this is by washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with warm to hot water. Any soap will work, you just need to make sure you get a good lather, wash for the proper amount of time, and cover all of your hands. However, we aren’t always in a situation where we can wash our hands. Pumping gas, handling money, and touching shopping cards or door handles are all situations where hand sanitizer is great to have on hand.
Washing your hands is the best option, but hand sanitizer is a great second option. Since hand sanitizer shelves are bare people across the internet are resorting to making their own hand sanitizer, but there are a few things you need to make sure you do to ensure you’re protecting yourself properly.
How Does Homemade Hand Sanitizer Work
When making your own hand sanitizer you’ll need to use alcohol that is 60%+. You can use rubbing alcohol but it needs to be higher than 60%, ideally 99% proof is the best.
You’ll also want to make sure you add something to your hand sanitizer to keep the alcohol from drying out your hands or hurting them. Alcohol can be harsh on the skin so you’ll want to get some aloe vera gel, baby oil gel, or vitamin e oil to add into your DIY hand sanitizer.
You can add essential oils to your homemade hand sanitizer to give it a nice scent and some oils can help on the antibacterial front. Lavender and Tea Tree oil have shown some antiseptic properties and they smell nice, so adding them to your hand sanitizer could be beneficial.
Get the Best Use of Your DIY Hand Sanitizer
According to the CDC, hand sanitizer is only effective if you cover your hands thoroughly and then let them dry. Squirting a few drops into your palms and then wiping your hands isn’t going to be effective.
If your hands are heavily soiled or greasy, then, according to the CDC, hand sanitizer isn’t going to sanitize your hands.
How to make Hand Sanitizer
I’ve seen a lot of people say that rubbing alcohol is sold out in their stores and the first store I went to didn’t have any, but luckily my Walmart had a whole endcap full of rubbing alcohol. Then I grabbed some Lavender Essential Oil and Aloe Vera Gel from my local sprouts.
- 2/3 cup 91% rubbing alcohol or higher (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol
- 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
- 8-10 drops essential oil, optional (such as lavender, vanilla, tea tree, or orange)
- bowl and spoon
- empty soap bottle or travel size bottles
It’s super easy to make hand sanitizer. Just mix all the ingredients together in a clean bowl and pour into travel size bottles (I used the 3oz size ones) or a clean soap dispenser.
This is great for keeping in the car, backpacks, purses, at your desk, and on the go.
Make sure to keep out of reach of children.
This recipe is inspired by countless recipes across the web, which I’ve adapted to make a recipe that works for our family. I am not a medical doctor and am not offering medical advice.