Making your own hand sanitizer

What’s so great about it?

People have gone crazy about hand sanitizer, thanks to COVID-19.

Never mind that washing your hands with soap and water is a better option than using had sanitizer, everyone wants it anyway.

But really, hand sanitizer is a great option for killing bugs and germs on the go.  Sometimes (especially when you have kids), you need to clean you (or their) hands and a sink full of hot soapy water with a clean towel is nowhere to be seen.

It’s actually really easy to make your own at home, and if you are into making your own cosmetics anyway, chances are that you have the right ingredients, or at least some of them, at home anyway.

Hand sanitizer spray vs gel?

This post has instructions for three versions: 

  • A gel version (the hand sanitizer you probably recognize)
  • A spray form (great for spraying hands and the occasional surface).  The gel is easy to make.  The spray is less sticky. 
  • Wipes (I’m cheating, it’s the spray recipe). You choose what you like.  They are all great if there is no soap and water available.

The key ingredient in making hand sanitizer is alcohol.  That’s what kills the bugs and germs.  Because your finished product needs to be at least 60% alcohol, your raw alcohol ingredient needs to be super strong.  Can you use vodka or other spirits to make hand sanitizer?  No you can’t!  They aren’t strong enough.  Don’t even try.  Save it for your cocktails 😉

1. How to make hand sanitizer gel

This recipe is for a hand sanitizing gel with aloe vera gel. All you need is:

  • Aloe vera gel (bought in a bottle, or from a plant if you have one)
  • Alcohol (over 90%, or 180 proof – the higher the better)

You need three times as much alcohol as aloe vera gel.  So if you have ¼ of a cup of aloe gel, you need ¾ cup of the rubbing alcohol.

Mix or beat it together, put it in a squeezy bottle or pump bottle, and you’re done.  Label the bottle!  Remember you have something that is very alcoholic and therefore dangerous. Keep out of reach of children.

You can either buy the aloe vera gel, or you can scrape it out of an aloe plant if you are lucky enough to have one.  They are a great plant to have anyway, good for burns, beauty products, healing, moisturizing…. The list goes on. You can see the ingredients below on Amazon, in case you need to buy anything.

2. How to make hand sanitizer spray

This is a great option if you want to make your own hand sanitizer without using aloe vera.

All you need is:

  • 350 mL Alcohol (over 90%, or 180 proof – the higher the better)
  • 2 Tablespoons Glycerin / Glycerol
  • 1 Tablespoon Hydrogen peroxide
  • 90 mL Water (tap water is fine)

Mix the glycerine with the alcohol, then add the hydrogen peroxide, then add the water.  If your alcohol isn’t as strong as recommended, you can still make the recipe but use less water. You can also leave out the glycerine if you don’t have any, but your hands will end up quite dry and you’ll want to moisturize them. Click below to see the ingredients on Amazon, and buy anything you need.

3. How to make hand sanitizer wipes

Just make the spray as above, then spray and wipe with a clean cloth or paper towel.  Too easy!

What else can you add to your homemade hand sanitizer?

You can add essential oils to any of these recipes for a scented version.  Another tip – Vitamin E oil help moisturize your hands. I recommend one of the following:

  • Lavender oil – soothing and smells nice, and almost everyone has it at home.
  • Tea tree oil – anti-bacterial, power up your hand sanitizer!
  • Lemon juice – smells nice. You can also add lemon essential oil.

You can click below to see the oils I recommend on Amazon, and buy if you like.

More information…

If you want any more information about hand sanitizer formulations, you can check out this handy pdf published by the World Health Organization (WHO).

Click here to view WHO document.

Remember:

  • Washing with soap and water is better!  But if that’s not an option, hand sanitizer is the next best thing, and you may as well make your own.
  • Kids have more sensitive skin, so it isn’t the best option for children. Still – better than nothing.

 

 

This post may contain affiliate links.  If you click on the links and end up purchasing something, I may get a small commission.  This doesn’t cost you anything extra 🙂