The DIY Hand Sanitizer Gel, Sprays and WipesThe DIY Hand Sanitizer Gel, Sprays and Wipes
If you've been down the aisles of a grocery store or pharmacy lately, there is a noticeable lack of hand sanitizers and wipes available. This can make it hard to maintain strict hand hygiene when you're not close to a sink, soap, and water. No fear! There are some excellent options for Do It Yourself recipes for creating hand sanitizer gels, sprays, and wipes.
How to Make Homemade Hand Sanitizer
This is an excellent project for kids as well as adults as you talk about the importance of hygiene and disinfection. Plus, you'll save money, protect yourself from germs, and you can even customize the scent of the hand sanitizer so it doesn't smell medicinal.
First Things First: How Hand Sanitizer Works
The active ingredient in these hand sanitizer recipes is the alcohol, which needs to comprise at least 60% of the product in order to be an effective disinfectant. The recipe below calls for 99% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or ethanol (grain alcohol, most commonly available at 90%-95%). Please don't use any other types of alcohol (e.g., methanol, butanol), as they are toxic. Also, if you use a product that contains a lower percentage of alcohol (e.g., 70% alcohol) then you need to increase the amount of alcohol in the recipe or it won't be as effective.
Essential Oil Additions
In addition to adding fragrance to your hand sanitizer, the essential oil you choose may also help protect you against germs. For example, thyme and clove oil have antimicrobial properties. If you are using antimicrobial oils, only use a drop or two, since these oils tend to be very powerful and might irritate your skin. Other oils, such as lavender or chamomile, may help soothe your skin. Tea tree oil is antimicrobial. A couple of drops may be added to the recipe, but it's important to note many people are sensitive to this oil, even when it's diluted.
What You'll Need
Equipment / Tools
Bowl and spoon
Bottle with pump dispenser
2/3 cup 99 percent rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol
1/3 cup aloe vera gel
8 to 10 drops essential oil (optional)
It's super easy! Simply mix the ingredients together and then use the funnel to pour them into the bottle. Screw the pump back onto the bottle and you're ready to go
Step One: make sure you have your rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel, and optional essential oils ready and measured out.
Step Two: add all ingredients together in your bowl and mix thoroughly with a spoon.
Step Three: using the funnel, carefully pour your DIY hand sanitizer into the bottle of your choice, screw the top of your bottle on tight, and begin using.
On The Go Options
DIY Hand Sanitizing Wipes are perfect to wipe shopping carts, steering wheels, and your hands. Click here for a great recipe.
DIY Hand Sanitizer Sprays are a good option for those who prefer a spray over a sanitizing gel. Click here for a recipe with essential oils
With all this additional hand washing and use of hand sanitizers, don't forget soaps and the alcohol in sanitizers dry the skin and will strip out protective oils. Follow up a hand sanitizer (or hand washing) with a good lotion to keep skin in top shape. Damaged skin has tiny cracks that trap bacteria and viruses and make them harder to remove. If you have sensitive skin, try to keep the amount of alcohol in hand sanitizer around 60-70% (as in this recipe) because a higher concentration may cause irritation.
As we navigate these unusual times, hand washing is critical along with self-isolation and social distancing. We hope these tips and recipes help you live better and stay germ free with some added options for sourcing good DIY hand sanitizing options
Special thanks to contributors The Spruce, Smart School House and One Essential Community for the tips.