Coronaviruses like COVID-19 spread through human contact, and one of the most effective ways to curb its spread is by washing your hands. Hand sanitizer is just as effective at killing bacteria and viruses, and it's easier to use when you're out and about. Here's how you can make your own hand sanitizer at home.
Products used in this guide
- Kill the viruses: Solimo 99% Isopropyl Alcohol ($6 at Amazon)
- Protect your skin: 92% Aloe Vera Gel ($11 at Amazon)
- Make it fragrant: Natrogix Bliss Essential Oils ($20 at Amazon)
How to make your own hand sanitizer: What you need to know
A hand sanitizer is your best defense against viruses when you're out running errands and can't get to a sink to wash your hands. According to the CDC, the best way to stay protected is to wash your hands for 20 seconds after returning from a public place. As a general rule, you should avoid touching your nose, eyes, or mouth with unwashed hands.
If you're already using a hand sanitizer, make sure it has at least 60% alcohol. There are some hand sanitizers that are alcohol-free, and these won't be as effective in killing bacteria and viruses. The correct way of using a hand sanitizer is to apply it liberally to your hands and rub them together until the gel effervesces. Demand for hand sanitizers has shot through the roof in the wake of the coronavirus, and if you're running low, you can easily make some at home.
How to make your own hand sanitizer: List of ingredients
A hand sanitizer consists of a pretty basic formula, and it's easy to make your own at home if your local pharmacy or retailer is running low. These are the ingredients you'll need:
- 2/3 cup 99% isopropyl alcohol. You can find isopropyl alcohol at any drugstore or pharmacy if it's out of stock at Amazon. A 16oz bottle is available for $6, and you'll be able to make a lot of hand sanitizer with that.
- 1/3 cup 92% aloe vera gel. You need to mix the isopropyl alcohol with something, because on its own it will burn your hands. The ideal solution is aloe vera gel as it acts as a natural moisturizer.
- 8 - 10 drops of essential oils. If you need to add some fragrance to the mix, pick up a pack of essential oils. This isn't needed, but most pocket hand sanitizers these days have some fragrance, and if you're used to the smell, it doesn't cost much to pick up a few essential oils.
- Bowl and spoon to mix it all together.
- A basic funnel to get your hand sanitizer into a bottle.
- Plastic travel bottles for storing the hand sanitizer. Once you get your hand sanitizer ready, you'll need bottles to carry it in. You can get a set of 25 2oz bottles for $16, and they come with a flip top that makes it easy to squeeze out the hand sanitizer. If you're making hand sanitizer for home use, you can get a six-pack of 8oz bottles for just $10.
- Nitrile gloves so you don't burn your hands when making the hand sanitizer.
How to make the most effective hand sanitizer at home
Before you start making your own hand sanitizer at home, there is a very important point to note. Isopropyl alcohol is highly flammable and will burn your skin should it come into direct contact with your hands. I recommend using nitrile gloves as a general precaution. Once you're ready to get started, here's what you need to do:
- Pour the isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera gel into the bowl. As hand sanitizers need to contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective, you should ideally maintain a 2:1 ratio of isopropyl alcohol to aloe vera gel. For every 4oz of isopropyl alcohol you add, you should mix 2oz of aloe vera gel.
- Add essential oils to the mix if needed. You don't necessarily need essential oils, but if you like a particular smell, you can add a few drops of oil.
- Stir the ingredients together with a spoon and pour them into plastic bottles using a funnel. Your hand sanitizer is ready to go.
Make it fragrant
Natrogix Bliss Essential Oils
Add some fragrance to your hand sanitizer
The easiest way to add fragrant smells to a homemade hand sanitizer is with essential oils. This particular set gives you six oils, including rosemary, lavender, lemongrass, and orange. Getting your hand sanitizer to smell great has never been so easy.
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