Homemade hand sanitizer is easy to make with just a few ingredients that you may already have in your medicine cabinet. Use rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel to make a simple gel sanitizer that can help protect your family from getting sick and from germs.
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Before we start, the number one thing you can do to help protect your family from germs is to wash your hands with warm soap and water. But if soap and water are not available the CDC recommends using an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that is at least 60% alcohol.
If you’re looking to stock up your house with some soap, I like this one when I have to wash my hands more often. It keeps my hands from getting too dry and smells great.
Feeling under the weather? Make my favorite ginger lemon tea to help both boost your immune system and make a cough feel better. You should also try a big bowl of this super fast and simple homemade chicken noodle soup.
Important Tips For Making Homemade Hand Sanitizer
Not all homemade hand sanitizers are created equal. Here are a few tips that can help you make the best hand sanitizer for your family.
- Use 90-99% rubbing alcohol– This is really important to make sure your hand sanitizer has a high enough concentration to kill most germs. Don’t use other types of alcohol (like methanol, butanol) as they can be toxic.
- Use Aloe Vera Gel– Using aloe vera gel helps protect your skin so it doesn’t dry out too much.
I have heard of some people using baby oil gel with aloe in place of aloe vera gel. I have not tried this method, but have heard from others it is successful.
Why Did My Hand Sanitizer Separate?
I’ve had a few people write in and say they had trouble with the hand sanitizer not mixing correctly.
The first thing to check is the expiration date on your aloe gel. Aloe does expire, and if yours is old it may cause issues. (That emergency bottle you use once a year for 8 years for sunburns? It may be expired)
While I’ve never had hand sanitizer separate for me when making this recipe, I’ve found from reading up on the topic that not all bottles of aloe use the same thickeners.
It seems that there is one thickener additive in some aloe gels that might cause this separating to happen to some homemade sanitizer. I haven’t been able to narrow down what thickener causes this. You can still shake the mixture up in a bottle and use it (I might even throw it in the blender if it was me), although I realize this is not ideal.
What About Adding Oils?
Oils can be added for scent, but it isn’t necessary to making hand sanitizer. Always dilute oils when you use them, never apply to skin straight!
Essential Oils do NOT replace using alcohol to kill germs and viruses. Essential oils can give your sanitizer an extra boost along with making them smell nicer.
Can I Add Tea Tree Oil?
Tea tree oil can be harsher on the skin so test carefully, but a drop or two can also help disinfect. This sampler pack lets you try tea tree oil and a few other types.
According to Medical News Today “The oil possesses antibacterial, anti-inflammatory, antiviral, and antifungal properties.” which may help to give your hand sanitizer an extra boost. Tea tree oil should not be used as a replacement for alcohol but can be used to give it a boost.
Can I Add Cinnamon Oil?
Cinnamon oil is also being studied for antiviral properties according to the American Society for Microbiology as stated here. Cinnamon oil should not be used as a replacement for alcohol but can be used to give it a boost.
Can I Add Oils To Make Hand Sanitizer Smell Nice?
I use a few drops of lavender oil to calm my anxiety and soothe skin.
What Kind Of Container Should I Use For My Hand Sanitizer?
You can put hand sanitizer in a few travel size bottles with a flip or squeeze top. My favorite is silicone travel bottles because they don’t leak in my purse, but any tiny bottle with a flip-top works.
This great bottle set has a variety of pumps and squeeze bottles, so you can spread them out around your house, car and purse!
You can also repurpose ANY small bottle you already have with a squeeze top or pump.
How To Use Hand Sanitizer Effectively
- Let the hand sanitizer dissolve on your hands for a few seconds to kill germs, If you dump or rub it right off (like kids sometimes do), it may not have a chance to work.
- Make sure to rub sanitizer on the tops and bottoms of hands, and in between fingers.
- If hands are greasy hands the sanitizer won’t be as effective.
- If hands are visibly dirty, you may not clean hands effectively.
- 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
- 2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol
- Essential oils (optional)
- Large Bowl
- Measuring Cups
- Small container with lid
- In a measuring cup measure your aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol.
- With a whisk or spoon, mix together the aloe vera and rubbing alcohol until combined.
- Add a 3-4 drops of essential oil and mix well. This is an optional step.
- Using the funnel, pour the hand sanitizer in your small container.
Use alcohol that is either 90 or 99% to make an effective hand sanitizer.
Essential oils can be added for scent if you'd like but isn't needed.
Did you make this recipe? Tell us about what you did in the comments!