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There are few issues that stir up a group of “crunchy” (naturally-minded, real-foodie, homemade) ladies as much as hand sanitizer.
Okay, maybe vaccines. But, we’re not going there. Let’s stick with dirty hands and the clear liquid found in millions of purses and classrooms across America.
Before kids I had a “thing” (me and my “things”) against dirt, but oh my, how things changed once my first baby entered the picture. Suddenly messes and dirt (and other unmentionables) stuck to my hair, clothes, skin, and house like cheese on a good grass-fed burger. The need to embrace dirt (not being dirty, just a few extra clingy good germs) became apparent.
Here’s the funny thing about dirt: the more I embraced it, the less we got sick. I’m sure a good diet also helped, along with natural preventives such as: probiotic kombucha, elderberry syrup, and homemade chicken broth.
Now, please hear me out. I’m not talking about smothering our bodies in buckets of dirt and rubbing our hands on every public grocery cart in the store. Please don’t do that! Instead, let’s avoid the constant urge to sanitize our living conditions with millions of toxins in a state of paranoia. Cleaning is good, very good! But a little bit of healthy dirt (allowing our kids to run around outside, garden, and get dirty every now and then) is wonderful for the immune system. In fact, our guts need good bacteria to fight off the bad guys–this is an important aspect to having a healthy and thriving immune system.
Before we throw away our soap and hand sanitizer, I would like to tell you that I believe in cleanliness. I believe a good liquid hand soap is important to stock in the kitchen and bathroom, laundry soap is a necessity (obviously), and body wash is a smart choice. I also believe hand sanitizer has a time and place: after handling money or touching the never-washed grocery store carts.
For those times when good ol’ soap and water just aren’t available, and hands needs to be washed, I keep a homemade hand sanitizer in my purse, made with a few simple ingredients.
Let’s embrace good hygiene, naturally. I promise it can be done.
More Natural Ways to Protect Against Unwanted Germs
- Homemade Hand Sanitizer Spray: A simple spray for when you need to wash your hands and don’t have soap and water. If you want a spray instead of a gel, this recipe is for you.
- Homemade Disinfecting Spray: A spray for counters and surfaces made with tea tree essential oil, vinegar, and water.
- Natural Ways to Boost the Immune System: My tried-and-true ways to naturally maintain a healthy and happy immune system.
- Homemade Elderberry Syrup: A homemade remedy that’s delicious and beneficial.
For those times when good ol’ soap and water just aren’t available and hands needs to be washed, keep a homemade hand sanitizer (made with a few simple ingredients) in your bag.
- 3 TB 190 proof alcohol or at least 120 proof alcohol or 70% or higher isopropyl rubbing alcohol (the original recipe called for witch hazel, however, alcohol is considered the best and what's currently recommended in light of recent issues). Don't use other types of alcohol (methanol, butanol) since they're toxic.
- 1 TB aloe vera (this is to prevent hands from drying out from the alcohol)
- 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin or vitamin E oil (optional, again adds moisturizing properties to the hand sanitizer to benefit your hands)
- essential oil (optional, like a few drops of tea tree or lavender essential oil) see note below
CORONA VIRUS UPDATE: With coronavirus on the rise, this post is particularly helpful from a pediatrician. She specifically addresses coronavirus. I'm not a doctor or disease specialist. Please consult your doctor and the CDC website to do your own research about the best ways to protect your family. The CDC recommends hand sanitizer that's at least 60% alcohol. The power of this hand sanitizer comes from the alcohol, so if you don't have the essential oils, no worries. The important part is the alcohol!
The original recipe included essential oils, but they aren't necessary. The necessary ingredient is at least 60% alcohol, so to simplify this recipe and make it as easy as possible, I've adjusted the recipe to reflect this.
Disclaimer: The DIY recipes on this website are based on my personal experiences. I am not a trained chemist, cleaning specialist, or skincare expert. The DIY recipes shared on this website haven’t been tested in a lab. Information about my products or recipes haven’t been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. Please consult a doctor or specialist for specific concerns about any skincare issues, cleaning products, or dietary needs. Please use your discretion, based on your own research, when making homemade products.
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