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.
- 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
- Combine all the ingredients in a bowl.
- To use the hand sanitizer store in a small jar or a squeeze tube (like this). This recipe will make 2 fluid ounces (one tube.) If you prefer to make a spray, use this recipe.
As alcohol can dry out your skin maybe add a little bit of hand lotion that’s not thick as it needs to mix with the other ingredients and doesn’t clog up the squeeze tube or bottle.
Hey Colleen, Good idea. The aloe is also added for this reason.
i would like to use this in substitute of the vegetable glycerin/vitE would you think this would work?
As long as its fractionated coconut oil you can. But you will still have to shake it before each use.
This recipe worked great for me. Thank you for sharing.
So glad you enjoyed the recipe!
Love this recipe. Thank you for sharing.
Thanks, Jonny. So glad you enjoyed the recipe.
This recipe does will only yield a hand sanitizer that is above 60% alcohol content at 90% alcohol or above. If you use 70%-80% you will not have sufficient alcohol level to reliably kill viruses. Almost every recipe I check on line is below 60%, this is the first one that is partially correct.
The math is fairly simple:
((volume of alcohol)/(volume of alcohol+Volume of other material))xAlcohol % as a decimel
In this case:
(( 3 tbs alcohol)/(3 tbs+1 tbs aloe + .333 tbs glycerin)) x .95 = 65.8%
I think it would be good to clarify that you should not go below a 90% alcohol solution to start with.
Thank you for sharing.
Before I found your recipe I used another, essentially 2 parts alcohol91%, 1 part aloe and 10 drops tea tree oil. I had a big leaf of aloe from the garden and “filleted” it. I took the gel and put it into a blender with the alcohol and tea tree oil. After a day or 2 it turned pink. Is this just oxidation or is the batch no good at all.
I am not sure why it would have turned pink.
I tried to make hand sanitizer using aloe Vera alcohol and glycerin
It is sticky
What can I do to make it less sticky
Stickiness will vary with brands used.
Its overexposure to sunlight but completely harmless, per https://homesteadandchill.com/homemade-hand-sanitizer/ who warns, “The alcohol preserves the aloe, though it will turn a slight pink hue over prolonged exposure to the light. That is okay, and normal.”
The recipe you show is potentially dangerous for children. The recipe on John’s Hopkins dr chat is 2parts 70 plus alcohol and 1 part aloe jell or juice. Vitamin E is a great idea as well as essential oils. Thank you for being out there with a solution. I live in AZ and have been making my own sanitizer by processing fresh aloe from my yard. If your interested in the process feel free to contact me.
Thank you for the information. Can you share how it’s dangerous, if so please let us know how.
I liked your original recipe of 3 T Aloe Vera Gel, 2 T Rubbing Alcohol, 1/2 t Vitamin E Oil, 20 drops of Tea Tree Oil & 10 drops of Lavender Oil. Wouldn’t the Tea Tree/Lavender Oil boost this recipe so that I wouldn’t need to increase the rubbing alcohol content to be at least 60% alcohol?
The essential oils haven’t been proven effective against the virus facing us. There are no studies on this. However, the CDC does recommend at least 60 % alcohol as being successful. For everyday life, that recipe is fine but in light of current times and the number of people are having coming to the blog for hand sanitizer in light of recent events. We had to update to share the most up to date information.
Mine was SUPER runny. Any suggestions?
It should be runny, but if you would rather use a spray bottle for it, you can.
Cool post! Right timing!
Get a large syringe, cut the tip off, and fill it with the gel and put in the container.
Can one use glycerine 1 part and methylated spirit 3 parts to make a sanitizer?
No, that is listed in the post as something you shouldn’t use.
I meant aloe vera. (Hate auto fill!)
Is there a substitute for the wood vera?
You could add vitamin e or glycerin, both are moisturizing. Or you could skip it but the alcohol alone will dry out your hands that’s why it’s added.
Awesome recipe – just made it myself. I did something a little silly that was probably a mistake, but not a terrible one. I didn’t have any vitamin E or other oils, so I substituted some vitamin D3 edible capsules by breaking said capsules. It gives an almost-fishy smell and overall I wouldn’t recommend it (and will be looking for a strong scent to try and cover it) but I doubt it will hurt anything!
Any recommendations on some oils to pick up that could help mitigate the scent? I’m worried that lavendar won’t be steong enough.
haha, I’m sorry that happened! I’m sure thats not a very good smell. You can try adding more tea tree oil. That has a more powerful smell than lavender.