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What do you get a man who has everything? A content man who wants nothing more than what he already has in life.
We all probably have that “man” in our lives. In your life, that person may be your grandmother, grandfather, brother, mother, or aunt. For me, that person is my dad.
My dad is a quiet guy who enjoys the same routines day in and day out: reading, work, more reading, and rest. It’s really hard to purchase gifts for him, because his simple life doesn’t demand much. My parents don’t even own a modern TV, so even a Netflix subscription or a funny movie is out. And what about a good ol’ polo shirt? Every man could use a new shirt in his life, right?! Well, I just gifted him a few new shirts for his November birthday. I feel like there’s an unspoken rule that you can’t gift the same thing to a person twice in two months.
For some reason, despite my mom sharing the same lifestyle, my Christmas gift ideas always overflow for her. There’s a monthly Pure Barre membership, and homemade beauty products. My mom also loves new outfits, and she doesn’t take the time to treat herself, so that’s always an option.
In this guide, you’ll learn how to…
- be an informed consumer and read ingredient lists
- make your own body products using simple ingredients (i.e.cocoa powder, baking soda, oats, yogurt, honey)
- determine what to buy versus make
On Friday night, I attended a Christmas lighting event in my parent’s town (think: a Mayberry R.F.D.). Before the tree lighting ceremony, we met at a local pizzeria.
And this is where I’m going to sidetrack from my story, just for a second. If you live in Tampa Bay, you must visit Pizzeria Gregorio. Greg, the owner and chef, sources the ingredients locally, and his pizza crusts are made from a 150 year-old sourdough starter. His pizzeria is our family’s go-to restaurant. And now, back to my story…
Upon sitting down at one of the outdoor tables, my dad pulled out a bottle of hand sanitizer from his pocket. Yep, regular store-bought hand sanitizer. He squirted a small amount on his hands, and then set the bottle down momentarily to rub his hands together. He picked up the bottle and proceeded to pass the hand sanitizer around the table. It was at that moment, and with this upcoming do-it-yourself recipe post in mind, that I knew exactly what my dad needs for Christmas: his own stash of homemade hand sanitizer.
I’m thinking that a basket of homemade hand sanitizer ingredients, along with a bottle of ready-to-go spray, and a recipe instruction card is the perfect gift for him. It’s practical and thoughtful; just like my dad. Plus, I think he’ll find the gift to be a bit comical, since everyone (including the internet now, lol) knows about his hand sanitizer obsession.
Today’s recipe, a homemade hand sanitizer spray, is made with ingredients that are grandpa-friendly (hi, dad) and grandchildren-friendly: high-proof alcohol, vegetable glycerin, and essential oils. My dad can use this hand sanitizer spray on his own hands, and he can also share a spritz with his grandchildren.
This hand sanitizer spray comes together in just two minutes, once you’ve gathered the ingredients (a few of which you probably already own), and it may be stored for a couple of months.
Before we get to the recipe, I’d like to share my opinion on using hand sanitizer, even if it’s homemade hand sanitizer. I believe that hand sanitizer should be used sparingly versus multiple times during the day. I recommend using this hand sanitizer (or this gel option) when it’s needed: after pumping gas, when you’re traveling with no running water in sight, etc.
As always, do your own research with essential oils, particularly when using essential oils around/on children and pregnant women. The essential oils in this spray are considered kid-safe/friendly, which is why I feel comfortable using them in diluted form on my kids.
More Natural Ways to Protect Against Unwanted Germs
- Homemade Disinfecting Spray: a spray for counters and surfaces made with tea tree essential oil, vinegar, and water.
- Homemade Hand Sanitizer Gel: Want a gel instead of a spray? This recipe is for you.
- 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.
How to Make Homemade Hand Sanitizer Video Guide
Homemade Hand Sanitizer Spray (Kid-Friendly)
A kid-safe hand sanitizer that's made with alcohol, glycerin, and essential oils. This simple recipe makes one bottle of one-the-go hand sanitizer spray.
- 1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin This will provide moisturizing benefits as well since alcohol can be very drying. If you choose to skip the essential oils (which are optional--see the notes under the recipe), you could use aloe vera instead.
- 20 drops tea tree essential oil*
- 10 drops spruce essential oil**
- 6 drops lemon essential oil***
- 3-4 TB 190 proof vodka (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.
Add the glycerin and essential oils to a 2-ounce glass spray bottle. Add the alcohol until the bottle is almost full. Place the cap on the bottle and shake well to combine the ingredients.
Gently shake the bottle. Spray liberally on hands and rub together until dry.
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!
This recipe has been adjusted to increase the alcohol, making it at least 60% alcohol. If you don't want to add essential oils, you don't have to. These are optional. The alcohol in the recipe is plenty.
*This is about a 2% dilution. 5-15% dilution is considered safe for skincare.
**This is about 1% dilution.
*** This is about a .5% dilution. Anything under 2% does not cause photo-toxicity, and up to 5% dilution is considered safe for skincare.
If you don't want to purchase individual essential oils, another option is to use a kid-safe essential oil blend, like Germ Destroyer from Plant Therapy. If you go this route, Plant Therapy shares dilution directions on their product page. This isn't sponsored by Plant Therapy. I just have positive personal experience with using their kid-safe blends.
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.