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.

A simple hand sanitizer spray that uses kid-safe essential oils, witch hazel, and glycerin (a moisturizing ingredient found at most drug stores).

A simple hand sanitizer spray that uses kid-safe essential oils, witch hazel, and glycerin (a moisturizing ingredient found at most drug stores).

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.

A simple hand sanitizer spray that uses kid-safe essential oils, witch hazel, and glycerin (a moisturizing ingredient found at most drug stores).

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.

A simple hand sanitizer spray that uses kid-safe essential oils, witch hazel, and glycerin (a moisturizing ingredient found at most drug stores).

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.

A simple hand sanitizer spray that uses kid-safe essential oils, witch hazel, and glycerin (a moisturizing ingredient found at most drug stores).

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

How to Make Homemade Hand Sanitizer Video Guide

Homemade Hand Sanitizer Spray Kid-Friendly
4.67 from 3 votes

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. 
Kristin Marr
Prep Time5 minutes
Total Time5 minutes
Course DIY
Cuisine Body
Servings 1 2-ounce spray bottle


  • 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. 

To Use:

  • 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. 
Tried this recipe?Let me know how it was!


A simple hand sanitizer spray that uses kid-safe essential oils, witch hazel, and glycerin (a moisturizing ingredient found at most drug stores).

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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  1. 5 stars
    Hi. I’m wondering if pure organic liquid coconut oil would work in place of the vegetable glycerin? Thanks

    1. Hi Sandy!

      You could try it. It won’t mix, since oil and water don’t mix. Just shake a lot before use.

      LS Team.

  2. What would you recommend for a 4 oz spray glass bottle? How many drops of each essential oil should I use if I have a 4 oz bottle? I also used a witch hazel with 14% alcohol and noticed a dizziness when I use the spray.

  3. I can’t find rubbing alcohol or 190 proof alcohol any where. Is there a recipe where I can use hydrogen peroxide that would work to use during the corona virus?
    Thank you !

    1. Hi Tegan,

      I can’t speak to that, although hydrogen peroxide is promising to use within the home. Maybe do some research on using it as hand sanitizer but Kristin isn’t qualified to speak to that.

      LS Team.

  4. i knew i could come here and find a quick and great DIY recipe!!
    i used 91% rubbing alcohol and lavender oil instead of spruce oil since had none and it smells great and NO tea tree smell for the hubby to complain about! thanks for updating this recipe for our current needs, it is greatly appreciated.

  5. 4 stars
    With all the viruses DIY is definitely the cheapest way to have sanitizer as the market is selling at crazy prices. But I’m just wondering with my 3 mths old baby, if I’m using germs destroyer how much should I mix in with the glycerin and rubbing alcohol?

  6. 5 stars
    Hi Kristin, I make a very similar version of this with Thieves Oil ( I blend my own) and it’s lasted a long time. And it smells so good. Everyone loves it.

  7. Which hand sanitizer recipe of yours do you find the least drying? This one with the glycerin or the gel version with the aloe? Also, if I use your gel recipe, you say to use 1 T if using alcohol instead of witch hazel. What if my witch hazel has alcohol in it? Should I use 1 or 2 T? I live where it gets cold in the winters and want to use the least drying recipe for the winter months. Thanks for any advice you have!

    And 150 yr old sourdough starter – yum.

    1. Hey Katie, I’ve found that witch hazel with alcohol doesn’t dry out my hands quite like an isopropyl alcohol. But you may want to test a little on your hands, without the extra ingredients before making the spray or gel. If it’s too drying, you can decrease the amount, but in this recipe you’ll also need to decrease the essential oils. The glycerin may help keep your hands from feeling too dry. The essential oil amount in the gel will be fine, so there’s no need to decrease the oils in that recipe. I think both recipes are pretty comparable, so it’s a preference of a gel or spray. I’ve found that the spray has been a bit easier to use with my kids. They tend to be a bit messy with the gel. The spray is easier to apply and rub in their hands right now.

      Hope that helps!