Homemade hand sanitizer

When my daughter was little she was obsessed with glitter gel. I wouldn't let her have it because it was so full of chemicals. Then I came up with the idea of adding glitter to aloe vera gel. Aloe vera is completely skin safe and can be made without extra chemicals. Well from all my research about aloe vera I know that it is antibacterial and antiviral. So basically aloe has almost everything you need to make your own hand sanitizer. Plus it's skin safe.

DIY. Homemade hand sanitizer.

Of course it's antibacterial and antiviral properties are mild compared to alcohol which damages the bacteria or viruses thus killing them. So after my daughters obsession with glitter gel wore off I started using the leftover product that we had made as hand sanitizer.

I'm way into essential oils and one of my favorite essential oils is tea tree oil. Tea tree or melaleuca oil, is known for its antibacterial, antiviral and antifungal properties. Combine this essential oil with rubbing alcohol and aloe gel and you have the perfect recipe for homemade hand sanitizer. 

For this recipe I used clear aloe vera gel. Aloe actually is clear when it's harvested, there's really no reason for the added green color that you see in grocery store bottles of aloe. It's definitely a chemical additive and absolutely unnecessary. I always buy the clear, though it's up to you which one you'd like to purchase.

I use tea tree oil, but you don't have to. Lemon balm essential oil has been shown to prevent certain viruses from reproducing. Peppermint essential oil has natural antiviral properties. Rosemary essential oil also has been shown to have antibacterial and antifungal properties. 

All of these essential oils are skin safe in lower concentrations, plus the alcohol is doing most of the heavy lifting in the germ killing arena as with most hand sanitizers.

Isopropyl alcohol damages the cell walls of organisms. It works into the organisms causing the walls to burst and dissolve quickly. When you spray rubbing alcohol on a hard surface it will kill the bacteria on the surface. Sydney Solvents.

Hand sanitizer recipe, 3 ingredients.

There are other essential oils that are pretty well known for their virus and bacteria fighting properties, however I would not recommend that you use them on skin. Three thieves oil (or it's counterparts) is known for its germ killing properties. 

I would not recommend putting it in something like hand sanitizer though, because the contact with your skin (without a carrier oil to dilute it) can cause irritation. This is the type of oil that you would diffuse instead.

If you are not used to using essential oils then it sort of doesn't make sense that the aloe isn't diluting it but a carrier oil is. But since the aloe and alcohol will dry quickly the essential oil may not 'thin out' enough and any places that it is concentrated could leave burns on your skin. 

Spray hand sanitizer

To be most effective your hand sanitizer needs to have a strength of at least 60% alcohol, says the CDC. So basically two-thirds alcohol and one-third other ingredients. This make for a pretty watery product. 

I use the 91% or the 99% isopropyl alcohol, but if you don't have it you can actually use vodka. However, most vodkas are only 40% alcohol so you'd want to use the highest concentration of alcohol you could find. Look for something over 90 proof. 

The higher concentration of alcohol the better, but it does get expensive.

Rubbing alcohol is much much cheaper and they have it and the aloe vera, plus the essential oils at your local drugstore...so one stop shop for those of us that don't live where they sell drinking alcohol in the regular stores. 

In this case using aloe vera gel, it also does have antibacterial and anti-viral properties so both ingredients are working to kill germs.

Hand sanitizer recipe:

1/3 cup aloe vera gel
2/3 cup rubbing alcohol
12 drops tea tree essential oil

Stir the aloe gel and rubbing alcohol together using a bowl or a glass mixing cup. I prefer a little glass mixing cup since it's easy to pour from and clean. Add essential oil and stir till blended. It might seem a little clumpy even after stirring, which is ok.

How to make hand sanitizer at home

Pour into a spray bottle. You might need a funnel if your bowl doesn't have a pouring lip. This is a full cup of hand sanitizer, so you'll need two 4oz bottles. This is a liquid final product. You will not be able to use a pump container like commercial hand sanitizer gels.

MYO hand sanitizer spray

Shake before each use. Spray liberally on hands, rub together to spread evenly and allow to dry. 

I've used my homemade hand sanitizer for about 6 months with no problems. It usually runs out before that though! Since it has such a high concentration of isopropyl alcohol it doesn't really need preservatives.  

Related reading: 10 Ways to shorten an illness naturally.


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I am not a doctor or other health care professional nor do I claim to be. I am not trained in any medical field. I am simply passing on information that has worked for me. This information is for entertainment purposes only and is not meant to treat or diagnose any medical condition. see a Dr if you are ill. Click for my full disclaimer.

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  1. i have a question , i have a aerogardener im growing my own mint and chamomile for my own tea . how do you dry them.

    1. You can dry mint in the microwave in short bursts of 10 seconds. Turn each time between paper towels. Chamomile usually doesn't start flowering till the heat of summer and I leave it outside for a few days after harvest. Hope that helps.