An effective recipe for homemade hand sanitiser – with just a couple of ingredients you can make this hand gel DIY in no time.
Hand sanitisers are very handy on the go and are one of the best ways to stop the spread of germs and viruses. But using a hand sanitiser should not replace washing your hands with soap and water. It’s better to use it only as a last resort.
Especially if your hands are very dirty or greasy, hand sanitiser won’t be able to clean them well. Always opt to first wash your hands and use hand sanitiser when soap and water are not available.
An alcohol-based hand sanitiser can reduce the number of microbes within 60 seconds. That’s why it’s important to rub your hands with the sanitiser until they are dry. You can read more about how to effectively clean your hands here.
To make an effective hand disinfectant at home, it’s very important to use a high alcohol % solution. Please note that none of the drinking spirits have high enough alcohol % content so don’t use them. For a hand sanitiser to be effective, it needs to be at least 90% alcohol. So, you can use isopropyl alcohol or ethanol (91% to 99% alcohol). These are denatured alcohols – a type of spirit that is not for human consumption.
Aloe vera is another great addition to a homemade hand sanitiser. It is used to soften and moisturise the skin after it has been dried from the harsh alcohol.
Moisturising the skin is important since cracks in the skin can increase the risk of infection. You can use a store-bought gel, just make sure is doesn’t have a lot of additives. Or, you can use the gel directly from the Aloe vera plant.
Another ingredient to add, but completely optional, is a few drops of pure essential oils. Essential oils not only add a nice scent to the mix but also have extra benefits.
You can add some lavender, clove, eucalyptus, peppermint, or tea tea essential oil. In the absence of essential oil, you can use the juice of a lemon.
I choose Tea Tree oil (Melaleuca alternifolia) for its many scientifically backed benefits.
WHAT’S NEEDED FOR THE HOMEMADE HAND SANITIZER:
- Rubbing alcohol 99%
- Aloe vera gel
- Natural essential oil (diluted using a carrier oil)
You will also need:
- a dispenser bottle (or bottle from a liquid soap)
- a glass container for mixing, ideally with a pouring spout
HOW TO MAKE YOUR OWN HAND SANITIZER:
First make sure that your countertop and tools are very clean. Wash your hands and tools thoroughly and disinfect the surface. Make sure to properly sanitise your dispenser bottle(s) as well so you don’t contaminate the gel.
To protect your hands while mixing, I recommend using gloves.
Pour all the ingredients in a glass measuring container or a bowl.
Stir well or whisk until the ingredients are well blended. You need to obtain a uniform solution.
Pour the mixture into a dispenser bottle (or a bottle from liquid soap, sanitised). Your hand sanitizer is ready to use.
Ideally, let your hand gel sit for 72 hours so the sanitiser can kill any bacteria that has been introduced into the mix while preparing.
Give the bottle a good shake every couple of days.