How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
While hand washing is ideal, hand sanitizer is a great way to keep your hands clean in a pinch — but as the COVID-19 coronavirus continues to spread, many store shelves are empty of hand sanitizer and sanitizer wipes. Even those that are filling the shelves seem to have a not-so-desirable scent or are using the bare minimum alcohol requirements.
DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe
An effective hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective at killing germs. In addition, it needs an emollient to preserve the moisture in your skin.
These things may be hard for you to measure, but fortunately, the World Health Organization (WHO) has created a recipe you can follow:
●1 cup of 99% isopropyl alcohol
●1 tablespoon of 3% hydrogen peroxide
●1 teaspoon of 98% glycerin — your emollient
●¼ cup, 1 tablespoon, and 1 teaspoon (or 85 milliliters) of sterile distilled or boiled cold water
Now, this recipe will make 2.6 gallons of hand sanitizer, which is plenty. If you want less, you can scale down the ingredients proportionally.
Here is the step-by-step process on how to make this sanitizer:
1.Pour alcohol into sufficiently large container
2.Add hydrogen peroxide
3.Add glycerin and stir
4.Measure and add water
5. Want a mood-boosting scent? Try adding clove, tea tree, cinnamon, or lavender essential oils. About 10 drops for every 4oz. Be sure to check your essential oil labels for allergy and topical warnings. Some essential oils like rosemary + clove even have antimicrobial qualities.
6. Want to soften? Try adding aloe vera to add some moisturizing qualities to your hand sanitizer recipe.
From there, you’ll want to sanitize your old sanitizer bottles by adding some leftover alcohol and waiting for it to evaporate. You may also use glass containers that have been sterilized by your dishwasher.
Then, add your sanitizer to your bottles. Label them to prevent someone from ingesting your sanitizer by accident.
Can't locate isopropyl alcohol? Try using 190-proof grain (ethyl) alcohol instead and add aloe vera gel to help protect from the dryness of the alcohol.
How to Use Hand Sanitizer
Hand sanitizer is not meant to replace hand-washing with soap and water — the latter kills more types of germs. Plus, hand sanitizer has been shown to be less effective when hands are visibly greasy and dirty.
However, if your hands aren’t visibly dirty, then hand sanitizer can work well enough when you don’t have access to soap and water.
The CDC provides a very simple process for using hand sanitizer properly:
1.Read the bottle label to determine the correct amount to use
2.Apply directed amount to one palm
3.Rub sanitizer all over hands until dry. Be sure to get on and around fingers and nails.