An easy DIY hand sanitizer for your whole family. With just two ingredients, this homemade hand sanitizer will be ready to use in just two minutes.
DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe
The world is gross. Even if we set aside the current threat of major illness, the flu and the common cold, there's no doubt that we should be washing our hands all the time.
Touch screens are some of the worst carriers, and they're everywhere. Did you know that “significant levels” of human fecal matter have been found on McDonald's touch screens?
Then there's all sorts of specific things we can rarely avoid touching. Paper money can carry more germs than a household toilet. Shopping carts are handled all day and never sanitized. Light switches are the dirtiest part of your home.
Thinking about those things too much has a tendency to make me feel like a crazy person. Like the only thing I should do every day is wash my hands.
But I try to be rational and tell myself that I doing everything I should be doing. I use wipes on carts when they're offered. I wipe down and disinfect surfaces in our home. I wash my hands frequently, and I use hand sanitizer when a sink, soap and water aren't available.
DIY hand sanitizer ingredients
- 2/3 cup 91% rubbing alcohol
- 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
- If you can't find rubbing alcohol, look or ask for isopropyl alcohol. It's the same thing.
- 99% rubbing alcohol can also be used instead of 91%. Just don't use anything lower than 91%.
I love this recipe because it's so easy. Just two easy-to-find ingredients means that you might have everything you need in your medicine cabinet. It's also ready right away — you don't need to cook, chill or freeze anything. That means it can be made in about two minutes!
This recipe is also great for the whole family to use. Even babies can use it! Keep reading to find out how you should use it sanitize a baby's hands.
There are other great ways to help keep your family healthy or improve their health. Check out my recipes for homemade Pedialyte and a homemade electrolyte replacement drink. We also have a flu shopping list, a tip to cure the stomach flu and a tip for how Europeans have been staying healthy for years.
DIY Hand Sanitizer FAQ
Before I get to the specific instructions for my homemade hand sanitizer recipe, I want to answer some questions about hand sanitizer and our health.
Does this DIY hand sanitizer work like Purell?
This recipe uses 91% isopropyl alcohol, which the CDC says is very effective, according to the CDC. You can review the CDC's guidelines on hand sanitizer and hand washing for more information. website for more information. According to the CDC, solutions that are at least 60% alcohol are effective in killing the biggest .
Does this recipe kill other germs?
Alcohol-based sanitizers are effective in preventing the spread of cold, flu and respiratory infections. This Harvard study also notes that hand sanitizer use has to be fairly compulsive for users to see significant benefits.
Can this recipe be used on babies?
Yes. Like just about every other soap and topical product you use on your baby, you need to be careful and you need to make sure baby doesn't ingest it But yes, this DIY hand sanitizer can be used on babies. Thankfully, it dries super quick, so it's one of those products that's super easy for baby to use.
If you need to put hand sanitizer on your baby, use just a drop and use your hands to spread it all over her hands. Top and bottom, between fingers and under nails. Rub for at least 20 seconds to ensure contact is made with all surfaces. Keep your baby's hands away from her mouth until they're completely dry.
If you're not comfortable having leaving it on her hands, you can always use a baby wipe to clean her hands after you've rubbed them with the sanitizer. It's not a necessary step, but it wipes off the residue after you've killed the germs.
Is hand sanitizer as effective as washing hands?
If you wash your hands properly, then it's the best way to get rid of germs, dirt, blood and other contaminants in most situations. What is proper hand washing? It's using soap, water, and actively scrubbing all parts of your hands for at least 20 seconds.
But alcohol-based formulations, like hand sanitizers, are highly recommended by the World Health Organization to kill germs in almost all situations.
WHO advises a specific procedure to ensure your hand sanitizer and hand hygiene effectively kills bacteria and germs, including plenty of dangerous microorganisms. Take a look at the World Health Organization's HandRub procedure:
Can I make DIY hand sanitizer without alcohol?
The short answer is yes, you can make it alcohol-free. But, and this is a really big BUT, the longer answer is that you probably shouldn't do it.
Hand sanitizers without alcohol don't kill as many germs as those containing alcohol. The truth is, Alcohol is the most effective hand sanitizer ingredient.
If you want to know how to make hand sanitizer with no alcohol, it's super easy. Just substitute witch hazel for the rubbing or isopropyl alcohol in the recipe. Just know that you're not effectively sanitizing your skin from all dangerous germs when you use it.
Can I use vodka or another drinking alcohol in this recipe?
No. Here's why you shouldn't use vodka in your DIY hand sanitizer:
- Vodka and other spirits are way more expensive than rubbing alcohol.
- Ethanol, the alcohol in spirits like vodka, is effective in killing germs and bacteria, but it needs to be at least 180 proof. Again, using this ingredient instead of drugstore rubbing alcohol means you'll be spending much more than you need to.
- Vodka brands are adamant that you shouldn't rely on it for preventing the spread of any sickness.
- On a side note, don't drink any alcohol excessively in an effort to protect yourself or cure an infection. People are dying from this.
What percent alcohol should I use in my DIY hand sanitizer recipe?
Isopropyl alcohol is the same thing as rubbing alcohol, and I use them interchangeably in this article.
Rubbing alcohol is available in concentrations as low as 60%, but you need to use 91% or 99% rubbing alcohol in this recipe. You'll be mixing it with aloe vera gel, and you don't want to dilute its effectiveness. Remember, the CDC states that you should use hand sanitizers with a concentration of at least 60% alcohol.
How to make DIY hand sanitizer
- Pour both the rubbing alcohol and the aloe vera gel into a bowl.
- Whisk ingredients together until smooth and fully combined.
- Decant the homemade hand sanitizer into one or more airtight plastic bottles. A funnel helps with this.
Scroll down to find an easy way to print these instructions and guide you while you're making your hand sanitizer.
I love to hear your feedback, so if you loved this tutorial as is or made changes, I want to know what you did. Please come back and let me know in the comments.
How to store homemade hand sanitizer
Make sure you store your hand sanitizer in airtight containers. Alcohol evaporates very quickly, and your sanitizer will disappear if it's not sealed.
I save the bottles from the free hand sanitizers they give out at the bank, health fairs and other places, then fill them up with my own formula. I love how portable they are! The rest of it goes into a bigger bottle.
These 8 ounce squeeze bottles are perfect for storing a full recipe of hand sanitizer. Fill a bottle, then use that one with the narrow tip to fill up smaller bottles without spills or drips.
If you don't have smaller bottles to fill, they're cheap and easy to find, but you want to make sure they're airtight. You can find them at the dollar store, but fill them with water and test them with a squeeze over the sink before filling them. Leaks are no fun!
Here are some great small bottles that you can use over and over again: