If you haven’t already stocked up on hand sanitizer, you are likely too late. People have been panic buying hand sanitizer ever since coronavirus started making headlines. Most stores sold out ages ago. Some stores that still have hand sanitizer in stock are selling at 10x the list price.
Not to worry, though. It is cheap and easy to make your own hand sanitizer at home. Any hand sanitizer with a total alcohol content of 60% or above is considered effective. See here for CDC advice on handwashing and hand sanitizers.
Note — If you CAN buy regular hand sanitizer, it is probably best to buy and use this in the first instance as it is made for the purpose and it does what it’s supposed to. Homemade hand sanitizer may not be as effective due to human error measuring ingredients etc.
If you are looking for regular soap/hand wash, but it’s also sold out in the shops, check out our dish soap DIY foaming hand wash post. Also, be sure to check out our – how to make homemade germ and virus-killing disinfectant spray and homemade disinfectant wipe posts.
You only require two ingredients to make an effective hand sanitizer – rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel. At the time of writing, you can still purchase both rubbing alcohol and aloe vera on Amazon
Basic DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe
- 2/3 cup Rubbing Alcohol (90-99% alcohol)
- 1/4 cup Aloe Vera Gel
Many homemade hand sanitizer recipes suggest a ratio of 2/3 cup t0 1/3 cup ratio alcohol to aloe vera. Using 90% rubbing alcohol and this ratio would result in a hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol. To be extra safe I suggest 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol to 1/4 cup of aloe vera to ensure a higher alcohol content.
Add the rubbing alcohol and aloe vera to a bowl and mix them together. Be sure the mixture is thoroughly mixed. Once mixed, decant into some small plastic bottles that you can carry with you.
Use liberally and keep rubbing the sanitizer around your hands until it has entirely dried.
The hand sanitizer we buy often has added emollients and moisturisers to counteract the drying effect of the alcohol. This basic recipe does not. With this in mind, I highly recommend using a hand moisturising cream daily when using this DIY hand sanitizer.
Watch the video below for more advice. It also shows how to make this simple hand sanitizer.