How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer at Home? Simple Recipe

The best defense against any kind of virus, including novel coronavirus, is to practice basic hygiene. Wash your hands often, and keep them away from your face. However, if you aren’t near soap and water, your next best option is a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol (1).

You may know that due to the novel coronavirus crisis, the demand for hand sanitizers is at an all-time high. Most retailers are having a difficult time keeping up with the demand for hand sanitizers. Some people are also buying up the store stock and selling them at a mark-up.

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If you can’t find a sanitizer and don’t want to overpay in the black market, you don’t have to worry. Making hand sanitizer at home is remarkably easy.  Read on to learn how to make hand sanitizer at home.

1st Recipe

The ingredients you need

You may have several of these ingredients at your home already. You may have to buy some other components from the market or online, but these are more readily available these days than hand sanitizers.

  • Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent) – ¾ cup
  • 100% pure Aloe vera gel – ¼ cup
  • Essential oil (lavender oil or tea tree oil) – 8 to 10 drops
  • Bowl and spoon
  • Funnel
  • Empty hand sanitizer or liquid soap bottle
  • Gloves

Directions to make hand sanitizer at home

  1. Make sure you thoroughly clean the area where you are making your hand sanitizer. Wipe the countertops with a bleach solution and wash your hands thoroughly.
  2. Ensure that the bowl, spoon, funnel, and empty bottle that you are using are clean.
  3. Pure rubbing alcohol in high quantities can damage your skin. Do not touch it with your hands till it is completely blended.
  4. Pour ¾ cup rubbing alcohol, ¼ cup aloe vera gel, and ten drops of lavender oil (or any other essential oil of your choice) in a bowl.
  5. Whisk these ingredients with a spoon till they form into a gel.
  6. Pour this mixture into an empty bottle with the help of funnel and label it hand sanitizer.
  7. The World Health Organization recommends that you let this mixture sit for 72 hours before you use it. This way, you can get rid of any bacteria that may have been inadvertently introduced during the mixing process (2).

2nd Recipe

These ingredients may not be available at your homes but are easily available in the market. This recipe is also quite effective and is based on the hand mix formulation recommended by the WHO (3).

The ingredients you need

  • Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99%) – 1 2/3 cups
  • Glycerol or glycerine – 2 teaspoons
  • Hydrogen peroxide – 1 tablespoon
  • Distilled water – ¼ cup
  • Bowl and spoon
  • Funnel
  • Spray bottles
  • Gloves

Directions to make hand sanitizer at home

  1. Clean your hands and wipe the area where you will mix the ingredients.
  2. Mix 1 2/3 cups of rubbing alcohol with two teaspoons of glycerol.
  3. Add one tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide to this mixture.
  4. Add ¼ cup of distilled water. If you cannot find distilled water, use boiled and cooled water.
  5. Pour this mixture into spray bottles.

How to use hand sanitizers properly?

Hand sanitizers are generally quite effective, but they are not very effective if organic matter like dirt and food are visible on hands. Here is the proper technique to clean your hands with hand sanitizers (4).

  1. Make sure you remove all organic matter like dirt from your hands.
  2. Pour a dime-sized amount of hand sanitizer to the palm of one of your hands or spray an equal amount of the hand sanitizer on your hand.
  3. Rub your hands together, covering all the surfaces of your hand and fingers.
  4. Rub until all the hand sanitizer is completely absorbed.
  5. It can take up to 60 seconds for the sanitizer to kill all germs.
  6. Do not wipe off the hand sanitizer before it is dry.

Benefits of using hand sanitizers

  • Hand sanitizers are convenient.
  • They require less time than hand washing.
  • Hand sanitizers reduce bacterial count on hands.
  • They are more accessible than sinks.
  • They act quickly to reduce microorganisms on the hands.

Do hand sanitizers work on all germs?

Many hand sanitizers boast that they can kill 99.9.%  germs. While this may be true when we use them on inanimate surfaces, they are not as effective on hands. Hand sanitizers work by removing the outer layer of oil on your skin. They are not very effective if you do not use enough or if you do not use them properly.

According to the CDC, a hand sanitizer with 60% alcohol content can inactivate many microbes when used correctly. Hand sanitizers are effective in preventing the seasonal flu, H1N1, cold, and other viral and bacterial infections, including the COVID-19. However, even the best hand sanitizers cannot kill all germs. Soap and water are better than hand sanitizers at killing germs like Cryptosporidium, norovirus, and Clostridium difficile (5).

Which is better, hand sanitizer or soap and water?

Although many homes and businesses keep hand sanitizers, many doctors and even CDC believe that consistent washing of hands is the best for hand hygiene. Hand sanitizers may kill most viruses and bacteria but they do not clean our hands as thoroughly as soap and water. Soap and water kill the germ, lift them, and remove them from the skin and into the drain. Soap and water are also less expensive than using hand sanitizers.

Soap is the best way to get rid of COVID-19 as it dissolves the fatty outer layer that coats them. The soap contains amphiphiles, which are similar to the lipids found in the virus membrane. When soap comes in contact with these lipids, it binds to them and causes them to disconnect from the virus. It also disengages the virus from the skin.

The most significant benefit of hand sanitizers is that they can kill germs when soap and water are not available. Since hand sanitizers are more portable, people can use them more often to disinfect their hands. This helps to reduce the likelihood of transmitting viruses.

How to wash your hands properly?

Washing your hands with soap and water is the cheapest and easiest way to prevent the spread of the virus. Here’s a guide to how you should wash your hands properly (6).

  1. Wet hands with running water
  2. Apply enough soap to cover wet hands
  3. Scrub all surfaces of the hands, including back of hands, between fingers and under nails, for at least 20 seconds.
  4. Rinse thoroughly with running water
  5. Dry hands using a clean cloth or single-use towel or air dry.

how to wash your hand infographic

When should I wash my hands?

To prevent coronavirus infection, you must wash your hands at the following times –

  • Before, during, and after you prepare your food
  • Before and after you eat
  • After touching surfaces outside your home including money
  • After visiting a public place including markets and places of worship
  • After using public transportation
  • After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
  • Before and after you take care of a sick person

In general, you should also wash your hands at the following times –

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  • When your hands are dirty
  • After using the toilet
  • After changing your baby’s diaper
  • After touching animals and pets
  • After handling garbage
  • Before and after eating

Final thoughts

The CDC recommends washing your hands properly with soap and water to prevent the spread of the novel coronavirus. When soap and water are not available, you can use hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content to prevent you from getting sick and spreading the virus to others. Don’t worry if you find the stores around you running out of hand sanitizer supplies. You can easily make effective hand sanitizers at home with some readily available ingredients.

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