Make Hand Sanitizer @ Home

Make Hand Sanitizer @ Home

As COVID-19 (CoronaVirus 2019) sadly continues to spread across the United States and the world, finding over the counter anti-bacterial hand sanitizer has become almost impossible. If you do find it, most likely it will be from some disgusting excuse for a human being seller (you know who you are!) who is engaging in price gouging during this pandemic. After using my big PhD degree and scouring the internet for hours, I believe I found a simple way to “make” hand sanitizer with items I luckily already had in my home. [Editor’s note: some might call me an “organized hoarder;” however, I like to think I’m just always well prepared. ;)] Based on the research I conducted, the formula should have a high enough alcohol content (i.e., 60% or higher) to be an effective hand sanitizer as recommended by the CDC. This is one way to make hand sanitizer @ home.

-DISCLAIMER: I AM NOT RESPONSIBLE IF THE FINISHED PRODUCT DOES NOT WORK EFFECTIVELY, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO USER ERROR, NOT A HIGH ENOUGH ALCOHOL CONTENT IN THIS “RECIPE’ TO EFFECTIVELY KILL COVID-19 OR ANY OTHER VIRUS AND/OR BACTERIA. See a few alternate methods recommended by the World Health Organization at the end of this post. I did not have any glycerol or an adequate substitute in my home.-

My husband and I were fortunate enough to find 6 travel size bottles of PURELL® at the hotel we were staying at two days ago (of all places!); however, I thought we might need more so I took inventory and decided to play scientist in the kitchen. Thirty second plus hand washing with soap and water is reportedly just as effective at killing COVID-19, but having hand santizer in addition is nice – especially when outside of the home.

Make Hand Sanitizer @ Home

What you will need:

  • 1/2 cup cheapo, bottled 100% aloe vera gel *see image and notes below
  • 1 cup at least 91% (or 99%) isopropyl alcohol **see notes below
  • Measuring cup with a pour lip; if not measuring cups and a bowl are sufficient
  • Small whisk
  • Small funnel
  • Small containers to store the finished Make Hand Sanitizer @ Home product in
  • Optional: 12 drops essential oil  ***see notes below

How to:

Carefully measure 1/2 cup *inexpensive clear or green aloe vera gel in the cup. I tried to be fancy and use Amara Organic Cold Pressed Aloe Vera that I use regularly and love so much and this happened…

Eww! It seized up. Not good. 🙁

Gradually add and whisk in 1 cup 91% (or 99%) isopropyl alcohol. The most common household rubbing alcohol sold is 70% and will NOT work as an effective hand sanitizer if diluted. The important part here to be certain you carefully measure a 2:1 ratio of alcohol and gel. **If I calculated correctly, using 91% alcohol will result in a concentration of 60.66%, which exceeds the minimum 60% alcohol concentration in CDC guidelines. Of course you can use 99% if that’s what you have, but it will be a bit harsher on your skin.

If desired, add 12 drops of your choice of essential oil to the cup and stir. This helps cover up that very unpleasant alcohol smell and some oils actually soothe skin and have other reported benefits. ***Some are more healing than others. For example, rosemary oil has antifungal/antibacterial properties and has been rumored to reduce stress. Chamomile reduces inflammation and is moisturizing. If your skin is sensitive, avoid using high acidic essential oils such as lemon grass.

Carefully pour Make Hand Sanitizer @ Home finished product into CLEAN containers. Travel size bottles are great, particularly ones with spray pumps as the formula is thin; however, just about anything will work (as long as it has been thoroughly cleaned). Notice I used a Deep Eddy vodka bottle. Lol. Just be sure not to drink it! Eeks! FYI, vodka does not have a high enough alcohol percentage to kill COVID-19 – see link to informative and entertaining article at the end of this post. Attach all lids/caps and be sure to label (a piece of tape works fine). Keep out of reach of unsupervised children and pets.

I hope COVID-19 passes soon and hand sanitizer will go back to being an easy find. Until then, I hope you find my Make Hand Sanitizer @ Home “recipe” helpful for you and yours. Use as you would any store bought brand. Please be safe out there and stay healthy.


For up to date information on Corona Virus 2019 click here.

Related articles:

Don’t Use Tito’s Vodka as a Hand Sanitizer – Must Read – Facts and Fun

WHO-Recommended Handrub Formulas 

Some comfort food during such a stressful time:

Easy Gumbo using things you might have in the freezer
Vegan Chili using some beans you might have in your pantry

2 thoughts on “Make Hand Sanitizer @ Home”

  • Thanks for this! Everyone said you had to use 99% that I didn’t have. I only have half bottle of 91. Making tomorrow. And Tito’s is so funny. Thoughts and prayers. (:

    • Thank you for the kind words. Hope all is well with you. If you’re in the market for more hand sanitizer I suggest some of your local distilleries. A lot are making HS now. Stay healthy!

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