How To Make Hand Sanitizer At Home

As the spread of COVID-19 (Coronavirus) continues throughout the world, we are learning more about how to stay safe and avoid this virus.

During this pandemic, washing your hands, avoiding touching your face, and keeping your distance from others, could play a vital role and help you avoid becoming sick.

While it’s very important to be practicing all of these precautions, sometimes there isn’t a place to wash your hands within reach.  In this case, using hand sanitizers can be a good option for preventing the spread of germs and illness.

The problem?  Most stores are sold out of hand sanitizers amid the panic that this virus has caused.  So we’re going to cover how you can make your own homemade hand sanitizer in just a few steps with items you may already have around your house.  We’ll show you a few different recipes for hand sanitizer that you can use to stay safe through this pandemic.

*** According to a March 26, 2020 public guidance memo, the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) is temporarily waiving certain formula approvals for the manufacture of hand sanitizer and expediting certain permit requirements. ***

Alcohol Potency Is Important

The first thing to note before we get started is that the potency of your hand sanitizer is very important.  You want to make sure that you’re using enough alcohol in the mix so that it can kill any germs it comes in contact with.  Otherwise, the sanitizer won’t be an effective tool.  So some of those lower proof whiskies and vodkas you have around the house won’t be strong enough for this project.

According to the CDC (Centers for Disease Control), a proper hand sanitizer mix must be at least 60% to 90% ethyl alcohol to be effective in killing germs. We don’t want to take any chances so for our hand sanitizer recipes, we’ll aim for a minimum of 75%.

The Quick and Simple Gel Hand Sanitizer Recipe

Ingredients/Items You’ll Need:

  • Isopropyl alcohol
  • Aloe vera gel or glycerin gel
  • Tea tree oil or lavender oil or lemon juice
  • Spray bottle

1. First, combine 2 parts isopropyl alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel or glycerin gel.
2.  After you’ve very thoroughly mixed the alcohol and gel together, add a few drops of tea tree oil to give the mix a pleasant scent.

3.  Lastly, fill your bottle(s) and let sit for 72 hours before use.  (The World Health Organization recommends letting your homemade hand sanitizer sit for a minimum of 72 hours before use. This will give the sanitizer time to kill any bacteria that may have been introduced during the mixing process.)

Homemade Alcohol Hand Sanitizer Recipe

Like we mentioned before, lower proof whiskeys and spirits won’t cut it for making a homemade hand sanitizer.  If you don’t have any Isopropyl alcohol on hand then we recommend using your own homemade alcohol as long as it is at least 190 proof (95% ABV).

Ingredients/Items You’ll Need:

  • Homemade Alcohol (at least 190 proof)
  • Aloe vera gel or glycerin gel
  • Tea tree oil or lavender oil or lemon juice
  1. First, combine 2 parts alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel or glycerin gel and mix very thoroughly.
  2. After you’ve mixed the alcohol and gel together, add a few drops of tea tree oil to give the mix a pleasant scent.
  3. Lastly, fill your bottles and let sit for 72 hours before use.  (The World Health Organization recommends letting your homemade hand sanitizer sit for a minimum of 72 hours before use. This will give the sanitizer time to kill any bacteria that may have been introduced during the mixing process.)

Homemade Disinfectant Recipe

Making homemade disinfectant is a much easier process than making homemade hand sanitizer.  You can use your own homemade alcohol for this as well as long as it at least 120 proof (60% ABV).

Ingredients/Items You’ll Need:

  • Homemade Alcohol or Isopropyl alcohol (at least 120 proof)
  • Tea tree oil or lavender oil or lemon juice (For a better scent)

Simply combine your alcohol with your tea tree oil, lavender oil, or lemon juice and mix very thoroughly.  Then pour the mix into a spray bottle and you’ve got your own homemade disinfectant spray!

Coronavirus Best Practices

We’re sure that you’ve probably already seen these, but just in case here are some good measures to take to help stay safe during this pandemic.

  • Stay at Home: Except for making essential trips like buying groceries, or to see your doctor, stay at home and away from others who could be infected.
  • Wear a Face Mask Outside: If you do have to leave your home, be sure to wear a face mask outside.  The CDC now recommends that everyone wear cloth face masks, when you go out in public or are near other people.
  • Keep a Distance of 6 feet Away From Others:  Also known as social distancing. By keeping your distance from others, you limit the virus’s ability to spread by “jumping” from someone else to you and vice versa.
  • Wash Your Hands Regularly:  Wash your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and hot water.   Washing your hands with soap is always preferable to using hand sanitizers. You should use hand sanitizers when you’re traveling or unable to wash your hands.
  • Avoid Touching Your Face and Head: You should avoid touching your face and head because doing so could transmit the virus.  A good rule of thumb is to always assume that your hands aren’t clean and avoid the temptation to itch that scratch.
  • Disinfect Surfaces Regularly: Clean and disinfect surfaces in your home regularly.  Areas like door knobs, countertops, tables, etc..  Any surfaces that people in your home are using regularly.

And there you have it.  We hope that you found this guide to making your own hand sanitizer at home helpful.  Alcohol as a cleaning product has always been a very valuable resource to have on hand, but these days it’s becoming even more important.

By being able to make your own alcohol-based sanitizer and disinfectant you can help keep your family and community safer during this pandemic.  We’d love to hear from you.  Let us know if you’ve made your own hand sanitizer or disinfectant during the quarantine or leave any comments or questions below.  Stay safe out there!