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Coronavirus: How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Coronavirus: How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

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When it comes to preventing the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, nothing beats good old-fashioned hand washing.

But if water and soap aren’t available, your next best option, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Unless you have a stockpile of store-bought hand sanitizer, you’ll likely have a hard time finding any at a store or online right now. Due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, most retailers can’t keep up with the demand for hand sanitizer.

The good news? All it takes is three ingredients to make your own hand sanitizer at home. Read on to find out how.

Making your own hand sanitizer is easy to do and only requires a few ingredients:

The key to making an effective, germ-busting hand sanitizer is to stick to a 2:1 proportion of alcohol to aloe vera. This keeps the alcohol content around 60 percent. This is the minimum amount needed to kill most germs.

How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Medically reviewed by Debra Rose Wilson, PhD, MSN, RN, IBCLC, AHN-BC, CHT on March 13, 2020 New — Written by Sara Lindberg

When it comes to preventing the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, nothing beats good old-fashioned hand washing.

But if water and soap aren’t available, your next best option, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Unless you have a stockpile of store-bought hand sanitizer, you’ll likely have a hard time finding any at a store or online right now. Due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, most retailers can’t keep up with the demand for hand sanitizer.

The good news? All it takes is three ingredients to make your own hand sanitizer at home. Read on to find out how.

A word of warning

Hand sanitizer recipes, including the one below, are intended for use by professionals with the necessary expertise and resources for safe creation and proper utilization.

Only use homemade hand sanitizers in extreme situations when handwashing isn’t available for the foreseeable future.

Don’t use homemade hand sanitizers on children’s skin as they may be more prone to use them improperly, leading to a greater risk of injury.

What ingredients do you need?

Making your own hand sanitizer is easy to do and only requires a few ingredients:

The key to making an effective, germ-busting hand sanitizer is to stick to a 2:1 proportion of alcohol to aloe vera. This keeps the alcohol content around 60 percent. This is the minimum amount needed to kill most germs, according to the CDCTrusted Source.

How do you make your own hand sanitizer?

Dr. Rishi Desai, chief medical officer of Osmosis, and a former epidemic intelligence service officer in the division of viral diseases at the CDC, says that the hand sanitizer recipe below will kill 99.9 percent of germs after 60 seconds.

Hand sanitizer recipe

What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent)
  • 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel (to help keep your hands smooth and to counteract the harshness of alcohol)
  • 10 drops of essential oil, such as lavender oil, or you can use lemon juice instead

Directions:

  • Pour all ingredients into a bowl, ideally one with a pouring spout like a glass measuring container.
  • Mix with a spoon and then beat with a whisk to turn the sanitizer into a gel.
  • Pour the ingredients into an empty bottle for easy use, and label it “hand sanitizer.”

If you are making hand sanitizer at home, adhere to these tips:

  • Make the hand sanitizer in a clean space. Wipe down counter tops with a diluted bleach solution beforehand.
  • Wash your hands thoroughly before making the hand sanitizer.
  • To mix, use a clean spoon and whisk. Wash these items thoroughly before using them.
  • Make sure the alcohol used for the hand sanitizer is not diluted.
  • Mix all the ingredients thoroughly until they are well blended.
  • Do not touch the mixture with your hands until it is ready for use.

For a larger batch of hand sanitizer, the World Health Organization (WHO) has a formula for a hand sanitizer that uses:

  • isopropyl alcohol or ethanol
  • hydrogen peroxide
  • glycerol
  • sterile distilled or boiled cold water.
Is it safe?

DIY hand sanitizer recipes are all over the internet these days — but are they safe?

These recipes, including the ones above, are intended for use by professionals with both the expertise and resources to safely make homemade hand sanitizers. Homemade hand sanitizer is only recommended in extreme situations when you’re unable to wash your hands for the foreseeable future.

Improper ingredients or proportions can lead to:

  • lack of efficacy, meaning that the sanitizer may not effectively eliminate risk of exposure to some or all microbes
  • skin irritation, injury, or burns
  • exposure to hazardous chemicals via inhalation

Homemade hand sanitizer is also not recommended for use with children. Children may be more prone to improper hand sanitizer usage, which could lead to greater risk for injury.

How to use hand sanitizer

Two things to be aware of when using hand sanitizer is that you need to rub it into your skin until your hands are dry. And, if your hands are greasy or dirty, you should wash them first with soap and water.

With that in mind, here are some tips for using hand sanitizer effectively.

  1. Spray or apply the sanitizer to the palm of one hand.
  2. Thoroughly rub your hands together. Make sure you cover the entire surface of your hands and all your fingers.
  3. Continue rubbing for 30 to 60 seconds or until your hands are dry. It can take at least 60 seconds, and sometimes longer, for hand sanitizer to kill most germs.

source- healthline.com