I never ever used to be the person who was a hand-washing freak, but when CoVid-19 hit, I changed my tune. When I found out that simply washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds could kill the virus, you bet I started washing a lot!
Whenever possible, washing your hands is definitely the best option and the most effective—this is what the CDC recommends, but when you’re in a pinch and it’s not possible, hand sanitizer is the next best option. I’ve found that I use it more than I expected, especially with things opening up and life returning to normal.
At the very least, it makes me feel like I’m doing something positive for my health and protecting my family, along with wearing a mask. Plus, it’s so easy with kids who are not always the most patient when it comes to washing hands. Anyone else have a squirmy toddler?!
I’ve been keeping an alcohol-based hand sanitizer around too for those moments where you can’t wash your hands, but still need something to kill off potential germs! It’s a little easier to find hand sanitizer now, thank goodness, but when it wasn’t, I resorted to making my own.
And, good news, homemade hand sanitizers are just as effective as what you can buy in the store and are really affordable to make!
DIY Hand Sanitizer With Aloe Vera
There are so many hand sanitizer recipes out there, and this one is super easy and works! The key is getting the ratios right so that your mixture is effective at killing germs. Other than that, you’re pretty much set. You can customize it by adding a different scent, but the base recipe should remain the same so that it’s always effective.
I’ve been keeping these all over the place—one in my purse, one in Jack’s diaper bag and another one in the car so I can use it immediately after trips to the grocery store.
What You’ll Need
- Rubbing alcohol with 91-99% alcohol volume (the higher, the better)
- Pure aloe vera gel
- Small bowl for mixing
- Utensil for mixing
- Squeeze bottles, spray bottles or pump bottles to store the sanitizer
- Essential oil of choice, optional (tea tree oil or Thieves essential oil has been my go-to)
How To Make Hand Sanitizer With Aloe Vera
Thankfully, this is one of the easiest DIYs you’ll ever do and has very little room for error. With hand sanitizer being tougher to find these days, this is such an easy way to make it at home and customize it!
You should be able to easily find all the ingredients you need at your grocery store or drug store. If not, Amazon is a good spot to grab aloe vera gel at a great price, though I’ve only seen massive containers of rubbing alcohol, so definitely try to grab that at CVS or Walgreens.
Step 1: Combine Alcohol & Aloe Vera Gel
The most important parts of our DIY hand sanitizer—the alcohol and aloe vera. These are the two base ingredients for the recipe. You’ll want to use isopropyl or rubbing alcohol that’s at least 91-99 percent alcohol volume.
The trick here is the ratio of alcohol to aloe vera! It should be 2:1 alcohol to aloe vera which will keep the alcohol content high—you want at least 60 percent alcohol content so your sanitizer is effective against killing germs.
Alcohol is super drying to our skin, but does a great job of killing germs. Adding the aloe vera helps to hydrate our skin and also protect it against the harsh effects of alcohol—it’s a balancing act between the two.
You want 2 parts of rubbing alcohol to one part of aloe vera gel. Here’s what I typically do in case you don’t want to do the math:
Combine these in a small bowl or pourable measuring cup to make it easy to fill your containers at the end.
Step 2: Add Essential Oils
This step is completely optional, but rubbing alcohol doesn’t have the greatest scent, so adding a few drops of essential oils makes the final product more pleasant. Bonus points for using an essential oil like tea tree oil which naturally has germ-fighting properties or Thieves—one of my favorites! Lavender, eucalyptus and peppermint essential oils are also great germ-fighters and other good options to add to your homemade hand sanitizer.
- 5-10 drops tea tree essential oil
- or, 5-10 drops lavender essential oil
- or, 5-10 drops Thieves essential oil
Drop these into your mixture and use a clean utensil to mix thoroughly.
Step 3: Pour into Containers
Now that you have your final product, you’ll need something to store it in.
You can absolutely buy a pump bottle or even a spray bottle to use here, but I find that mini squeeze bottles have been the best for on-the-go storage because they’re less likely to leak.
Carefully pour your hand sanitizer into containers, or use a small funnel to avoid a mess. Screw on the lids or tops and you’re set! Make a cute label if you’re feeling fancy too.
This probably goes without saying, but don’t forget that when you’re making hand sanitizer at home, all the bowls and utensils you use should be totally clean before using!
If you want to make a really large batch of hand sanitizer, the World Health Organization has another recipe you can view here. It does require a few more ingredients like hydrogen peroxide and glycerol, but is equally as effective. For making sanitizer at home, I’ve found my 3-ingredient recipe to be the easiest!
I hope this DIY was easy and fun for you to make! It’s a great one to have on hand, no matter what’s happening in the world.