How to Make Powerful Hand Sanitizer at Home
Learn how to make hand sanitizer at home —it’s natural, easy, and effective at killing bacteria and viruses. You only need three simple ingredients (and you probably have them in your home now!). Choose between a powerful hand sanitizer gel, or take it up a notch to an antiviral hand sanitizing spray.
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I was crammed in a tiny porta-potty with two tired, sweaty, cranky-pants children who needed me to hold them on the toilet, legs dangling. Looking through the sweat pouring into my eyeballs, I frantically searched for the hand sanitizer dispenser.
It was empty.
Maybe there was a hand washing station behind the port-a-potty? I held my breath (for so many reasons).
I did a quick run-around to confirm what I already knew: there was no hand-washing station.
After running to my car (with both children needing to be carried), I tried to catch my breath as I frantically pulled things from my diaper bag.
I said a breathy “Thank you, Jesus” as I pulled out that bottle from the deep recesses of my diaper bag: the hand sanitizer I had made months ago. Oh, hallelujah!
I don’t always use hand sanitizer, but when I do, it’s in porta-potties
Homemade hand sanitizer doesn’t replace hand washing…but it’s better than nothing
If a sink is available, hand washing is always the best first choice for eradicating germs.
As you know, there isn’t always easy access to a hand washing station. Those are the times I opt for germ-killing hand sanitizer.
Times like when…
- we’re camping.
- eating at a restaurant with a long bathroom line.
- I see that kid in my son’s Sunday school class sneeze in his face while hugging him goodbye.
We can’t protect our kids from everything–they will get sick, no matter what precautions we take. However they can get sick less often when we’re proactive.
But…not all hand-sanitizer is actually helpful…
There’s a problem with commercial hand-sanitizer
Big brand-name hand sanitizers are tempting to use. Kill germs? As a mom of four little people, yes. All the yes.
However, commercial hand-sanitizers have a few reasons to cause concern:
1. They don’t kill the most dangerous bacteria, creating “superbugs” that don’t respond to antibiotics.
Commercial hand sanitizers kill 99.9% of bacteria. Let’s talk about that .1%, though. That .1% of bacteria that survive tend to be the most dangerous. With the boost of the anti-bacterial, the .1% that reproduce can become superbugs, causing life threatening complications like MRSA.
2. They contain artificial fragrance.
Artificial fragrance is widely used in many skin products, yet research shows it to be highly dangerous. Artificial scents can cause some of these serious issues:
- Kidney failure
- Endocrin disruption
3. Commercial hand sanitizers are harsh on skin
Raw, irritated skin? Yeah, hand sanitizer can do that. The various alchols they add, combined with a lack of soothing ingredients, can lead to over-dry skin that cracks, itches, and peels. It’s especially harsh for kids’ hands…which tends to be the people-group I really want to use hand sanitizer.
Homemade hand-sanitizer is harsh on germs but gentle on hands
My favorite hand-sanitizer to use is the one I make myself. This homemade hand sanitizer is extremely effective…and won’t wreak havoc on your skin.
Powerful, effective, stupid-easy.
How to make hand sanitizer in under one minute
Making your own hand sanitizer is as easy as throwing three ingredients into a bottle and shaking. There’s no complicated measuring, no dirtying extra bowls, and no handling molten hot liquid in a pan.
The three ingredients you need:
My favorite essential oils to use in hand sanitizer:
If you want to add antiviral essential oils, these are some of my favorite:
Please always research the safety of each essential oil for your own needs. Some essential oils are toxic to animals (ie tea tree oil), and some are not safe to use on young children.
The easiest directions that I almost don’t need to say:
- Add aloe vera gel to a 3-4 oz bottle (squeezable or spray)
- Pour alcohol in and drop essential oils on top
- Tightly screw on the cap and shake to combine
+ Fresh aloe vera gel will not work well in this recipe since it is not a shelf-stable ingredient; therefore, using an aloe vera with preservatives will work best.
+ Shake well before each use.
Bonus: Extra-potent antiviral hand sanitizer recipe
For a hand sanitizer that is also effective against viruses (not just bacteria), the CDC recommends using 60% alcohol. To make this antiviral hand sanitizer, you’ll want to use a spray bottle instead of a squeeze bottle, as it’s too liquidy for a squeeze bottle.
To make an antiviral hand-sanitizer, combine these ingredients:
- Add everything into a spray bottle and shake well
- Spray as needed
Now when you find yourself frantically searching for a hand washing station in a porta-potty in the middle of nowhere, you can rest assured that you have some in your bag.
Dangers of artifical scents: https://draxe.com/health/dangers-synthetic-scents/
CDC antiviral recommendations: