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. Due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, most retailers can’t keep up with the demand for hand sanitizer. All it takes is three ingredients to make your own hand sanitizer at home.
Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent alcohol volume), aloe vera gel, an essential oil, such as tea tree oil or lavender oil, or you can use lemon juice instead. 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 CDC.
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
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.”
Hand sanitizer formula combines:
Two parts isopropyl alcohol or ethanol (91 percent to 99 percent alcohol)
One part aloe vera
A few drops of clove, eucalyptus, peppermint, or other essential oil.
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)Trusted Source has a formula for a hand sanitizer that uses:
Isopropyl alcohol or ethanol
Sterile distilled or boiled cold water