The world is a scary place right now. I’m sure you have felt the impact in one way or another. If you’re like me, you probably have been unable to find hand sanitizer at your local stores, and most likely you haven’t been able to find it online either. Many people have resorted to looking up homemade alcohol based hand sanitizer recipes. I am one of those people too. I wanted to share my experience with making hand sanitizer with you, and hopefully it will help you.
DIY Hand Sanitizer
What’s the deal with homemade hand sanitizer lately? The answer is twofold. People are worried about the uncertainty that our nation faces in the next few days and the next few months (and maybe years). They are scared about the unknown. The other reason is that stores are sold out of hand sanitizer. SOLD OUT. Even online stores are out of stock on alcohol based hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, cold medicine, and other essential cold and flu products, hence the need for people to make their own antibacterial hand sanitizer. With so many people getting sick, it is a helpless feeling to not have a way to clean and sanitize their hands when they are unable to physically wash their hands.
The preferred form of hand hygiene in health settings, according to the CDC, is an alcohol based hand sanitizer with greater than 60% ethanol or 70% isopropanol alcohol. The alcohol content in hand sanitizer is really important, so make sure you pay careful attention to this when making your own!
One thing I was unaware of is that hand sanitizer sometimes is not as effective as it could be as, according to the CDC, “people may not use a large enough volume of the sanitizers or may wipe it off before it has dried”.
When using hand sanitizer:
Use a large amount and don’t wipe it off – it needs to dry!
I found the below homemade alcohol based hand sanitizer recipe on The Verge and I thought I’d share the process with you. It is actually really easy, once you are able to find the ingredients (without being price gouged)! The measurements need to be precise for this to be effective.
How to make your own alcohol based hand sanitizer
~2/3 cup Isopropyl/rubbing alcohol 91% or 99% (NOTHING LESS!)
~1/3 cup aloe vera gel
~Few drops of essential oil (optional)
~A medium glass mixing bowl
~Small plastic squeeze or pump bottles (2 or 3 oz), or other small containers
~Labels (see below)
Measure the alcohol and aloe vera gel in the glass bowl.
It can be tricky to get these two ingredients to blend together, but there is a method that works. First, use a metal spoon and stir for about 1 1/2 – 2 minutes (like you would if you were trying to dissolve Jello). Next, switch to a whisk, and whisk for another minute or so. Add a few drops of essential oil if desired.
If you are wondering how to make DIY hand sanitizer smooth, here is what I found to be helpful. After you have stirred and whisked the alcohol and gel mixture, use a sterilized strainer with a clean and sterile glass bowl underneath, and pour the mixture into the strainer. Most of it should slip right through, but if there are any “globs” of gel left, push them through with your metal spoon or whisk. What is in your bowl should be very smooth. Discard anything that might be left in the strainer, although there shouldn’t be much of anything in there.
How to store your homemade hand sanitizer
You can put your mixture in a large, clean container (glass if possible) until you are ready to use and/or refill smaller bottles. If you have your bottles ready, you can use a funnel to fill the bottles.
When the bottles are filled, wipe off any excess sanitizer on the outside of the bottle. Label the bottles with masking tape or print your own labels and apply with scotch tape or packing tape (I recommend the latter, as it will hold up better after numerous refills).
***Keep out of reach of young children, and make sure you supervise children when they are using this and all hand sanitizers.***
Washing your hands is still best
The CDC recommends that wash your hands often with soap and water. Most people don’t think much about the correct way to wash hands, but there is a method that is the best way to clean your hands.
The most effective way to wash your hands according to W.H.O (World Health Organization):
~Turn on water and apply soap.
~Turn off tap.
~Lather hands by rubbing them together with soap.
~Lather the back of your hands, between your fingers and under your nails.
~Scrub hands for at least 20 seconds Rinse well under clean running water.
~Dry hands using a clean paper towel or by air drying them.
~Turn off faucet using paper towel.
**Here’s a little hint: To help children know how long 20 seconds is, have them sing the Happy Birthday song 2 times. That equals 20 seconds.
Keep a bottle of homemade hand sanitizer with you at all times, and use it often. And please share this homemade alcohol based hand sanitizer recipe with others who are unable to find it at the store!