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How to Make Hand Sanitizer at Home

 The shortage of hand sanitizers in stores is an observation we all made recently, and it’s hardly surprising given that panic-shopping has been many people’s response to the seemingly ever-growing Coronavirus pandemic. But we’re not here to judge people’s purchase habits. Instead, we’re here to solve a very real problem - the shortage of hand sanitizers - by teaching you 3 useful and simple recipes of DIY hand sanitizers. None of these recipes use more than three ingredients, some of which you likely already have lying about in the medicine cabinet.
DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipes hand sanitizer bottle
 
Before we show you how to make hand sanitizer at home, however, it’s crucial to point out that using hand sanitizers is merely a supplement to hand-washing, as no hand sanitizer will clean your hands as well as soap and water. We demonstrate the hand-washing technique suggested by the WHO in a previous article: How to Wash Your Hands Correctly.
We’d also like to inform you that hand sanitizers contain a lot of alcohol that may dry out your hands, so we recommend moisturizing your hands an hour after every use of hand sanitizers.

Equipment

DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipes equipment
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
You'll need a few containers and kitchen tools in order to do this recipe, namely:
  • A clean bowl
  • A funnel
  • Something for mixing (e.g. a spatula, spoon)
  • A clean, empty hand sanitizer bottle or any other container with a lid.

Recipe 1: Fragrance-Free Hand Sanitizer

DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipes fragrance free
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Artificial fragrance is one of the main issues of hand sanitizers available in stores. The problem with fragrance is that it can be very sensitizing for the skin, especially with frequent use. This means that it can make your skin red, bumpy and itchy, cause an allergic reaction and further dry out your skin. If you have sensitive skin and are prone to skin allergies, this fragrance-free two-ingredient recipe is the best for you.
Note that we recommend purchasing the highest percentage of isopropyl alcohol, 99% is the best. This is because the hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol to make it as effective at killing germs as possible.
Ingredients
⅔ cup isopropyl alcohol
⅓ cup plain aloe vera gel
Directions
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly until smooth and homogenous using a spoon or spatula.

Recipe 2: Get the Benefits of Essential Oils

DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipes with essential oils
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
You can add essential oils to your hand sanitizer to make it smell nicer. Essential oils also have a variety of wellness benefits, some being capable of invigorating you while others may calm and de-stress you, for example. Here are a few examples of aromatherapeutic oils you can use and what they can do:

Keep in mind that it’s best to avoid essential oils if you have sensitive skin. But even if you don’t, never use them directly on the skin without diluting, as they are very concentrated and may cause various adverse skin reactions. Doing a patch test before applying onto your hands is also recommended.

​When purchasing essential oils, it's the safest to use purest products you can find. Search for labels like "pure grade", "therapeutic grade", "certified organic" and "aromatherapy grade" on the bottle - these labels suggest the essential oil is of high quality.

DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipes
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Ingredients
⅔ cup isopropyl alcohol
⅓ cup of plain aloe vera gel 
10 drops essential oil of choice
Directions
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly until smooth and homogenous using a spoon or spatula.

Recipe 3: Using Grain Alcohol

DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipes grain alcohol
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
If you don't have access to isopropyl alcohol, you can also make hand sanitizer using grain alcohol, i.e. liquor. It's recommended to use 190-proof grain alcohol, which is 95% alcohol, or the highest alcohol content you can find. 
Ingredients
⅔ cup grain alcohol
⅓ cup of plain aloe vera gel 
10 drops essential oil of choice (optional)
Directions
Combine all ingredients in a bowl, mix thoroughly until smooth and homogenous using a spoon or spatula.

Bottling Up and Storing DIY Hand Sanitizer

DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipes bottling up
Image Source: Wikimedia Commons
Put a funnel into the bottle you're going to use for the hand sanitizer and pour the mixture through the funnel. It's best to find a bottle that's tightly sealed and has a dispenser or pump, as with time, the alcohol will evaporate from the sanitizer, rendering it less effective, and this happens faster when the product is in a jar. Store the product out of direct sunlight and try to use it up within 1 month.

How to Use Hand Sanitizer Correctly

Believe it or not, technique matters when it comes to hand sanitizer use. The product is best applied onto dry hands. If your hands are dirty, we suggest wiping them down with a tissue first. Here is the most effective way to use a hand sanitizer:

1. Use about a dime-sized amount.

2. Rub your hands together for 20-30 seconds. Make sure you get the areas between your fingers, the backside of the hands, and under the fingernails.

3. Wait for the sanitizer to dry completely, and try not to wipe or rinse your hands for 15-20 minutes after use.

That's it. Now your hands should be clean. Repeat as many times a day as needed, but remember that it's preferable to wash your hands with soap and water and use sanitizer as a supplement to hand-washing.

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