Washing hands with water and soap is the most important way to prevent the spread of germs.
But when water and soap aren’t possible, the CDC (Centers for Disease Control and Prevention) suggests using a hand sanitizer containing 60% alcohol.
The FDA (Food and Drug Administration) controls the creation of hand sanitizers so that commercial sanitizers should always include at least 60% alcohol upon buying.
It’s more challenging to estimate alcohol content in homemade sanitizers, which is why commercial sanitizers are suggested. But in a pinch, you may be able to create an adequate hand sanitizer at your home. Here’s how.
How to make your own hand sanitizer at home?
Erum Ilyas, MD, a dermatologist in Pennsylvania, began creating her hand sanitizer when her practice suffered shortages during the coronavirus outbreak.
The doctors practiced handmade sanitizer in their offices and kept commercially-made hand sanitizer for interactions with victims.
For killing enough germs, hand sanitizer must need at least 60% alcohol. In commercially-made goods, the alcohol density is estimated with an alcohol meter, states Jenelle Kim, an herbalist and founder of JBK Wellness Labs.
When observed closely, this method creates a hand sanitizer with the required alcohol concentration. However, it’s necessary to measure precisely.
What you’ll require:
- 1 part aloe vera gel or glycerin
- 2 part rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) with a frequency of 91%
- Clean vessels for stirring and an air-tight container for storage
- Spoon or whisk for mixing
- Essential oil (optional) for scent, such as lemon or lavender
- Mix the glycerin or aloe vera with the rubbing alcohol in a neat vessel. To make one cup of sanitizer, mix ⅓ cup of gel or glycerin with ⅔ cup of isopropyl alcohol.
- Combine fully with your spoon or whisk to ensure that the alcohol is equally spread throughout the gel.
- Mix in five droplets of essential oil if you’re using it. This is totally optional and is only suggested to improve the smell of the sanitizer.
- Put the sanitizer in an air-tight vessel. Alcohol takes time to evaporate so that an air-tight vessel will maintain your sanitizer effectively for longer. A pump or pressure bottle can reduce evaporation while keeping your sanitizer readily available — make sure the vessel for your sanitizer is air-tight and clean.
How to correctly use your homemade sanitizer
Dietrich says homemade sanitizer is often runnier than commercially-made sanitizers, so it can be challenging to use. A pump or squeeze bottle can make your homemade sanitizer more comfortable to use without losing.
- Squeeze out to cover the whole surface of your hands.
- Massage your hands together, covering all surfaces.
- Rub your hands till they become dry, a minimum of 20 seconds.
Is DIY hand sanitizer safe and effective?
Homemade sanitizer is probably better than nothing. But commercially-made hand sanitizer is always more beneficial because it supports quality control as it has efficient alcohol content.
This is one of the downsides to handmade home sanitizer: it’s difficult to know the correct alcohol content.