Hand sanitizer is a must-have item to keep in your purse for quickie clean-ups and refreshing the hands, particularly after using public areas. Here is a simple, no-frills recipe for a homemade waterless hand sanitizer that smells good and won’t dry out your skin.
MYO: Waterless Hand Sanitizer
We shouldn’t have to preface this with a disclaimer, but we will, obviously good (& frequent) hand washing is the best way to prevent the spread of germs, but we all know that there are times and places where this just isn’t possible.
Also, the more alcohol you add to your bottle, the more effective it will be, but we’ve used this recipe for several years with great success in our own family. The minimum amount of alcohol must be 60% for the homemade hand sanitizer to be as effective as store-bought.
One thing that we love about our homemade recipe is the fact that the scent is pleasant unlike many store-bought sanitizers and it costs less than 1/4 of the price of its store-bought counterpart as well!
Germ Killing Power- Which is Best
There are a couple of different ways to make your own sanitizer. Ethanol alcohol kills more pathogens than rubbing alcohol because it permeates the cell walls. For this reason, we recommend using a neutral spirit such as Everclear, Crystal clear, Golden grain or Gem clear.
If you don’t have access to those, you can certainly use rubbing alcohol. Rubbing alcohol aka isopropyl alcohol is antimicrobial (meaning it kills microorganisms such as bacteria, fungi, and germs) stopping their growth within ten to thirty seconds. Surprisingly, 70% isopropyl alcohol is more effective than 100% at killing germs quickly.
Waterless Hand Sanitizer Recipe
1/2 cup aloe vera gel (we get ours directly from our plant, but you can purchase it in bottles as well)
1/2 cup + 2 Tbs Everclear (Neutral grain spirit) or alternatively, Rubbing alcohol aka Isopropyl Alcohol
2 tsp. vegetable glycerin
6-8 drops Tea Tree Essential oil or Lavender Essential Oil*
Blend well. Use as you would commercial hand sanitizer. In addition to the alcohol’s germ-fighting capabilities, both listed essential oils contain antibacterial properties as well.
*Be sure you use ESSENTIAL Oils, Not Fragrance Oils! The rubbing alcohol can be found in the pharmacy area of most big box stores such as Walmart, Target, etc or even at the dollar store. They’re about .75-$1 per bottle.
The vegetable glycerin offers several benefits, first, it makes the ingredients stay together, secondly, it works nicely as a skin-softening agent and helps keep your hands from becoming overly dry.
The essential oils add a nice fragrance while also offering additional germ fighting properties of their own. Scientifically speaking, you need at least 60% alcohol for maximum effectiveness in your blend.
Omitting Essential Oils
In the event that you don’t have (or can’t find) either of the essential oils listed in the above recipe, be sure to add 2 teaspoons of peroxide to the homemade hand sanitizer mixture. Let it sit for 48 hours before using. The peroxide helps to kill any bacteria within the ingredients themselves.
Additional Homemade Cleaner Recipes:
© Can Stock Photo Inc. / akhilesh