How To Make Hand Sanitizer At Home

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It’s been pretty darn difficult to ignore the news about the global virus recently. So I thought you might like to learn how to make hand sanitizer gel, especially as you might see panic buying of it in the stores soon.

The following is a strong DIY hand sanitizer recipe, it has over 60 percent alcohol content which is recommended on the centers for disease control website to prevent the spread of germs and tackle a virus.

homemade hand sanitizer

Keep yourself and your family safe

And while a huge majority of us will recover from a virus and be totally fine, it’s still important to try and keep yourself and your family safe, especially for those people who will suffer more serious symptoms or complications.  

It’s important to take all precautions against it. If soap and water are not readily available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer. While you may still be able to purchase some at your local drug store, it’s getting more and more difficult to do so. 

how to make hand sanitizer

Panic Buying Hand Sanitizer

Panic buying seems to be inevitable in times like this, be it toilet paper or sanitizing gel. So, I thought to myself, is there an easy, cost-effective way to make DIY hand sanitizer? The answer is a resounding yes, and I’ll show you the easiest way to do it at home. 

But first, let me just say that washing your hands properly with soap is absolutely the best way to keep yourself virus-free. Interestingly, I made some homemade liquid soap last week that will work well with that!

Sanitizing gel is something you should use when you can’t wash your hands or you’re on the go. If you can’t wash your hands for whatever reason, this is the next best thing. 

So let’s take a look at the two key ingredients you’ll need, and some extras you can use to add some personal flair to your own sanitizing gel. 

homemade hand sanitizer

Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipe

The following recipe is a strong DIY hand sanitizer recipe with over 60 percent alcohol content which is recommended on the centers for disease control website to prevent the spread of germs and tackle a virus.
5 from 5 votes
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Prep Time: 5 minutes
Active Time: 5 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Yield: 1 Cup
Author: Angela Wills

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  • Weigh out the alcohol into a clean mixing beaker/container.
    2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol
    Weigh out the vodka into a clean mixing beaker/container
  • Weigh the aloe vera into the beaker/container.
    1/3 cup Aloe Vera Gel
    Weigh the aloe vera
  • Mix the ingredients until well combined.
    Mix the ingredients until well combined
  • You can at this point pour it into the bottle and use it as it is or you can add essential oils or color.
    20 Essential Oil, Liquid Soap
    making hand sanitizer
  • Coloring: Please use this sparingly as the gel seems to accelerate the color. I only needed one small drop to color this batch. 
    I only needed one small drop to color this batch. 


Update: The previous version of this recipe showed a lighter everyday version, where you could use 1/2 vodka and 1/2 aloe vera gel, this does work to a degree, but does not quite meet the current standard as vodka is usually only around 40% proof.
Essential oils: 
If you do decide to add essential oils, they can often make the gel cloudy so visually it’s not as nice. If you happen to have some Polysorbate 20 adding a small amount can help to make it clear again.

So there we have it, how to make hand sanitizer gel at home, and you can keep making even when the stores sell out! 

Why You Should Not Panic

But I just wanted to take some time to tell you all that you shouldn’t panic. The human race has faced troubles like this in the past, and yet we’re still here. If you want the full facts you can read all of the qualified advice about the recent virus on the CDC website.

While it may seem terrifying, try not to let it get to your head. I know this is difficult not to do with a rolling news cycle constantly talking about it. 

Just be mindful. Wash your hands, use your DIY hand sanitizer gel, and don’t touch your face when you’re out and about. 

It’s important to note that while it’s especially important to follow these precautions at the moment, they can and should help you at all times. These little tips can help you to stay healthy today, tomorrow, and in a year’s time. Even once we’ve beaten the coronavirus, nobody wants to be stuck at home with a cold or seasonal flu! 

That’s all I have time for today. We’ll be back to our usual programming of lovely soaps, gorgeous creams, and other beauty and body products next week. 

Discussion (12 Comments)

  1. I made this with an aloe vera gel that had xanthan gum as a thickener. When I mixed the aloe and the alcohol what appeared to be the gum precipitated out in a lump. I removed that and tried the sanitizer. The finished product still has moisturizing properties but is very thin like the alcohol itself. What type of thickener in the aloe should I look for in order to prevent this from happening? Thanks!

    • Hi Kathleen,

      I couldn’t say for sure which gelling agent to look out for, but yes it would definitely be a good idea to avoid xanthan gum. I’ve had some problems with it in the past with different recipes. I usually only use it now to stabilize emulsions when using certain emulsifiers.

      • My hand sanitizer was also thin. I just put it in a spray bottle and it works great. I added some essential oils and it smells lovely. Thanks and blessings to all:)5 stars

    • Hi Lisa,

      You’ll essentially need to make sure the alcohol is at least 60% of the recipe. So while rubbing alcohol isn’t necessary, you will need to find some form of alcohol that is strong enough. Something ordinary like Vodka isn’t really going to do the job, as it’s around 45%.

      Ultimately, if you can’t find something strong enough, you may have to rely on handwashing alone. But do not worry, providing you’re washing your hands for at least 20 seconds this should do the trick.

    • Hi Manali,

      Ordinarily no, you wouldn’t need to add a preservative, as bacteria will find it very difficult to grow due to the rubbing alcohol. However, if there is a chance that your sanitizer becomes significantly diluted with water, then a preservative would be necessary. However, if this happens, it is likely your sanitizer will become useless anyway.

      So in short, no I wouldn’t worry about a preservative.

  2. Thanks!
    Do you use the 99% rubbing because you mix it?
    I read that 70% isopropyl works better because the higher evaporates too quickly to do as much good…but the study didn’t mix it that i could find. If you are mixing it maybe it evaporates more slowly?

    I was only able to snag the 70 before the shelves cleared. Do you have any suggestions?

    Also thanks for reassuring people. I am just a soap and water washer, but the sanitizer does make me feel better when I don’t have easy access. <3

    • Hi Melanie,

      I’d say you’re totally fine to go ahead with 70%, but perhaps reduce the amount of aloe vera to compensate. basically you want it to be 60% alcohol or more.

      You’re more than welcome Melanie. I think it’s important that we all keep a level head during this crisis.

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