How To Make Hand Sanitizer At Home: Create Your Own Substitute

Thankfully, hand sanitizer has gradually been produced and restocked over the last couple of months. Purchasing some again has become easier now that the supply chain has caught up with the demand.  But, have you been wondering how to make hand sanitizer at home? Making it at home (DIY) can help fight the coronavirus germs and keep you safe. We have been warned that a second wave could happen, so there is a possibility of, once again, a shortage.


Hand sanitizer alone is not the ultimate defense against contracting and spreading the virus. The best way to stay healthy is by having good hygiene practices, like regularly washing your hands and keeping your hands away from your face. 


The key detail to know about making hand sanitizer at home is all in using the correct proportions. For effective, virus killing sanitizer, you must use a 2:1 ratio of alcohol to aloe vera. This keeps the alcohol content around 60%, which the CDC says the sanitizer must be made of 70% isopropyl alcohol or 60% ethanol for it to be effective for preventing the spread of the illness. This is the minimum amount needed to kill most germs.



CDC Approved Hand Sanitizer


We know that it is firstly recommended by the CBC to wash your hands with soap and water often and whenever it is possible…. but sometimes it is not possible. When you are out and about and don’t have access to facilities to wash your hands, hand sanitizer is a great alternative. You can easily carry a small bottle with you when you leave the house – toss one into your purse or pocket! 


Here’s how to get started on making your own:



DIY Hand Sanitizer: Ingredients 


There are only two ingredients required (three if you want to add some fragrance). You will need:


  • 2/3 cup of 91% to 99% isopropyl or ethanol alcohol
  • 1/3 aloe vera gel
  • Optional – a few drops of your favourite essential oil


Directions


First, you want to make sure you are working in a clean space and all equipment you use is clean. Wipe down your countertops or table with a diluted bleach solution. Clean and sanitize a 1 cup measuring cup, whisk, small bowl, and small bottle. 


Wash your hands with soap and water thoroughly before making the sanitizer. Make sure the alcohol is not diluted. Do not touch the mixture with your hands until it is ready for use.


  1. Measure 1 cup of the alcohol and put in the small bowl.
  2. Add ½ of a cup of aloe vera gel into the bowl and whisk thoroughly until well blended.
  3. Add a few drops of essential oils (optional for fragrance) and whisk again.
  4. Pour into a sanitized, travel-sized bottle. 

The hand sanitizer should be stored out of reach and sight of children. It should not be stored above 105 degrees Fahrenheit. 



Is Homemade Hand Sanitizer Safe?


DIY hand sanitizer recipes are all over the internet these days. The question most people wonder when thinking about a homemade hand sanitizer is, “Does it work as well as the store bought version?”


The answer is yes, when made properly


Improper ingredients or proportions can lead to:


  • Lack of efficacy. The sanitizer may not effectively eliminate the risk of exposure to some or all germs.
  • Unsafe for skin. The solution could cause skin irritation, injury or burns.
  • Serious damage. Exposure to hazardous chemicals via inhalation.

The recipe outlined above, and other recipes found online, are safe and effective when made and handled accurately. CDC and medical professionals with both the expertise and resources have approved this recipe.



Proper Hand Sanitizer Usage 


The three most important things you must be aware of and practice appropriately when using a hand sanitizer (homemade or store bought) are as follows:


  1. You need to wash your hands first with soap and water if your hands are greasy or dirty.
  2. Thoroughly rub your hands together. Make sure you cover the entire surface of both your hands and all your fingers.
  3. You need to rub the sanitizer into your skin until your hands are completely dry; this is around 30 to 60 seconds. It can take up to 60 seconds, and sometimes longer, for hand sanitizer to kill most germs.

Even if hand washing is the better method for avoiding germs, hand sanitizers will remain popular because of their convenience. You do not have to look for a sink with running water and soap. That is why they have been so widely adopted, because they are extremely practical!


Whether you are applying hand sanitizer or washing with soap and water, hands should be sanitized throughout the day, especially after coughing, sneezing or blowing your nose, before eating, and after using the restroom.



Can Children Use Hand Sanitizer? 


Hand sanitizer is dangerous when ingested by ANYONE, and especially children. Consuming only a small amount of hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning in children. That is why it is recommended for children under six years old to be supervised while using hand sanitizer.  However, there is no need to be concerned if your child eats with or even licks their hands after using hand sanitizer. When used according to direction, hand sanitizer is not dangerous for children.


It is very important to store hand sanitizer out of reach of children and monitor usage when they are applying it. If your child ingests hand sanitizer, call poison control, a medical professional, or 911 immediately.



Practice Good Hand Hygiene!


Everybody must do their part and people must practice proper hand hygiene to prevent getting sick; this applies throughout the flu season especially during this COVID-19 pandemic. The most effective hand hygiene strategy is hand washing, but that is not always available, so alcohol based hand sanitizers are the best alternatives for certain situations.


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