Hand sanitizer is in high demand due to the coronavirus pandemic, and now many people are turning to homemade recipes to fill their need. Many retailers are still out of stock of hand sanitizer in the U.S., and manufacturers cannot keep up with the demand for new batches. Fortunately, there are guides available for making your own.
Hand sanitizer is essential for filling in the gaps between hand-washings. It is perfect for traveling, where running water and soap may not always be available. It is also a polite way to encourage others to keep their hands clean in your presence. All of this contributes to slowing the spread of COVID-19 — the coronavirus.
Sadly, many retailers are still out of hand sanitizer after the pandemic hit the United States. It was one of the first big supplies to run out as shoppers flooded the stores, searching for some reassurance in these stressful times.
Experts say that washing your hands with soap and water is still a better option than using hand sanitizer. According to a report by Healthline, they also say that homemade hand sanitizer is only to be used as a last resort. Hand sanitizer will only be effective against coronavirus if it has an alcohol content of at least 60-percent.
With that in mind, here is an easy and effective recipe for homemade hand sanitizer.
Ingredient 1: Isopropyl Alcohol (Rubbing Alcohol)
For the cleaning agent in hand sanitizer, you will need isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol. You should find the alcohol labeled "99-percent alcohol volume," as the lower levels will not be sufficient to kill the coronavirus. Even this will only provide the minimum amount of alcohol required.
Ingredient 2: Aloe Vera Gel
Aloe vera gel — typically used as a remedy for sun burns or other skin irritation — will give the hand sanitizer its gel-like texture. It will also allow the substance to be rubbed in, which helps make hand sanitizer practical on the move. Of course, it will also help your skin deal with the drying effects of alcohol.
Ingredient 3: Essential Oil
Finally, you will want some kind of essential oil, such as lavender oil or tea tree oil. If you do not have any of these on hand, lemon juice is a good substitute as well. Either way, you will only want 10 drops of this substance, so be sparing.
Before getting started, experts say you should prepare yourself and your work surface to make sure your hand sanitizer comes out clean. Begin by washing your hands, and washing a large measuring bowl, a spoon and a whisk. Finally, wipe down the counter top or table you are going to work on with a diluted bleach solution.
To make the hand sanitizer, combine the ingredients into one big vessel — a measuring bowl with a spout is optimal. You will want a 2:1 ratio of alcohol to aloe vera, so a common recipe would be 3/4 of a cup of isopropyl alcohol and 1/4 of a cup of aloe vera gel. On top of that, add 10 drops of essential oil or lemon juice.
Begin by stirring the mixture with a spoon. When it is well-blended, beat it with a whisk to be sure. When you are done, it should take on a gel-like texture, with little or not liquid left.
You will need a container to store your hand sanitizer for later use as well. The best-case scenario would be a used bottle of store-bought hand sanitizer, as it would be clearly labeled. Other soap bottles, shamboo bottles or even old food containers will work as well — so long as you clearly label this one as "hand sanitizer." Consider breaking the batch up into small containers to be taken on the go as well, since at home you will usually have the option to wash your hands instead.
Wash Your Hands0comments
Finally, never forget that hand sanitizer is the secondary option when regular hand-washing is not available. Experts say that washing your hands is the preferable way to keep clean and avoid the coronavirus, as it not only kills germs on your hands — it scrubs off dirt, skin and other physical debris that may be harboring the virus.
For the latest information on the COVID-19 pandemic, visit the CDC's website.