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Efficacious And Herbaceous - Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Ok, it’s not something you can eat (Dear God, please don’t), but it is a recipe, and one I’ve been playing with for a few weeks.

Hand sanitizers are becoming more readily available recently, but the majority of them, besides drying out your hands, contain ingredients I don’t want anywhere near my skin, especially since we use this so much now. With the oil/gasoline slump, many fuel-ethanol companies have been selling their product to companies to make hand sanitizer, but the FDA recently stopped them, citing significant levels of the carcinogen acetaldehyde in their ethanol.

This one follows the medical-grade guidelines, but is more effective, leaves your hands soft, and you’ll smell great - not like a doctor’s office. This makes a 5 ounce bottle. You can use 2 travel squeeze bottles if you don’t want to buy anything special.

Most of these ingredients you’ll be able to get on Amazon, but the alcohol can be pricey because sellers realize that it’s in high demand. That should ease up soon, considering many people will just buy their hand sanitizer now.


3.34 ounces 99.9% isopropyl alcohol (or grain alcohol)

1.67 ounces organic Aloe Vera gel

4 drops organic Tea Tree Oil

8-10 drops Essential Oils - your choice

The active ingredient in this hand sanitizer recipe is the alcohol, which needs to comprise at least 60% of the product in order to be an effective disinfectant. The recipe calls for 99% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or ethanol (grain alcohol, most commonly available at 90%-95%). Don’t use any other types of alcohol (e.g., methanol, butanol), because they are often caustic and sometimes toxic. Also, if you use a product that contains a lower percentage of alcohol (e.g., 70% alcohol) then you need to increase the amount of alcohol in the recipe or it won’t be as effective - the entire bottle must have a make-up of at least 60% alcohol.

In addition to adding fragrance to your hand sanitizer, the essential oil you choose may also help protect you against germs.

Tea Tree Oil has antimicrobial properties, which is why I use it in every batch. If you are using antimicrobial oils, only use what the recipe calls for, since microbial oils tend to irritate someone with sensitive skin. Other oils, such as lavender or chamomile, can soothe your skin.


Using a glass jar, mix the Aloe Vera gel and alcohol and shake vigorously.

The gel will tend to sink to the bottom until it’s completely dissolved, which takes a while.

Add the Tea Tree and essential oils and shake well again. Test on the back of your hand. (I add more Tea Tree oil, but have tested it on my own skin and I have no problems.)

Hopefully, Wheelys (which should be opening within a week or so - yay!) will have some for you to try.

Stay Safe, smell great :)

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