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Easy DIY Hand Sanitizer With Simple Ingredients

Woman Applying Hand Sanitizer

In situations like a coronavirus outbreak or bad flu season, learning how to make your own hand sanitizer can help you keep a supply on hand. This is also a great way to customize this germ-fighting gel, since you can select your own fragrance and moisturizer. The key is maintaining the proper concentration of alcohol so you can safely kill germs. DIY hand sanitizer is an easy project with supplies you already have around your home.

Basic DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe

According to the World Health Organization (WHO), you can make your own hand sanitizer using this simple recipe. Make sure you measure everything precisely, as getting the wrong balance of ingredients or using a recipe that is not WHO-approved can mean a less effective product. This recipe makes 64 to 80 ounces of hand sanitizer, depending on the amount of distilled water you add.

Things You'll Need

Gather the following tools and supplies:

  • Isopropyl alcohol (99.8% strength), usually available in drug stores
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3% strength), usually available in drug stores
  • Glycerin, available on Amazon.com and in most drug stores
  • Sterile distilled water
  • Cup measure
  • Measuring spoons
  • Plastic storage jug
  • Smaller bottles or containers for use

What to Do

  1. Measure out seven and a half cups of the isopropyl alcohol. Pour it into the plastic storage jug.
  2. Add six and a half tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide. Gently shake the jug to mix the contents.
  3. Add two tablespoons of glycerin. Because the glycerin is very sticky and viscous, use some distilled water to rinse it out of the spoon and into the jug. Gently shake the jug to mix it.
  4. Add distilled water if you wish to make the hand sanitizer a bit more fluid.
  5. If you wish to put the sanitizer in smaller containers, do this now.
  6. Place the smaller containers or the entire jug in a quite place and leave it for 72 hours. The WHO says this step is crucial for allowing spores and contaminants in the jugs or materials to be killed prior to use. After 72 hours, you can use the sanitizer.

Ethanol-Based Hand Sanitizer Recipe

If you do not have access to isopropyl alcohol, you can use ethanol to make hand sanitizer. The WHO suggests that the alcohol you use be 96% alcohol. However, this recipe is written for 95% alcohol, which is easier to obtain. The amount in the recipe has been increased proportionally to allow for this slightly lower concentration. This recipe makes about 70 to 80 ounces of hand sanitizer.

Specific Liquor Brands to Use

Because the liquor must be at least 95% alcohol, you need it to be 190 proof. This limits you to two possible liquor brands:

  • Everclear 190 - proof
  • Spirytus vodka - 192 proof

You cannot purchase these proofs in all states, so it's important to check if these liquors are for sale in your state or province.

Things You'll Need

In addition to the alcohol, you'll need the following hand sanitizer ingredients:

  • Hydrogen peroxide (3% strength), usually available in drug stores
  • Glycerin, available in most drug stores
  • Sterile distilled water
  • Cup measure
  • Measuring spoons
  • Plastic storage jug
  • Smaller bottles or containers for use

What to Do

  1. Begin by measuring eight and a half cups of ethanol and pouring this into your plastic jug.
  2. Add six and a half tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide, shaking to mix the ingredients.
  3. Add two tablespoons of glycerin, gently shaking to mix. You can use distilled water to help rinse the glycerin off the measuring spoon and into the jug.
  4. Add distilled water to the jug to get the desired consistency.
  5. Divide the hand sanitzer into smaller containers if you wish.
  6. Place the containers of hand sanitizer in a quiet place for 72 hours to allow the alcohol to kill any germs on the containers.

Variations for Scents and Moisturizers

If you know the people using the homemade hand sanitizer are not allergic to any scents or moisturizing ingredients, you can add a small amount of the following to customize your product:

  • Essential oils like lavender or peppermint to add a pleasing scent
  • Aloe vera gel to moisturize
  • Vitamin E oil to moisturize

Important Safety Notes

Ultimately, you need your hand sanitizer to be effective, and you need to stay safe while making it. These safety notes will help.

Alcohol Concentration - 60% Minimum

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), hand sanitizer absolutely must have a high enough alcohol concentration to be effective. Alcohol-free hand sanitizer recipes are not effective against germs like coronavirus and flu. The sanitzer needs to be at least 60% alcohol. This means that if you're adding oils and moisturizers to the sanitizer, you need to keep the actual alcohol concentration high enough. The more of any other liquid you add, the more you are diluting the hand sanitizer, so keep this in mind as you experiment.

Flammability

Highly concentrated alcohol is extremely flammable. Never smoke while making or using hand sanitizer, and never store the santizer near any source of flames.

Do Not Ingest

Hand sanitizer is poisonous if consumed, so keep the hand sanitizer out of reach of children and pets. According to the Poison Control Center, an accidental lick or drop of sanitizer will not hurt a child, but actually consuming the product can be very serious.

Storing and Using Your Hand Sanitizer

After you make your own hand sanitizer, be sure to store it well. Make sure bottles are tightly capped to avoid evaporation of the alcohol. As long as the alcohol doesn't evaporate, the product is good indefinitely. In real world terms, this means you can use it for two to three years after making it.

Save Money and Augment Emergency Supplies

You can save money and augment your hand sanitizer supplies in an emergency if you know how to make your own hand sanitizer. The process is simple, and it's a fun and easy project to do at home.

Easy DIY Hand Sanitizer With Simple Ingredients