No hand sanitizers in stores? No problem! You can make your own with ingredients that you might already have at home.

It is important to remember that hand sanitizers shouldn’t and won’t replace hand washingYou should only use a hand sanitizer when you don’t have access to soap and water to wash your hands.

This is what Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) says about use of hand sanitizers:

” Sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of germs on hands in many situations. However,

    • Sanitizers do not get rid of all types of germs.
    • Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.
    • Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals from hands like pesticides and heavy metals.”

So to be on the safe side, make sure you are washing your hands for 20 seconds when necessary and leave the hand sanitizers as the last resort on those occasions when you don’t have access to a sink.

4-ingredient Hand Sanitizer Recipe based on CDC’s potency guideline:

Mix 5 parts isopropyl alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel and 1 part of vegetable glycerin. Add a few drops of tea tree oil which is proven to kill several common bacteria and viruses including E. coli, S. pneumoniae and H. influenzaeMix well with an electric or hand mixer.

Aloe and vegetable glycerin not only help moisturize your skin and prevent dryness, they also prevent alcohol from evaporating fast hence extending the skin’s contact with alcohol.  The longer the alcohol is in contact with your skin the higher chance of killing germs.
The above mixture works great but aloe also leaves your skin annoyingly sticky. If you prefer a less sticky and more potent option, here is a recipe based on the formula recommended by the WHO.
Hand Sanitizing Spray Recipe:

Mix all the ingredients.  If you’re working with a lower-concentration solution of rubbing alcohol, use far less water; remember, at least ⅔ of your final mixture has to be alcohol.

Pour the solution into spray bottles and have fun spritzing!

In my next blog, I will share some alternatives to alcohol that can be as effective in sanitizing and killing germs.