This cold season has really hit our house hard. All three of my kids have had a cold twice so far and it’s only March! I have been doubling their Vitamin C foods and trying to wipe noses and wash hands with lightning speed but they still have caught the bug. I, however, have not caught it! A few months ago before the first outbreak, I looked online for a recipe to make a handmade hand sanitizer and was pleasantly surprised at how easy it was. I had all of the ingredients here at home and didn’t need to use any alcohol.
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Here is what I used:
- 1 Tbsp Witch Hazel
- 30 drops Tea Tree Oil
- 1 cup 100% Pure Aloe Vera Gel
- 5-10 drops of any antibacterial essential oil such as lavender, rosemary, sage, sandalwood, or peppermint
- 4-5 drops of Vitamin E oil OR 1/4tsp of Vegetable Glycerin
Mix oils and vitamin e or vegetable glycerin in a small bowl and then add witch hazel. Mix with aloe vera gel and then use a funnel to add to a small container. I bought my container at Target in the travel size section. The vitamin E or vegetable glycerin will act as a preservative, so this solution should be good for a month or so depending on how often you use it. Either of these two ingredients will also keep your hands from drying out.
I used peppermint oil and it does help mask the stronger scent of the tea tree oil. Next time around, I will try the lavender. Now, I cannot tell you how many germs this kills or what the results were when tested in a lab. All that I can say is that even though I am living the house of germs right now, I have not been sick. And my hands are not dry and cracking from using this sanitizer several times a day. Right after use, my hands are a little bit sticky but that goes away quickly. It’s really a small price to pay for soft, germ-free hands!
REMEMBER: Hand sanitizer is intended to be use when you are not able to wash your hands, not in place of it. When possibles, always wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to remove the highest amount of germs as possible.
UPDATE: It’s been several years since I shared this tutorial. I am still using this recipe with much success! A few years back I found this essential blend Nature’s Shield that I prefer to add to my hand sanitizer over some of the ones I mentioned above. It contains clove, lemon, cinnamon bark, eucalyptus, and rosemary essential oils. I still use the same amount of tea tree oil with 5 drops of the Nature’s Shield .
UPDATE #2 (March 2020): This month my tutorial for homemade hand sanitizer has gained popularity as the CoronaVirus or COVID-19 has become a global pandemic and hand sanitizer has become hard to find in stores. A few of my readers have voiced concerns about the lack of alcohol in my recipe. So, I wanted to provide you with an alternative recipe if you would prefer to use an alcohol-based sanitizer.
First, make sure that you are using 90% (or higher) rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl alcohol. You can find this at any local drugstore, chain stores, or market with the first aid supplies. The alcohol needs to make up at least 60% of the mixture, so here is the ratio I figured:
- 2/3c 90% (or higher) rubbing alcohol
- 1/3c aloe vera gel
- 5-10 drops essential oils (see the list above)
Mix these together and pour into your dispenser. As I mentioned above, hand sanitizer is to be used when washing your hands is not an option.