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Homemade Hand Sanitizer with Alcohol and Essential Oils

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In this post: Hand sanitizer can be helpful, but you may not love the ingredients found in store-bought versions, or in the case of some sort of flu outbreak, it may be in short supply or priced ridiculously high. Our homemade hand sanitizer with alcohol and essential oils recipe means you can feel good knowing exactly what’s in it – and scent it any way you like, naturally!

*Please note: this hand sanitizer has not been lab-tested. It is based on the principal of 60% alcohol hand sanitizer killing germs like the flu, etc. Use good judgement and always practice good hand-washing hygiene. 


While not always as effective as a good hand-washing, hand sanitizer can help to stave off germs while one is out in public.

Our homemade hand sanitizer includes essential oils which means you can tweak the amount of each ingredient to make it as custom as you like!

Hand sanitizer can be helpful, but you may not love the ingredients found in store-bought versions. Our homemade hand sanitizer with essential oils recipe means you can feel good knowing exactly what's in it - and scent it any way you like, naturally!

 

Why Use Hand Sanitizer?

Nothing beats properly washing your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds. But hand sanitizer is a decent go-to when you’re out and about and can’t get to a sink to properly wash your hands.

I find I use it most in regular life, when I’ve been grocery shopping and touching the cart. Or after other shopping if I’ve had to handle money or touch the debit machine that everyone else has touched. 

Please be very cautious using hand sanitizer with children. It can be harmful to them if not used appropriately. 

Why Rubbing Alcohol?

Alcohol has apparently been used as a sanitizer as early as 1363, according to Wikipedia. It’s been more commonly used in hand sanitizer since the 1980’s.

Homemade hand sanitizer needs to contain at minimum 60% alcohol.

Where to Find Alcohol

I know that a lot of places have recently been sold out of rubbing alcohol, so even making your own disinfectant wipes can be tricky. 

Here are some suggestions of places to look for alcohol:

  • your local grocery store
  • the drugstore/pharmacies
  • your corner store
  • online places like amazon (they have been working to reduce price gouging and to increase stock of essential items)
  • ULINE
  • office supply stores, like Staples
  • Walmart
  • Target
  • hardware stores

What About Essential Oils?

Some essential oils are said to have antiviral properties, along with antibacterial and antifungal properties.

An article in the American Journal of Essential Oils and Natural Products suggests that some essential oils may help fight flu viruses, though more research is necessary [source1,  source2].

However, I’m including a list of possible antiviral/antibacterial/antifungal essential oils here, in case you’d like to add them to your wipes for their scent or potential anti-germ properties: 

  • bergamot oil
  • eucalyptus oil
  • red thyme
  • cinnamon leaf
  • lemon
  • rosemary
  • peppermint
  • tea tree

How to Make Homemade Hand Sanitizer – Scented with Essential Oils

Making your own hand sanitizer is actually super easy!

To make sure your homemade hand sanitizer is effective, use a ratio of 2:1 (2 parts 99% rubbing alcohol and 1 part aloe vera). 

*Please note: this hand sanitizer has not been lab-tested. It is based on the principal of 60% alcohol hand sanitizer killing germs like the flu, etc. Use good judgement and always practice good hand-washing hygiene.  

Materials

There are varying reports of how much alcohol is needed to make an effective hand sanitizer. Online sources report anything from 60% alcohol or more is the best at killing germs. So, you can increase the amount of rubbing alcohol in this DIY recipe to make the hand sanitizer more “potent” if you feel the need.

Instructions

  1. Mix rubbing alcohol and aloe together until well combined.

2. Add essential oils and mix again.

3. Using a funnel, pour mixture into bottle.

4. Add lid, shake and use. 

Want a better clean? Click here to make your own homemade hand soap!

WHO has also created a to creating hand sanitizer in bulk. You can find that here

 
homemade hand sanitizer with essential oils pump bottle on table with lavender

Homemade Hand Sanitizer with Essential Oils

Yield: 1 bottle
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Total Time: 10 minutes
Difficulty: Easy

Our homemade hand sanitizer with essential oils recipe means you can feel good knowing exactly what's in it - and scent it any way you like!

Materials

  • small pump bottle
  • 2/3 cup rubbing alcohol
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
  • 10 drops of essential oil of choice

Instructions

  1. Mix rubbing alcohol and aloe together until well combined. mix aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol
  2. Add essential oils and mix again. 
  3. Using a funnel, pour mixture into bottle. pour into jar

Notes

*Please note: this hand sanitizer has not been lab-tested. It is based on the principal of 60% alcohol hand sanitizer killing germs like the flu, etc. Use good judgement and always practice good hand-washing hygiene. 

A Note From Shannon

Hi all!

Okay, so here’s the thing. I’m not a scientist or a doctor. I’m just a wife and mom. My heart is to provide what little help I can in all this.

This hand sanitizer recipe was originally created two years ago, before everything that’s currently happening.  I’ve updated the “recipe” with the latest info: if made correctly, they contain the recommended 60% alcohol.

Does that mean they will kill everything? Not necessarily.

But they can help if you can’t get to a sink to wash your hands properly with soap and water.

I know we are all confused and stressed and doing the best we each can. Please use common sense and use what resources you have well. If that means you increase the alcohol to make yourself more comfortable, by all means do that.

Regular soap and warm water is said to destroy the current bug, so that could work too.

I really don’t have all the answers. But I hope the projects and things I have created here help you.

xo, Shannon

homemade hand sanitizer with essential oils pump bottle on table with lavender

What’s next?

Do you want to use essential oils in your home more, but feel like there’s so much info out there? 

Check out The Complete Guide to Using Essential Oils in Your Home packed with everything you need to know to – without the overwhelm.

Includes: which grades of essential oils to use, which ones to avoid for pets and babies and the top 13 essential oils that are perfect for beginners. Plus, recipes and tips for making your own home remedies, soaps, scrubs and cleaners and more. 

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pump bottle with essential oil bottles

Have you ever made your own hand sanitizer? What is your favorite scent or oil to add?

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