Learn how to make your own hand sanitizer at home with natural ingredients! This DIY hand sanitizer gel has a light texture and won’t dry your hands out. The alcohol-based hand rub recipe is made with moisturising aloe vera and essential oils, but also includes an alternative for homemade hand sanitizer without aloe vera.
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DIY hand sanitizer gel
How do you make homemade hand sanitizer gel? If you’re wondering how can I make hand sanitizer at home, you may be surprised by this DIY hand sanitizer gel recipe! My hand disinfectant is made with natural, skin-friendly ingredients and comes together in under 5 minutes.
I recently shared a DIY hand sanitizer spray, and you ladies asked for a gel version. So here it is! While the spray can be applied on hands and to disinfect surfaces, the homemade sanitizer gel is intended only for hands. Personally, I find the gel less drying than the spray. So that’s another plus!
I filled my DIY hand sanitizer gel into small cosmetic bottles that I can carry in my purse or jacket to have the hand sanitizer available when I can’t wash my hands.
Alright, let’s find out how to make hand sanitizer at home easy!
What is hand sanitizer?
A hand sanitizer, simply, is a liquid or gel that is used to reduce and kill microorganism on the hands. However, a hand sanitizer is not a replacement for washing hands with soap and water.
Hand sanitizer benefits
The benefits of hand sanitizer come into play when you don’t have access to a sink and can’t wash your hands with soap and water. The hand sanitizer is useful when your out and about, commute to work, shop groceries or visit the park with your kids.
Which hand sanitizer is most effective? – Facts about hand sanitizer effectiveness
Are hand sanitizers effective? The World Health Organization shares the following facts about hand sanitizers: “At present, alcohol-based hand rubs are the only known means for rapidly and effectively inactivating a wide array of potentially harmful microorganisms on hands.” (source)
According to the WHO, a hand sanitizer formulation must contain at least 60% alcohol for the best hand sanitizer effectiveness. Unfortunately, hand sanitizers that only have witch hazel with aloe vera and essential oils as ingredients aren’t sufficient to fight bacteria and germs.
Read on to learn more about how to make hand sanitizer with alcohol!
Homemade gel hand sanitizer with alcohol
To ensure your DIY gel hand sanitizer is as effective as possible, use high-proof alcohol. The lower the alcohol content, the more alcohol you have to use.
Here are a few options:
- isopropyl alcohol 99.9%
- ethyl alcohol 95%
- 190 proof Everclear (95% alcohol)
- Golden Grain (190 proof / 95% alcohol)
- Gem Clear 190 Proof (95% alcohol)
- Alchocol-95 (95% alcohol content)
- 151 proof Everclear (75.5% alcohol content)
- 150 proof vodka (75% alcohol content)
- rubbing alcohol / 70% isopropyl alcohol (70% alcohol content)
Everclear, Golden Grain, Gem Clear and Alchocol-95 are grain alcohols. Grain alcohols are neutral spirits with a 95% alcohol content, also called 190 proof. Some of these options may not be available depending on where you live.
Do essential oil hand sanitizers work?
First off, you don’t have to use essential oils – the DIY hand sanitizer is effective as is. As a trained aromatherapist, I believe that essential oils have countless health and skincare benefits. Essential oils such as tea tree, lavender, lemon, eucalyptus and clove bud are said to have potent antibacterial and antiviral properties, which are quite useful in a DIY hand sanitizer gel.
So, is it safe to make your own hand sanitizer?
Yes, as long the alcohol content in the end product is over 60%. Also please don’t sell homemade hand sanitizer! My recipe wasn’t lab-tested and is for personal use only!
DIY hand sanitizer gel ingredients
Making effective hand sanitizer gel requires two things: high-proof alcohol and aloe vera gel. To improve the DIY hand sanitizer gel, I added a few more ingredients but they are optional.
Here is the hand sanitizer ingredients list:
- 2/3 cup / 160 g / 5.7 oz high-proof alcohol (190 proof/95%)
- 1/3 cup / 65 g ml / 2.1 oz aloe vera gel
- 5 drops tea tree essential oil (optional)
- 5 drops lavender essential oil (optional)
- 1/2 tsp vitamin E oil (optional)
- 1/8 – 1/4 tsp xanthan gum (optional)
DIY Hand sanitizer without aloe vera gel
How do you make hand sanitizer without aloe vera? Aloe vera gel can be substituted with glycerin. Glycerin has excellent moisturizing qualities and will lessen the drying effect of the alcohol. The process of making the DIY hand sanitizer gel is the same.
How to make your own hand sanitizer
How do you make homemade hand sanitizer? You have your ingredients, time to make DIY hand sanitizer gel with them! It’s just 4 easy steps and 5 minutes!
Here is how to make gel alcohol hand sanitizer:
- Mix gel. Add alcohol, aloe vera gel, vitamin E oil and essential oils into a small mixing bowl and stir until well combined.
- Add xanthan gum. Sprinkle 1/8 to 1/4 teaspoon xanthan gum over the DIY hand sanitizer. Don’t dump the xanthan gum – otherwise, the liquid will be lumpy and not form a smooth gel.
- Whisk. Immediately whisk together the mixture. You don’t have to heat the gel as the xanthan gum dissolves in liquids of any temperature, and you will see results instantly.
- Store gel. Transfer the gel into squeezer bottles.
Can you believe how simple this homemade hand rub recipe is?!
How to thicken hand sanitizer
I used a little xanthan gum to thicken the DIY hand sanitizer gel. It’s perfectly fine to make the DIY hand rub without it, but the hand sanitizer might be rather liquid. The hand sanitizer gel you see in the photos was thickened with xanthan gum and has a wonderful, gel-like texture.
Hand sanitizer alternatives
Currently, many stores are out of hand sanitizer and high-proof alcohols. I just checked the availability of isopropyl alcohol on Amazon, and a lot has sold out. If that’s the case for you, you might be wondering: What are some hand sanitizer alternatives? How do you make natural hand sanitizer without alcohol?
- Wash your hands with water and soap – The best protection against contagious diseases and viruses is to wash your hands with soap and water as often as possible. Read this post to learn an easy antibacterial hand soap recipe and how to wash your hands properly.
- Essential oils – You can make a quick hand sanitizer with witch hazel and essential oils. My friend Laura from Our Oily House has a homemade hand disinfectant recipe that you can try. But as I mentioned, it won’t be as potent as an alcohol-based hand rub.
Storage and shelf life of DIY hand sanitizer gel
The high alcohol content will preserve our organic hand sanitizer for several months. A preservative for hand sanitizer isn’t necessary.
If your DIY hand sanitizer gel contains essential oils, keep the hand rub out of direct sunlight and away from any heat sources.
Printable Hand Sanitizer Gel Label
Tab or click the button to download your free printable hand rub labels!
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