DIY Natural Hand Sanitiser

A natural and effective hand sanitiser you can make with simple ingredients.

I’m not a fan of commercial hand sanitisers (no surprises there!). This may sound a little strange, but I’m not one to use antibacterial soaps, sprays, or strong cleaners at home because I believe that having a little bacteria around is a good thing.

But since the rise of COVID-19, almost everything you touch has been soaked in antibacterial cleaners, not to mention our constant hand sanitising and washing every 20 minutes or so.

Rather than using commercial hand sanitisers – containing chemicals like triclosan, which has the ability to disrupt hormones and contribute to a rise in resistant strains of bacteria – I’ve developed my own natural (but strong) hand sanitiser which I find works just as well, minus the chemicals!

hand sanitizer 2
Many commercial antibacterial products use chemical antibacterial agents to keep bacteria away, which is also not good for your body. 

I can understand the appeal of killing “99.9% of germs and bacteria” when you have your family’s’ health in mind, and illness for one usually means illness for all. However, using soaps, wipes, and cleaners labelled “antibacterial” may not be the best choice, here’s why:

Reason #1: Regular hand washing might be just as effective and should be a first line of defence. Recent reports show that washing with warm water and soap for at least 30 seconds is as effective as antibacterial soaps and sanitizers. They still have their place but make sure to wash hands as well!

Reason #2: It may be true that antibacterial products kill 99.9% of germs, but that .1% is the most potentially harmful (since it can resist antibacterial agents). This small percentage that survives then breeds and passes on its antibiotic resistance to its offspring, creating lines of “super bugs” that resist antibiotic use. This may be one factor in the dramatic increase in strains like MRSA.

Reason #3: Triclosan, the chemical in most antibacterial soaps has been shown to interact with chlorine in the water to form chloroform gas. On top of that, it has been shown to be a hormone disruptor, especially in children. I’m glad it’s been phased out from so many products, but I’m sceptical it solves the issue.

Reason #4: Some evidence shows that kids who grow up in an overly sterile environment have higher rates of allergies and asthma than kids who don’t use antibacterial products as much. Exposure to different types of bacteria, especially early in life, helps kids’ immune systems to develop.

Katie Wells, Wellness Mama

Now, just so we’re clear, I’m not saying shun the sterilizers and soaps completely. I just think we need to be more conscious of what we put in/on our bodies, how often we use antibacterial products, and whether it’s necessary.

Before we get started in learning how to make this all-natural hand sanitiser – if you like what you’re seeing, subscribe to my email newsletter at the bottom of the page to keep up to date on the latest recipes, DIYs, gardening and health tips I share!!

hand sanitizer 3
A natural way to keep hands clean and germ-free.

If you make this hand sanitiser, please let me know! Leave a comment below, and if you take a picture and share it, please tag me on Instagram @simplynaturalnessa or use the hashtag #simplynaturalnessa so I can see! I’d love to know how you went!

DIY Natural Hand Sanitiser

Here are my go-to hand sanitisers that I make for my family and myself. I’ve listed them from strongest to gentlest. The most gentle hand sanitiser can be used on kids, while the other two I would advise not (they’re too strong for little ones).

Rather than using chemical-filled bacterial agents, I use essential oils that help inhibit bacterial growth naturally – ensure you choose ones that are safe for use on children if you’re making sanitiser for them.

The gentle hand sanitisers are more like waterless soaps than proper hand sanitiser. For a product to qualify as a sanitizer, it must be at least 60% alcohol, and only the first recipe really achieves that.

According to Homestead and Chill, the percentages of rubbing alcohol needed to make 60% alcohol are;

How to Make 60% Alcohol Hand Sanitiser 

Using 91% to 99% rubbing alcoholUsing 70% rubbing alcohol
Use 2 parts alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gelDilute the alcohol by no more than 10% 
Example: 1 cup alcohol & ½ cup aloe vera, or 2 cups alcohol & 1 cup aloe vera.Example: 3 cups alcohol & ⅓ cup aloe vera, or 5 cups alcohol & ½ cup aloe vera. 
Deanna, Homestead and Chill

DIY Strong Hand Sanitiser

Homemade hand sanitiser using either 91-99% isopropyl alcohol, or 70% rubbing alcohol. Both recipes are strong enough to make 60% alcohol hand sanitiser.

Ingredients:

If using 91-99% strength rubbing alcohol:

If using 70% strength rubbing alcohol:

  • 3 cups 70% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol)
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera (or glycerine)

Optional:

To make:

  1. In a blender, blend together isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera gel until combined. A blender will give the best results as it can be challenging to mix alcohol and aloe by hand.
  2. Add the tea tree oil and vitamin E oil, then blend/mix.
  3. Store in a glass bottle with a pump dispenser. Shake before use.
  4. Using fresh aloe gel isn’t advisable for storage on counter; so keep in fridge between uses, and be aware shelf-life may not be as long as commercial sanitisers.

To use:

  1. Apply a good amount of sanitiser to your palms then rub hands together, making sure to rub your fingers and tops of your hands, too. Keep rubbing until your hands feel dry.
  2. Always test a small amount of product on a tiny patch of skin first, to ensure there are no adverse reactions.
I find blending the ingredients helps incorporate them together much better.

DIY Kid-Safe Hand Sanitiser

Homemade hand sanitiser that is safe to use on children.

Ingredients:

To make: 

  • In a blender, blend together aloe vera gel, witch hazel and oil until combined. A blender will give the best results as it can be challenging to mix aloe, witch hazel and oil by hand.
  • Add the tea tree oil and vitamin E oil, then blend/mix.
  • Store in a glass bottle with a pump dispenser. Shake before use.
  • Using fresh aloe gel isn’t advisable for storage on counter; so keep in fridge between uses, and be aware shelf-life may not be as long as commercial sanitisers.

To use:

  1. Apply a good amount of sanitiser to palms then rub hands together, making sure to rub fingers and tops of hands, too. Keep rubbing until your hands feel dry.
  2. Always test a small amount of product on a tiny patch of skin first, to ensure there are no adverse reactions.

Always check with a doctor or healthcare provider before using essential oils, especially on children or if you have a medical condition.

DIY hand sanitiser tutorial

As always, this is not personal medical advice and we recommend that you talk with your doctor before trying or using any new products. It’s important to check with a doctor before taking this or any new product, especially if taking any other medicine or supplement or if pregnant or nursing. Be sure to check ingredients to make sure there is no risk of an allergic reaction.

Have you made your own sanitiser before? How did it go? Share in the comments below.

Lots of love,

🖤 Vanessa

Sources:

Wells, Katie. (March 10, 2020). How to Make Natural Homemade Hand Sanitizer. Wellness Mama. Retrieved from https://wellnessmama.com/281/homemade-hand-sanitizer/

Jabs, Betsy. How To Make Natural Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer. DIY Natural. Retrieved from https://www.diynatural.com/homemade-hand-sanitizer/

Lindberg, Sara. (March 13, 2020). How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-make-hand-sanitizer?fbclid=IwAR1lGJ5ZyGlihZfNVKbrq0D7A-6XpGiTi4cNh8U_Of_nrOVjMM2Do3Yrt6U

Ruggeri, Christine, CHHC. (August 4, 2021). DIY Hand Sanitizer (with Aloe Vera!). Dr. Axe. Retrieved from https://draxe.com/beauty/homemade-hand-sanitizer/

Reci, Kelly. DIY Kid Safe Gel Hand Sanitizer. Kelly’s Thoughts on Things. Retrieved from https://kellysthoughtsonthings.com/diy-kid-safe-gel-hand-sanitizer/

King, Carolina. DIY Hand Sanitizer Spray {Alcohol-free and Kid-Safe}. Mama Instincts. Retrieved from https://mamainstincts.com/diy-hand-sanitizer/

Harper, Emma. (July 1, 2016). Safe Essential Oils for Babies and How to Use Them. Healthline. Retrieved from https://www.healthline.com/health/parenting/essential-oils-for-babies

Johnston, Cassie. (Updated: March 2020). Homemade Hand Sanitizer. Wholefully. Retrieved from https://wholefully.com/homemade-hand-sanitizer/

Deanna. How to Make Homemade Hand Sanitizer w/ Alcohol & Aloe Vera. Homestead and Chill. Retrieved from https://homesteadandchill.com/homemade-hand-sanitizer/

Jabs, Betsy. How To Make Natural Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer. DIY Natural. Retrieved from https://www.diynatural.com/homemade-hand-sanitizer/

A Little Insanity. Natural Hand Sanitizer Recipe – With Free Printable. A Little Insanity. Retrieved from https://alittleinsanity.com/natural-hand-sanitizer-recipe/

How to Make Homemade Hand Sanitizer. Franciscan Missionaries of Our Lady Health System. Retrieved from https://fmolhs.org/coronavirus/coronavirus-blogs/how-to-make-homemade-hand-sanitizer