THIS POST HAS BEEN UPDATED….It’s no surprise the Coronavirus (COVID-19) is on everyone’s mind. The uncertainty surrounding the virus and its potential impact is enough to make anyone uneasy. If you have been to the grocery store in recent weeks, you probably noticed the bare shelves that once held household cleaning supplies, hand soap, and hand sanitizer.
According to the CDC, the best way to avoid spreading the virus is frequent hand washing, and avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth. If you don’t have access to soap and water, a hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol is a great alternative. As we mentioned, hand sanitizer has fast become difficult to find, so we came up with our own recipe.
The high alcohol content of hand sanitizer is necessary to kill bacteria, but the smell can be overwhelming. We suggest using combinations of essential oils that will give you a much more pleasant aroma.
According to the National Institutes of Health (NIH), clove, tea tree, eucalyptus, and thyme essential oils offer the greatest antimicrobial properties. Use them for an extra virus-fighting punch. Read the NIH report on Antimicrobial Plant Essential Oils here: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5206475/
Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer
This recipe makes a hand sanitizer that is just over 60% alcohol. To make one that is 70% alcohol, reduce the aloe vera or glycerine to 1/4 cup.
What You’ll Need:
1 cup 91% Isopropyl alcohol*
1/2 cup clear 100% aloe vera gel or vegetable glycerine**
Non-porous mixing bowl and utensils
Dispenser containers (Make sure the container you use has a tight fitting lid. The sanitizer is a bit thinner than what you would buy at a store.)
**Note – hand sanitizer made with vegetable glycerine will be very thin. We recommend using a spray bottle for dispensing.
Funnel (optional, but handy for filling bottles)
- In a small non-porous mixing bowl, mix isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera (or glycerine) until well blended. We found an immersion blender worked best for getting the aloe to mix with the alcohol.
- Add essential oils and stir. Pour sanitizer into containers.
Keep in your desk, purse, or car, and use when you don’t have easy access to soap and water.
* Important note: Be sure to use an isopropyl alcohol that is at least 91% alcohol – it will state this on the bottle. If the alcohol content is lower, the final product will not contain the minimum suggested percentage of alcohol.