People are rushing to the store to load up on hand sanitizer. But many of the store shelves are now empty.
If you didn’t happen to grab your bottle of hand sanitizer before they disappeared, you can always make your own. Any drugstore will have the basic ingredients and you can find those ingredients in most grocery stores as well.
Gather the following ingredients:
1. 2/3 cup Isopropyl alcohol 91% (rubbing alcohol)
2. 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
3. Essential oil in your choice of fragrance (optional)
4. A small or medium mixing bowl
5. A spoon
6. An empty container, such as a 3-ounce container from a travel toiletries kit
7. A small piece of masking tape for labeling
Here is how to make it:
1. Blend Isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera gel together in a mixing bowl.
2. Add an optional 8-10 drops of essential oils.
3. Pour the mixture into an empty container and seal. Be sure to mark the bottle as “hand sanitizer.”
Recommendations from the CDC are to use hand sanitizer’s with a minimum of 60% alcohol content. Using the recipe above exceeds the recommendations slightly, but you should follow the proportions exactly. You could always make sanitizer with a higher alcohol percentage by decreasing the aloe vera to 1/4 cup.
The medical director for the Oregon Poison Center at Oregon Health & Science University, Robert Hendrickson, said that if you make the homemade hand sanitizer properly it is effective, but it is still preferable to wash your hands with soap and water.
Hendrickson warns that homemade sanitizer should not be stored in bottles that could be mistaken as a beverage container. Drinking homemade hand sanitizer could make you sick, and you should keep it out of reach of children.
The alcohol content can dry out the skin so Hendrickson says that you should stop using it if your hands become irritated. A skin moisturizer can be used for mild irritation.
Hand sanitizer is the second-best way to keep your hands germ-free. The CDC promotes properly washing your hands as the top method.