When it comes to preventing the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, nothing beats good old-fashioned hand washing.
But if water and soap aren’t available, your next best option, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer.
Unless you have a stockpile of store-bought hand sanitizer, you’ll likely have a hard time finding any at a store or online right now. Due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, most retailers can’t keep up with the demand for hand sanitizer.
The good news? All it takes is three ingredients to make your own hand sanitizer at home. Read on to find out how.
What ingredients do you need?
Making your own hand sanitizer is easy to do and only requires a few ingredients:
- isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent alcohol volume)
- aloe vera gel
- an essential oil, such as lavender oil
- Citric acid or Vit. E to preserve
The key to making an effective, germ-busting hand sanitizer is to stick to a 3:1 proportion of alcohol to aloe vera. This keeps the alcohol content around 60 percent. This is the minimum amount needed to kill most germs, according to the CDCTrusted Source.
How do you make your own hand sanitizer?
Dr. Rishi Desai, chief medical officer of Osmosis, and a former epidemic intelligence service officer in the division of viral diseases at the CDC says that the hand sanitizer recipe below will kill 99.9 percent of germs after 60 seconds.
Hand sanitizer recipe
What you’ll need:
- 3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent)
- 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel (to help keep your hands smooth and to counteract the harshness of alcohol)
- 10 drops of essential oil, such as lavender oil
- Citric acid to preserve and Vitamin E if you want.
- Pour the aloe vera into a blender and process to liquify it.
- Mix all ingredients in a measured container.
- Add citric acid to preserve
- Mix with a spoon and stir to turn the sanitizer into a gel.
- Pour the ingredients into an empty bottle for easy use, and label it “hand sanitizer.”