Why You Should Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer + DIY Recipe

Why You Should Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer + DIY Recipe

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I’m sure you’ve heard it all over the news. Every single store is out of hand sanitizer. Your first priority should be to use soap and water to kill the germs that could be on your hands.

Making your own hand sanitizer may not be your first choice, but since all of the stores are sold out, you may be stuck making your own.

I’m going to give you several reasons why you should make your own hand sanitizer. Read up on why you should wash your hands often.

I looked at the bottles I have stocked in my prep inventory and found all of them say 60% isopropyl alcohol. Then I watched a doctor on TV suggest IF we make our own it should be 60% minimum isopropyl alcohol to be beneficial at killing off some bacteria that may be lurking on our hands.

Well, the only bottles I could recently find in the stores to add to my inventory were 70% isopropyl alcohol. In the past, I had purchased a bottle that said 91%, but then I read where you have to be careful since the % is too high it can dry out your skin, it may crack and bleed.

Well, that’s not good. So I am using only 70% isopropyl bottles.

DIY Ingredients for Hand Sanitizer

  • 70% Isopropyl alcohol (correction 91%)
  • Aloe Vera Gel (not liquid or juice) I bought mine at a Natural Grocers Store

Please note correction:

Thanks to my friend, Harry for bringing this to my attention.

I believe you need to use 91% isopropyl alcohol in your recipe. If you mix 2/3 cup of 70% alcohol with 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel, you will dilute the alcohol content in your result to 47%. In order to achieve 60% of your result, you need to start with 91% alcohol. Basic math. Sorry, but this is too important not to mention.

Items Needed To Make It Yourself

I chose plastic containers, glass is wonderful but it breaks. It’s too difficult for me to clean up any more broken glass containers. Just sharing my 2 cents.

Bottles for Hand Sanitizer

Why Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

This is a prepping website. We focus on prepping for things we’ll need and taking matters into your own hands. When an emergency strikes, no one else is going to do anything for you, you have to be willing to do for yourself.

There are many reasons why you should make your own. See what the CDC says about hand sanitizer.

Read More of My Articles  35 Essential Personal Hygiene Products You Need to Stock

It’s Cheaper

At this point, unless you want to pay $500 for a bottle of hand sanitizer with someone who is trying to rip you off, it’s cheaper to make your own. I promise, there are no fancy ingredients involved in this process.

Perfect for the Future

If you discover you don’t need hand sanitizer right now, you can always save this recipe and the supplies for later. I wouldn’t mix it all up until later when you need it if you don’t need it now.

Sometimes it takes stressful situations, like the Coronavirus to help us all be a little more self-reliant. Please keep in mind this will NOT KILL the Coronavirus. Please refer to the CDC for accurate information on COVID-19.

Hand Sanitizer Comes in Handy

I think we all use hand sanitizer on a regular basis, and while I would encourage you to wash your hands first, I would use hand sanitizer too!

It doesn’t hurt anything to use something like this a lot because you know it’s killing germs and helping to prevent sickness and the spreading of germs.

What is the shelf life of Hand Sanitizer?

Based on this article, I would think 2-3 years. Here again, it’s all about how fresh the ingredients are when you make it and the temperature where you store it. Healthline Website

What Does the CDC Say

I quote: Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.

Why? Soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizers at removing certain kinds of germs, like Cryptosporidiumnorovirus, and Clostridium difficile1-5.

Although alcohol-based hand sanitizers can inactivate many types of microbes very effectively when used correctly 1-15, people may not use a large enough volume of the sanitizers like they would the soap and water, or they may wipe it off before it has dried 14. CDC Show Me The Science

How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

This recipe is going to teach you how to make your own hand sanitizer. I need to say that if you make and use this product you do so at your own risk. I can’t be held accountable for you not getting the percentages of alcohol and aloe vera gel correct.

Today, this batch I used two bottles of Aloe Vera Gel (8-ounces each) and 1-quart of 70% isopropyl. I did not use the entire bottles of the Aloe Vera Gel or the whole bottle of alcohol.

First of all, it’s very hard to get the last of the gel out of the bottle, but that’s okay. I barely used half of the alcohol. Just giving you a ballpark price here.

I did not include the cost of the bottles. We all have some bottles we can use, typically.

Here is the cost break-down:

(2) 8 oz bottles of Aloe Vera Gel @$4.60 each for a total of $9.20

(1) quart of 70% isopropyl alcohol – total price (I only used approx. 1/2 of the bottle) $1.79

Let’s assume I used all the ingredients today: $9.20 + $1.79= $10.99 and it made three bottles. Each bottle has 8-ounces filled with homemade hand sanitizer. So, these cost approximately .45 cents per ounce or $3.66 per bottle.

Read More of My Articles  Prepping Items You Can Buy From The Dollar Tree

Now, let’s keep in mind these have 70% alcohol compared to the 60% alcohol in the one I usually buy at a local dollar store. Remember I still have some of the ingredients left-over.

Step One:

Gather the ingredients, it uses Aloe Vera Gel and 70% isopropyl alcohol. The CDC recommends a minimum of 60% isopropyl alcohol. (please see my correction to 91%)

Ingredients to make hand sanitizer

Step Two:

Combine the isopropyl alcohol of choice and the Aloe Vera Gel. Stir until smooth. It will look similar to water with some aloe vera in it after mixing.

Ready to make Hand Sanitizer

Step Three:

Use a funnel to fill the desired containers.

Why You Should Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer + DIY Recipe

Step Four

You can choose a pump or flip cap container.

Why You Should Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer + DIY Recipe

Step Five

These are the three bottles I filled with my homemade hand sanitizer. I did not put any essential oils or coloring in them. These work for me as is.

Why You Should Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer + DIY Recipe

Step Six

I made these labels for the bottles.

Why You Should Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer + DIY Recipe

Step Seven

In case you’re wondering how I label things around my house and these bottles, for example, this is the little machine I use. Brother Easy Label and Brother Easy Label Case.

Why You Should Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer + DIY Recipe

Things to Consider When Making Your Own Hand Sanitizer

I’m for ALL the reasons why you should make your own hand sanitizer. But keep in mind there are things to consider when making your own. The ingredients are a lot harder to come by now.

However, this won’t be the first pandemic to ever happen in the world. Keep this DIY hand sanitizer recipe handy, so that you can use it in the future. The more self-sufficient you are in life, the better off you’ll be.

You have to use 70% pure isopropyl alcohol. You can’t use spirits or liqueurs because they are watered down and not 100% alcohol. If you try and create a hand sanitizer with something like that you will only get a 40% proof hand sanitizer.

I would not use any dyes or essential oils in your hand sanitizer if you make any from store-bought ingredients. I’ve seen a lot of recipes online that use them, but I just want my hands clean, they do not need a fragrance.

I’m just a simple chick who wants my hands clean, that’s it. I wash my hands a whole lot more with plain soap and water.

My dermatologist suggested a hand soap called “Tone” that I buy at Wal-Mart. It is easy on my sensitive skin and I don’t have to clean the scum on the soap dish very often. Tone Hand Soap

But I also keep some hand sanitizer in my car. Oh, and I’m the one that brings a hand sanitizer container to the food tables where food is served at church meals.

I also bring it to family reunions where it’s popular to share foods we all bring. It’s how I roll. Some people use it, most do not. But I bring it for health-conscious people like me.

Homemade Hand Sanitizer

5 from 5 votes
Why You Should Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer + DIY Recipe
Homemade Hand Sanitizer by FSM
Prep Time
15 mins
Cook Time
0 mins
Total Time
15 mins
Course: Hand Sanitizer
Servings: 12 people
Author: Linda Loosli
  • 2/3 cup isopropyl alcohol, you need to use 91%
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel (not juice)
  • essentials oils (optional) I did not use any
  1. Combine the isopropyl alcohol of choice and the aloe vera gel. Keep mixing, it will look similar to water with aloe vera in it. Use a funnel to fill the desired containers. You can choose a pump or flip cap container.

Final Word

Remember that no one else is going to take care of you in any kind of emergency. You need to be ready to do things yourself.

Even small things like knowing how to make your own sanitizer are important. Keep this in mind. May God bless this world, Linda.

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  1. Linda,
    I believe you need to use 91% isopropyl alcohol in your recipe. If you mix 2/3 cup of 70% alcohol with 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel, you will dilute the alcohol content in your result to 47%. In order to achieve 60% in your result, you need to start with 91% alcohol. Basic math. Sorry, but this is too important not to mention.

    1. Hi Harry, I hadn’t really thought about that. I bought the 91% and then went back and bought the 70%. My house smelled so strong of alcohol, I started to cough. This must be why the bottles at the dollar store say 60%. Thanks so much for helping me with this. I’m adding this to my post, thank you!! Linda

    1. HI Laura, I just added the 91% isopropyl alcohol, it makes sense. That’s why the bottles only say 60% in the dollar store hand sanitizer bottles. Yay, for awesome readers! Linda

  2. 5 stars
    91% is readily available here, I was unaware of scarcity elsewhere.
    About this:
    “You have to use 70% pure isopropyl alcohol. You can’t use spirits or liqueurs because they are watered down and not 100% alcohol. If you try and create a hand sanitizer with something like that you will only get a 40% proof hand sanitizer.”
    40% is 20 proof, 40 proof is 80%. Combining the two scales doesn’t work.

    Thanks for the daily emails, each of them has great information.

    1. Hi Dan, thank you so much. I just adjusted the recipe to use 91% per my friend, Harry’s suggestion. It makes sense. I really appreciate your kind words. Linda

  3. Just a thought from a mind that doesn’t always think like everyone else. I wonder if you could use the jell from the Aloe plant to make this with? Mind you, I’m just curious. Great idea. When all this “panic” dies down, I do believe I’m going to make some.

    1. Hi Pam, I’m not sure about that. This aloe vera gel is really thick and has like 15 ingredients in it. Or at the least the bottles I purchased. The prices on everything will go down hopefully, and so will the prices on everything. Linda

  4. We raise aloe vera for medicinal purposes. Is the alcohol strong enough to use as a preservative or will the sanitizer spoil over a short period of time?

  5. My youngest son is a truck driver and uses a lot of hand sanitizer. He told me our local Walmart is completely out of stock, and our Costco was completely out of toilet paper. Thanks to you, Linda, I have plenty of everything for my family–what a sense of relief that gives me!

  6. I found the following recipe as well:

    DIY (Do-It-Yourself) Hand Sanitizer Formula
    for Coronavirus COVID-19
    Based on World Health Organization (WHO) Formula
    Due to the outbreak and spread of Coronavirus (COVID-19) disease, hand sanitizers are in short supply. You can easily make your own sanitizer using drugstore materials: alcohol, glycerin, and hydrogen peroxide.
    This do-it-yourself (DIY) homemade hand sanitizer is based on a formula recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO) patient safety pamphlet Guide to Local Production: WHO-recommended Handrub Formulations. WHO is an agency of United Nations that promotes world-wide health.
    To make one-third quart of hand sanitizer:
    1 cup 99% isopropyl alcohol -OR- 1 cup + 4 teaspoons 91% isopropyl alcohol
    1 Tablespoon hydrogen peroxide 3%
    1 teaspoon glycerin
    Water to make a total of 1 and 1/3 cups (1/3 quart)
    About the Ingredients
    Isopropyl alcohol (also known as rubbing alcohol and isopropanol) is the ingredient that kills germs. It is sold in drugstores at different strengths, typically 70%, 91%, and 99%. The target strength for the hand sanitizer is 75%, so you need to start with at least the 91% strength product.
    Note: Do not use pure alcohol to clean your hands. Some water must be present for the product to work. The maximum strength for sanitizing is 95%.
    Glycerin (also known as glycerol) is a clear, thick liquid used as a moisturizer in skin care products. It helps prevent your hands from drying out. You can get it in the drugstore with other skin care products.
    Hydrogen peroxide 3% is an antiseptic sold in drugstores with other disinfectants. The small amount used in the formula is not effective for sanitizing the skin. Its purpose is to kill any spores in the hand sanitizer itself, as alcohol is not effective against spores.
    The WHO pamphlet recommends that you not add any other ingredients such as fragrances or gelling agents. Some home formulations use aloe vera gel, which is probably OK, but it has not been evaluated for possible interactions with other ingredients.
    The final ingredient target concentrations are:
    Isopropyl alcohol: 75% (v/v)
    Hydrogen peroxide: 0.125% (v/v)
    Glycerin: 1.45% (v/v)
    Ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol or grain alcohol), the alcohol in liquor, is an alternative ingredient that is not as easily available as isopropyl alcohol. Note that hard liquors are typically 80 to 100 proof (40% to 50% alcohol), too weak to work as hand sanitizer. If you plan to use ethanol instead of isopropyl alcohol, see the original WHO pamphlet for the formula.
    ataridogdaze (.com/science/diy-hand-sanitizer.html) – just remove the parenthesis when you look this up.

    I thought this was an interesting recipe because it included hydrogen peroxide and gave more information regarding the ingredients. Also, because a pharmacist told me about vodka/everclear in place of isopropyl alcohol, it was interesting to read the “why nots” . That being said, if alcohol cannot be found as it is here in my area, I would use vodka or everclear anyway. Also, there was a lot more information on that website that I did not include for reasons of space!!

    Stay healthy everyone.

    1. Hi Leanne, you know I love this! I have never made Hand Sanitizer, I’m so glad Harry mentioned the 91%. I love your recipe, I feel like we can never have too many to try!!! The hydrogen peroxide is an awesome addition. I had to remove the first part of their website because it’s not what we call a “secure” site. If I put bad links in my blog it could get hacked. I have high security on my site now but I’m not allowed to have http accounts. If it has https the “s” means it a secure website and you will see a LOCK at the top left of the URL. Thanks for sharing. I’m praying everyone stays well. Linda

      1. Sorry about the website. I will try to remember that in the future!

        As this virus issue grows, we have to be more and more self-reliant. That means producing as much of our own health products as we can. Since this started and really blew up here in Washington, things at the stores have been flying off the shelves as I have related in our FB group.

        Unfortunately, a lot of people – too many in my book, wait until something like this happens before they get themselves prepared. That is why I love your blog and FB group. You not only teach people how to prepare, what to prepare and with the comments in both the blog and on FB, we as followers contribute as much as we can to teach people how to become more self-reliant.

        1. Hi Leanne, you are so kind! We all learn from each other. It’s almost comical to see the racing shopping baskets at some of the stores. It’s like people must not have anything stocked. But then, I think how sad it is that a few people are just now “getting prepared”. Is this the wake-up call we were hoping for others? I don’t know. I just hope people learn from this Coronavirus and realize they must be self-reliant. Linda

          1. Linda ~ so true!
            What I find is really daunting for so many is the lack of funds to go out and purchase the things needed for a long term issue. I am on a fixed income so I understand their issues with purchasing. But as I have tried in the past to get across to people where I live is that if you prep slowly, it is not such a big hit on the funds.

            I do know this about my preps, though: I have some holes! They will be filled asap once our shelves are well stocked again!! Fortunately, they are relatively minor holes in the grand scheme!

            I just came home from my physical therapy session (shoulder is doing really well!) and my therapist and I were talking about having to isolate ourselves in the worst case scenario. She said that she wishes now that she was better prepared and hoped that I was prepared. I told her about your blog and FB group. She said she would try to remember to check it out when she got home.

          2. Hi Leanne, oh I’m so glad to hear about your shoulder healing!! Physical therapy is critical to finish and is painful but we have to do it. Glad to hear!!! You know Leanne, it’s crazy that even we experienced preppers (we were preppers before that word became a word) take a quick run-through our “stuff” and find a hole or two. But in the scheme of things we are so prepared and blessed beyond words. BUT, I looked around at my OTC medications (I rarely use any) BUT I like having some for whoever may come and visit at my house. I needed several to replace. It happens, but we work through it. Stay well, girlfriend! Linda

  7. Linda, You know I finally seen what you have talked about all along. I went to Walmart
    yesterday and I was shocked. So many empty shelves. Almost all Tylenol gone, any
    pain reliver really, no alcohol or peroxide, toilet paper the shelves were almost empty,
    water was hit pretty hard, canned veggie some shelves were empty and no Oat milk was found
    anywhere. I didn’t think to look for hand sanitizer. Oh when we went in the door they were
    cleaning the scooters after each person used them. There was a display of Lysol spray and gloves,
    There was 1 can of Lysol and a few boxes of gloves left. I have just never seen this in person before.
    So glad I have a nice supply were I don’t need to search for these items. Everything I went in for
    they had since I wanted non emergency items.

    1. Hi June, this is why we prepare, it’s a way of life for us. We will not panic because we are prepared. Of course, we may have a few items we may need at some time, but we can make do. We can survive. I’m glad to hear they are cleaning the scooters at Walmart. I wonder if they ever sanitize the shopping carts. I would need the whole container of wipes to clean a shopping cart. If I did that, I’d be too tired to shop!! LOL! Life is so good when we are prepared. Keep your immune system up girlfriend, stay well. Linda

  8. In our area alcohol is so hard to come by. We can only find 50% Isopropl Alcohol. BUT Thanks for the recipe, as soon as we can find 91% alcohol, I will have to make some up.

    1. Hi Debbie, the last time I went to a few stores just to observe the store shelves at least the 3 I went to that day had zero alcohol available. This will pass but at least we now have the recipe. Keep your eye open as I’m sure you will. We still have soap and water. Clorox Wipes are gone as well. Keep your immune strong with fruits and vegetables. Stay well, Linda

  9. I went to Costco this morning and they had several employees by the door with towels and disinfectant, offering to wipe down the carts! Way to go Costco!

  10. There have been quite a few stories on the news about distilleries that are using their waste alcohol to make hand sanitizer, some giving it away to customers, some to others who need it like nursing homes. One story here in N.H. actually mentioned that the alcohol is thickened with xanthan gum… Got me thinking, I have quite a few bottles of 70% out in the barn (doesn’t go bad, and if you need it, you probably need a lot, with vet medicine!) If I can find xanthan gum (Bob’s Red Mill apparently makes it) I’ll see how it comes out. Could be useful if this keeps on! It wouldn’t have the skin soothers like aloe vera gel or glycerin, but still.

  11. 5 stars
    I tried making my own hand sanitizer using your recipe. I love it! It is so gentle on our hands! Regular hand sanitizer is so harsh and dries out our skin. Thank you so much for sharing! I will never go back to store bought hand sanitizer!

  12. 5 stars
    After making a bunch of bottles …..I don’t think I’ll buy it from the store ever again. I love it! Thanks for the post!

  13. 5 stars
    I have been making my own hand sanitizer for a while now using this recipe. It works great for myself and my kids! Love it.

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