Homemade hand sanitizer is an easy yet powerful way you can combat viruses including covid-19. 

Let’s outline how to make hand sanitizer from the comfort of your own home, with simple, easy-to-find ingredients!

Homemade hand sanitizer has quickly become a vital commodity in these times of worrying about the coronavirus. Keeping our hands and household surfaces clean can not only drastically reduce the risk of spread, but it’s an excellent habit to develop to help prevent future outbreaks. 

Washing our hands with soap and warm water is one of the most effective things that we can do to improve our overall hygiene, as that is all it takes to kill off the virus that could infect you. However, a good hand sanitizer is a useful backup that you can take with you everywhere for quick and easy cleaning.

Don’t worry if your local stores have run out of hand sanitizer—the recipes below will help you make your own.

The #1 Ingredient in DIY Hand Sanitizer is…

Isopropyl alcohol, also known as rubbing alcohol!

Rubbing alcohol is roughly 99% alcohol, which means it is VERY potent and highly effective at killing off bacteria, germs, and viruses. Rubbing alcohol will serve as your disinfecting base of the hand sanitizer. As long as your recipe has no less than 60% alcohol (meaning no more than one part of other ingredients to two parts of rubbing alcohol), your hand sanitizer will be effective.

What Else Do You Need?

Here are a few simple ingredients that will be useful when making your own hand sanitizer:

Aloe Vera Gel – 

Do you know how most hand sanitizer kind of has a gel-like consistency? That’s often the result of chemical ingredients that both thicken the sanitizer and add to the potency of the cleansing factor. However, aloe vera gel will do the same thing just as effectively! It may be a bit stickier than commercially produced gels, but it’s equally good for adding a gel-like consistency to your DIY hand sanitizer. It will also nourish and protect your skin from dryness that might be caused by very potent rubbing alcohol.


Essential oils –

These are added not only for the beautiful smell, but for the many amazing properties they provide. You can get creative and add as many different types of essential oils as you want into your hand sanitizer, experimenting with both the scents and the various health benefits. 

Glycerol –

This one is a bit harder to find, but you can buy it online. Like aloe vera gel, it will stop the rubbing alcohol from drying out your skin. It will also thicken the hand sanitizer, especially when paired with hydrogen peroxide.

Distilled Water –

This helps to water down the alcohol if you’re not going to use aloe vera gel, as you won’t need as much glycerol to thicken the hand sanitizer. 

Not sure how to get mixing? It’s a lot easier than you’d think!

Two Basic DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipes

Here are two approaches to mixing up your own hand sanitizer:

Quick and Easy Gel Recipe:

For this recipe, you’ll need:

*Isopropyl alcohol (2 or 3 parts)

*Aloe vera gel (1 part)

*Essential oils (such as lavender, tea tree, or sage – no more than five drops)

*Mix the ingredients together, and you’ll have a beautiful-smelling, highly effective hand sanitizer.

More Complex, Less Sticky Recipe:

For this recipe, you’ll need:

*Isopropyl alcohol (12 fluid ounces)

*Glycerol (2 teaspoons)

*Hydrogen peroxide (1 tablespoon)

*Distilled water (3 fluid ounces)

*Mix all of these ingredients together into a spray bottle, and you’ll have a quick and easy solution that you can use to spray on your hands. 

Five Essential Oils to Experiment With 

Essential oils can offer a lot of benefits if you use them in the hand sanitizer! Not only will they add to the sanitization, but they’ll smell wonderful and offer secondary benefits that you will love. Here are a few of the best essential oils to try:

Sage – Sage contains potent antiviral properties, which makes it the perfect ingredient to add into your virus-killing hand sanitizer. The smell of the sage oil can also reduce congestion, aid in respiratory issues, and manage both flu and cold symptoms.

Peppermint – Peppermint is a potent anti-viral and anti-inflammatory agent. Using peppermint in your sanitizer will do wonders to kill off any microbes you come in contact with on a daily basis. The smell can also help to improve your respiratory function and reduce cold symptoms.

Fennel – Fennel is another potent virus-killing essential oil, one that can both increase immune function and decrease inflammation in your body.

Lemon Balm – Lemon balm contains plant compounds that are effective at fighting off viral infections, and can be effective against a number of strains of flu. Use it in your hand sanitizer for a beautiful citrus-heavy smell as well as its potent effects!

Tea Tree – Tea tree essential oil is a very potent antiviral agent, and you’ll find it is likely the most effective at killing off viruses and microbes that you come in contact with every day. Just a few drops in your hand sanitizer will be enough to leave your hands smelling beautifully minty and guaranteed clean!

Warning: Hand Sanitizer May be Dangerous!

The recipes included above are intended for use by professionals, and there is a serious risk of making your own homemade hand sanitizer. 

Improper mixtures may be ineffective, meaning your hands are still vulnerable to microbes. They can also lead to skin burns (if the alcohol is too strong) or irritation, and you may end up inhaling hazardous chemicals.

Your best bet is ALWAYS to go with store-bought hand sanitizer. However, these DIY hand sanitizer recipes can be a good back-up if your stores run out.