5 Easy Steps To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

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Do you want to know how to make hand sanitizer in order to keep the germs at bay?

Staying healthy is a priority any time of year. Right now, however, with the worldwide spread of COVID-19 (aka novel coronavirus) people are even more concerned with how to fight germs.

Good old fashioned hand washing is still my “go to” germ fighter (as recommended by doctors everywhere). I recognize, though, there will be times right now where I’ll need a little help so I plan to keep a small bottle with me.

Please note: This is not medical advice. This post is just a recipe and tutorial on how to make your own hand sanitizer so that you can have it on hand (pun intended) even if the stores are out.

I decided to create this quick tutorial on how to make hand sanitizer because How To Make a Chemo Port Pillow is the most popular post on Create To Donate. It got me thinking that a lot of cancer patients and other immunocompromised people who are already at risk are even more concerned about how this virus might affect them.

So, whether or not you know someone currently fighting cancer, you may already be donating handmade items to organizations who support patients and their families.

You can easily make hand sanitizer without breaking the bank, to give as a gift or donate to local organizations. And not just organizations that support cancer patients. Senior centers, family shelters, and groups that support the unhoused will also be in need of small bottles for their clients.

Hand Sanitizer Ingredients and Tools

It is easy to make hand sanitizer with the following ingredients and tools:

  • Isopropyl alcohol (>90%)
  • Pure aloe vera gel
  • Essential oils (optional)
  • Glass measuring cup (the lip of the cup helps with pouring)
  • Measuring spoons
  • Plastic fork (for stirring)
  • Small squeeze bottle (we found these on Amazon)
  • Sharpie, stickers, or painter’s tape (not pictured)

5 Easy Steps To Make Hand Sanitizer

This project is as simple as measuring and mixing ingredients together. Oh, and some pouring too…

There is a sequence to it, however, that I learned after a little of trial and error of my own.

The recipes I originally saw produced a larger batch than I wanted, so I tweaked it to allow you to start small. This recipe is for a 2 oz bottle of hand sanitizer. I also like this approach more because I can customized each bottle’s scent more easily.

For the purpose of this tutorial, I took a single recipe and placed it into two bottles. I wanted you to be able to see the difference between what the unscented and scented hand sanitizers look like.

Hand Sanitizer Recipe for 2 oz Bottle

  • 2 tbsp aloe vera gel
  • 3 tbsp isopropyl alcohol
  • 3 drops tea tree essential oil (for its antibacterial properties)
  • 8 drops orange essential oil (for its scent)

Here are the five easy steps to make your own 2 oz bottle of hand sanitizer.

1. Measure 2 tbsp of aloe vera gel and add them to your glass container

How to make hand sanitizer

2. Add 1 tbsp of isopropyl alcohol at a time to the container. Stir continually while adding each tablespoon. After stirring to combine the two ingredients, the mixture should be much thinner but not liquid. This was hard to photograph effectively. So I will explain: Take the tablespoon and hold it over the glass container then let the alcohol dribble into the aloe vera gel while you stir briskly with the fork.

3. Pour the mixture into the bottle.

The picture below shows the recipe separated into two bottles.

DIY hand sanitizer in bottles

4. Add essential oils. In this case, I used tea tree and orange. After adding the oils, secure the top and give the bottle a little shake to combine everything together.

It’s nice to have options. So I created one scented and one unscented bottle of hand sanitizer. Aside from orange, you could also use all kinds of essential oils. Some people recommend lavender, peppermint, or vanilla. I gravitate to citrus scents which is why I used orange this time. I may go wild and opt for grapefruit next time!

5. Label your bottle(s).

For this first go round, I just used a sharpie and painter’s tape. In the future, I will probably use some fun stickers to decorate the bottles, especially if I give them as gifts or donate them.

Make Hand Sanitizer In A Matter Of Minutes

Mixing together all of these ingredients takes a matter of minutes. All told, I imagine the total time was about a half an hour. This time frame includes: gathering all the materials together, mixing, pouring, labeling, and putting it all away.

If you make some DIY hand sanitizer and find a particular essential oil combination that you really like, please share in the comments below.