With fears of the coronavirus (COVID-19) causing a run on pharmacies for everything from masks to hand sanitizers, it can be hard to find things to help reduce the likelihood of catching this virus. One of the recommended courses of action to help combat the spread of this virus is vigorous hand washing but for the times when you can not get to a sink, keeping a hand sanitizer on your person is helpful. With many stores now sporting empty shelves, we thought that teaching you how to make your own hand sanitizer would be helpful.
The ingredients needed are simple and as of last night, my local Walgreens had plenty of supplies on hand for me to make my own version that is effective enough for me to use on my train commute. Now, to be clear, we know that the virus is transmitted via particles in the air, but scientists are also clear in stating that hand washing, social distancing, and additional hygiene practices can lower the chance of contracting the virus. For times when you can not get to wash your hand, this hand sanitizer might come in handy.
- Rubbing or isopropyl (91% to 99%) alcohol (3 parts)
- Aloe vera gel (1 part)
- Witch hazel or vegetable glycerin can be used as a substitute to aloe vera gel
- Essential oil (optional)
All that you need to do is combine the ingredients together very well and add a few drops of any essential oil (peppermint, lavender, orange, etc.) so that you don’t smell like you’ve downed a bottle of gin and put the combined product into a small bottle that will fit into your bag.
I want to be clear that this hand sanitizer does not replace washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and warm water. That solution is proven to be the most effective way to rid your hands of bacteria and germs, but, if you can not get to a sink, using this homemade hand sanitizer might be helpful. All hand sanitizers must contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective. Substituting drinking alcohol will not be effective as alcohols like vodka and gin contain a significant amount of water. Let me be clear: do not use vodka, gin, rum, or any other spirit as a substitute for rubbing alcohol.
If the items are sold out you can still very easily find them all on Amazon. Cost-effective versions of each product have been linked to directly. If those items are sold out, here’s a sneaky replacement – moistened eyeglasses wipes. They are basically 70% alcohol or more and just packaged and marketed differently. Use the wipes on your hands and dispose of them accordingly. You may need a bit of hand lotion to even out the dryness.