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Hand Sanitizer Recipe | Best DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe from a Dermatologist


Mahlagha Homayouni


April 1, 2021


Hand Sanitizer is an alcohol-based recipe that could be used as an alternative for washing hands with soap and water. After the breakout of Coronavirus, demand for this product reached its peak and many providers can not keep up with its demand. Fortunately, this product only requires three ingredients that could be produced at home.

Hand Sanitizer

In the following article, we will cover all aspects of homemade hand sanitizer recipes, so you can read this article to know all the pros and cons of making this product at your home.

We also suggest you read this article: Routine At Home Skin Care Tips and Tricks


skin assessment

What is hand sanitizer?

Hand sanitizers are alcohol-based solutions to clean the hands when water and soap are not available. These products are made simply by a recipe in which 70% methanol is put together with a moisturizer ingredient like aloe vera gel. Various types of sanitizers are available in the market that you can choose a suitable one from them. The main ingredients used in these products include alcohol, a lightener gel, and also essential oils to deliver their various benefits to the skin.

It should be noted that these manufactured products are ready to use and there is no risk in using them at least in a conventional way. However, methanol is a toxic alcohol that could lead to adverse effects like nausea, vomiting, and headache. Thus, if you bought a sanitizer containing methanol, you should stop using it. check it

When you try to make a homemade hand sanitizer you should act very carefully and avoid eating or using methanol in your recipe. Eating methanol could be fatal and will lead to blinding or even death; therefore you should be careful to avoid using it when you try to make a recipe.

Hand Sanitizer

Chapter 1

How to make a hand sanitizer?

A lot of different DIY methods are available for making a sanitizer at your home. According to studies and warnings, a sanitizer that contains at least 60% of alcohol could be effective in killing germs. In DIY methods, this translates to mixing 2 parts alcohol with 1 part emollient. When this mixture is provided accurately with the proper ratio, it could be effective, but when you trying to make it without any professional measurement tools, that might lead to a different ratio. It should be noted that in 2-1 part recipes, the alcohol that is used should at least be 91%, meaning if you use 70% alcohol, you can not reach a working sanitizer.

Some recipes even suggest readers to use vodka to provide a homemade sanitizer. That’s while the alcohol in vodka is roughly 40%, which means could not be used for cleaning purposes. However, you should use 91% or more alcohol in the following way to DIY some hand sanitizer at home:

–       2 parts 91% rubbing alcohol

–       1 part emollient, like aloe vera gel or glycerin

–       A few drops of essential oils (optional)

As we mentioned earlier, because you are trying to make this product simply at your home, you should try to use the right amount of any ingredient.

skin assessment

Making hand sanitizer process tips

To make an effective and working sanitizer, you should consider the following tips:

–       Before making sanitizer, clean the surface on which you want to mix ingredients. This will prevent the penetration of germs and dirt into your sanitizer

–       Before making the sanitizer thoroughly wash your hands

–       To mix ingredients use a clean spoon and whisk. These items also should be washed carefully before application

–       Make sure the alcohol that you are using is not diluted and contains at least 91% alcohol

–       Mix all these ingredients thoroughly until reaching a blended mixture

–       Don’t touch the mixture with your hands before it is ready for use

World Health Organization (WHO) provided a formula for a sanitizer that uses:

–       Isopropyl alcohol or ethanol

–       Hydrogen peroxide

–       Glycerol

–       Sterile distilled/boiled cold water

Hand Sanitizer

We suggest you read:

Harmful Skincare ingredients for dry skin and their effects in worsening situation

Chapter 2

Are home hand sanitizers safe?

With the outbreak of Coronavirus, DIY hand sanitizer recipes could be found everywhere. But are these recipes safe? The short answer is that these recipes are designed to be produced by professionals who have both the required expertise and resources to mix these ingredients. So what’s the point with these recipes?

They are only recommended in extreme situations when you don’t have access to water and soap to wash your hands. When you try to make a mixture without suitable ingredients or using improper proportions that might lead to:

–       Lack of efficiency. That means sanitizer would not effectively work.

–       Skin injury, irritation, and burns

–       Risk of inhaling hazardous chemicals

These recipes are not recommended for children, because they may be more prone to using an improper product, which can result in greater injury.

Hand Sanitizer

How to use hand sanitizer effectively

When you are using hand sanitizer, you should simply be aware of two things:

–       You should rub it until your hands become dry

–       You can not use it for cleaning grease or dirt, so if your hands are greasy or dirty you should wash them before applying sanitizer

With keeping these considerations in mind, you should take the following steps to make sure that your hands are sanitized:

–       Apply the sanitizer to one hand’s palm

–       Rup your hand together thoroughly. Cover it on the entire surface of your hands and fingers

–       Continue rubbing for 1 minute or until your hands become dry. It might take at least 1 minute or more for the sanitizer to kill the germs

skin assessment

Effective hand sanitizer recipes

As we mentioned earlier, the best way to clean your hands and killing germs is simply the old fashioned way of washing hands with soap and water. Hand sanitizers are an alternative for situations in which you don’t have access to water and soap.

However, for extreme situations that you don’t have access to water, you can use the following recipes to make an effective hand sanitizer at your home. When you are trying to make these recipes, use the proper tools to mix the right amounts of ingredients. The following sanitizer recipes are recommended by professional dermatologists and are recommended by global organizations.

Chapter 3

WHO-approved hand sanitizer recipes

WHO recommends using the following ingredients in your homemade recipe:

–       Isopropyl alcohol 99.8% – 7515 ml

–       Hydrogen peroxide 3% – 417 ml

–       Glycerol 98% – 145 ml

–       Sterile distilled or boiled cold water

WHO also recommends using the following tools when you are trying to make a homemade hand sanitizer:

– 10-liter glass or plastic bottles with screw-threaded stoppers

– 50-liter translucent plastic tank

–       Stainless steel tanks with a capacity of 80-100-liter

–       Measuring jugs and cylinders

–       Plastic funnel

–       100 ml plastic bottles

–       500 ml glass

–       An alcoholmeter

Hand Sanitizer

WHO instructions

WHO provides the following directions to make an effective hand sanitizer:

–       Pour the alcohol into the tank or large bottle

–       Add hydrogen peroxide to the mixture using a measuring cylinder

–       Add glycerol with measuring cylinder. You should use sterile distilled or boiled cold water to rinse glycerol then empty into the rest of the mixture

–       Top up the bottle or tank to the 10-liter mark with sterile water

–       Place the gap or gap on as quickly as possible

–       Mix the solution gently

–       Then immediately divide the mix into small bottles, and place these bottles in quarantine for 72 hours. This destroys all spores that are likely present in the alcohol.

WHO also recommends using an alcoholmeter to control the quality of the final product. This will help you to make sure that you are using a suitable hand sanitizer. This recipe is introduced by the World Health Organization and could be used to provide a reliable sanitizer.

Chapter 4

Hand sanitizers with essential oils


You can also use various essential oils to benefit their value. Each essential oil has its features and you can choose them by these features. Essential oils are strong ingredients that should be used in low amounts in various solutions. Only a few drops of essential oils could be enough for delivering their benefits to the final product. However, you can use the following essential oils to make an effective sanitizer that also contains some other helpful ingredients:

Tea tree oil

Tea tree oil is one of the most popular ingredients in the world of skin care products. These essential oils contain several properties that could contribute to the quality of the final product. Some of the most promising properties of this oil include:

–       Antifungal

–       Antimicrobial

–       Antiseptic

–       Antiviral

–       Antibacterial

You can add a few drops of tea tree oil to your mixture to benefit these properties.


Lavender is another essential oil that could be used in making homemade hand sanitizer. This essential oil also contains all properties of tea tree oil; however, its antiseptic and antiviral properties come first. You can simply add a few drops of lavender essential oil to your mixture to have herbal properties in your final product. (https://oneessentialcommunity.com/diy-hand-sanitizer-spray-essential-oils/)

Other Essential oils

Several essential oils contain properties that make them good candids for usage in hand sanitizer production. Some of these essential oils work better against bacterial and fungal germs while others work better against viruses. However, the entire following essential could be used in producing homemade sanitizers:

–       Geranium essential oil: antifungal, antibacterial, antiviral, antiseptic

–       Lemon essential oil: antimicrobial, antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal

–       Sweet or wild orange essential oil: antiseptic, antiviral, antifungal, antibacterial

–       Eucalyptus essential oil: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antiseptic, antimicrobial

–       Rosemary essential oil: antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, antimicrobial

–       Cinnamon essential oil: antibacterial, antifungal, antiviral, antimicrobial, antiseptic

–       Clove essential oil: antiviral, antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal

–       Thyme essential oil: antibacterial, antiviral, antifungal, antimicrobial, antiseptic

–       Peppermint essential oil: antiseptic, antibacterial, antiviral

Hand Sanitizer

As we mentioned earlier, essential oils are strong ingredients that should be used in low amounts to be safe. However, it should be noted that lemon essential oil could be dangerous for those who have sunburns. You should be aware of the possible side effects of these oils and if you saw any sign, you should stop using the produced mix.

More considerations

It should be noted that these instructions are designed for extreme situations in which you don’t have access to water and soap on one hand and market and manufactured products on other hand. That is because mixing these compounds and chemical materials could be hazardous for your health. However, in the following, we will introduce various considerations that should be regarded when you want to make a homemade hand sanitizer.

Use proper alcohol

Several types of alcohol are present at the market that could be used in your homemade hand sanitizer. You can buy rubbing alcohol whether in 90-99% concentration of 70%. It is recommended to use at least 91% alcohol to make an effective sanitizer. When you have no other options but 70% alcohol, you have little room to add other ingredients. That means you can simply add drops of essential oils to your mixture.

One of the main reasons for using emollient or carrier oils in homemade sanitizers is that alcohol makes our skin dry. Using more than 90% of alcohol helps you to have moisturized skin after applying sanitizer to your skin. In other words, you can disinfect various surfaces with 70% alcohol including your skin, but it may lead to dry skin and various damages to your skin.

Hand Sanitizer

As we mentioned earlier, lower concentrations of alcohol similarly can lead to an ineffective hand sanitizer. Therefore, you can not use vodka’s alcohol to make an effective sanitizer. This concentration is not good even for cleaning various surfaces at home and could not be used as a disinfecting ingredient.

Carrier oil

You should use a carrier oil or emollient to reduce the side effects of using alcohol on your face. The proper amount that is required to be effective is 1 part of carrier oil with 2 parts of 90% alcohol. Several DIY recipes suggest readers use aloe vera gel as their main emollient. That is because aloe vera gel is a natural emollient that has many skin-friendly properties. Using this natural oil can easily make your homemade hand sanitizer an effective product that could be used without causing your skin becomes dry.

When you try to use 70% alcohol, you can not add emollient, which means your final sanitizer will not be a moisturizer. Mixing 70% alcohol with emollient leads to a final product with lower than 60% alcohol that is required for disinfecting by various health organizations.  When you use aloe vera gel as an emollient, you can simply use it to disinfect your hand without any worry about your skin dryness.

Washing hands or using hand sanitizer?

When it comes to disinfection and killing germs, the old fashioned way of washing hands with soap and water is the best option. Washing your hands both clears and disinfects your hands, while using sanitizers can not clear dirt or grease from your hands. Therefore, when it is possible to wash your hands, don’t use sanitizers because washing your hands is a more effective way.

However, when you don’t have access to water and soap, your only option would be using these sanitizers. To be effective, you should apply sanitizer on your hands and rub them for at least 1 minute, which is required for killing germs. In other words, you should rub your hands till the sanitizer absorbs into your skin and your hands becoming dry.

You should remember that your best option for disinfecting your hand is simply to use soap and water. However, you should also have sanitizers for extreme situations in which you don’t have access to soap and water.

Hand Sanitizer

Homemade sanitizers or manufactured ones?

As we mentioned earlier, several recipes that are available on the internet are originally designed to be used by professionals who have access to both measurement tools and are aware of how to mix chemical combinations. Besides these recipes, a lot of manufactured sanitizers are available at the market. These products are mixed mechanically using an accurate ratio to be effective.

Buying these products to use in extreme situations in which you don’t have access to water and soap is a wise choice. They are ready-made products that could be simply sprayed on your hand.

Only when you can not find suitable products at the market, or when you don’t have access to the market, you should try to make a homemade hand sanitizer. Mixing chemical materials could be dangerous and hazardous, thus it is recommended to avoid using these instructions when you have access to the market.

Using sterilize water

As we mentioned earlier, you should use sterilize water or boiled cold water to make sure that water infections could not reduce the effectiveness of your sanitizer. This will help you keep your mixture clean and according to the ratio. Sterilize water is preferred, but you can also use boiled water if you don’t have access to sterilize water.

Using clean tools and space

Any dirt or infections on the surfaces of the space you use for making your hand sanitizer should be cleaned and disinfected. That means you should clean the table on which you want to mix the material, cleans and disinfects all involved containers, and make the space as clean as possible.

As we mentioned earlier, the WHO provides a checklist for the required space and tools. You should take these requirements seriously as without them your sanitizer will not be effective. You should also use clear containers in this process to see the mixture.

Don’t use essential oils a lot

Essential oils are strong ingredients that when used in large amounts could be dangerous. These oils should be used in very low amounts, for example, 10 drops in a 2-liter mixture of alcohol and aloe vera gel. Using more than this amount can lead to allergic reactions and other types of skin damages.

Hand Sanitizer

You should also make sure that you are using suitable essential oil, as they contain various types of properties that could be used for different skin types. The main reason for using essential oils is to deliver their antiviral and antimicrobial features to your hand sanitizer. Therefore, using these materials in large amounts could lead to unwanted challenges and risks.

Don’t change the ratio with other ingredients

Many people think that using other ingredients, such as various types of herbs and plants could add to the effectiveness of the sanitizer. Thus, they put various types of these ingredients in large amounts in their mixture to deliver their benefits on their skin. This can lead to improper ratio sanitizer that won’t work properly.

Simply try to keep the formula just like the instructions. Any final mixture that contains less than 60% alcohol can not be effective in disinfection.

Hand Sanitizer

Last Words

Several types of hand sanitizer recipes are available on the internet. We tried to cover several recipes and show how you can mix ingredients with alcohol at home to provide an effective sanitizer. However, for the disinfection of viral and microbial infections, the best option is simply using soap and water. This will clean and disinfect your hands at the same time. However, sanitizers are effective for your hand’s disinfection when you don’t have access to water and soap. After washing hands with soap and water, using manufactured sanitizers is your best option. That’s because you don’t have to mix potential hazardous chemicals.

DIY hand sanitizers should be regarded as a final unavoidable option, because their production is risky, and with few mistakes, they might become ineffective. However, the main recipe that should be used is a formula with more than 60% alcohol including an emollient such as aloe vera gel. This emollient helps your skin to keep its moisture when you using alcohol that causes our skin to become dry. You can also add a few drops of essential oils to deliver their benefits and amazing odor to your homemade sanitizer.

Finally, you can see a summary of all that has been said in the form of this infographic.

Hand Sanitizer Recipe


Can I use hand sanitizer to prevent the spread of the coronavirus disease?

If soap and water are not readily available, use a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol. Cover all surfaces of your hands and rub them together until they feel dry. Avoid touching your eyes, nose, and mouth with unwashed hands.

Does hand sanitizer kill the COVID-19 virus?

Hand sanitizer destroys viruses that are similar to the novel coronavirus, so experts believe it will work against the novel coronavirus, too.

Can one make self-made hand sanitizer?

FDA recommends that consumers do not make their own hand sanitizer. If made incorrectly, hand sanitizer can be ineffective, and there have been reports of skin burns from homemade hand sanitizer. The agency lacks verifiable information on the methods being used to prepare hand sanitizer at home and whether they are safe for use on human skin.

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