Chances of finding hand sanitizer in a store or online are slim. If you do find them, they’re probably outrageously expensive.
I am not giving any kind of medical advice. I am not a chemist. Please do your own research! Do not count on anything you read here as medical or safety advice!
Also, please use soap and warm water and wash your hands for at least 20 seconds, dry them with a clean paper towel and throw the towel away. Do it often! Hand sanitizer is never to be used in place of soap and water but used when you can’t get to soap and water.
Today we met friends out to eat. I washed my hands before we ate but we sat and talked, touched the outside of the glasses, touched the salt and pepper shakers, touched the ketchup bottle, and probably the table so before I ate, instead of going to the bathroom and washing my hands again, I used hand sanitizer, which I probably would not have done except for the virus. As I mentioned in an earlier post, when we’re in the car, especially with Rita, I’ll use hand sanitizer before we have snacks. I do feel there’s a time and place for hand sanitizer but never let that be your only method of leaning your hands.
So . . we can’t find hand sanitizer but we can easily make our own. The World Health Organization even has a recipe here.
Alcohol is the main ingredient needed to sanitize the hands. It needs to be at least 60% alcohol. You can add whatever other ingredients you want to add, so long as that alcohol percentage does not go below 60%. Suppose you were using 70% alcohol. You wouldn’t use 1/2 cup of alcohol and 1/2 cup of aloe gel. That would bring the alcohol content down to 35% (at least according to my calculations).
This webpage presents an understandable explanation of the percentages of alcohol to use.
91% alcohol is easy to find, or was a few weeks ago. 99% alcohol would probably be better but it isn’t as readily available in most stores.
The recipe I’ve always used is 2/3 cup 91% isopropyl alcohol and 1/3 cup aloe gel. That gets it to about 61% alcohol. I add a few drops of essential oil but not enough to ring it down to below 60% alcohol.
You can use fresh aloe gel or storebought aloe gel. I’ve read that fresh isn’t as “shelf stable” but I’ve never had a problem with it and I’ve made this for years.
I use a vegetable peeler and peel the skin from the flat side, then scoop the gel out using a grapefruit spoon.
If you’ve never messed with it before, it’s slimy and if you think about it, it’s kinda gross. Don’t think about it!
I put the gel in the Nutri Bullet to break it up, then add the alcohol, give it another whirl, add a few drops of essential oil, one more whirl and our it into whatever containers I’m going to use.
It will separate. The bottle on the right had been shaken just before I took the photo. The bottle on the left had been sitting. Just shake it up before using.
Also, this sanitizer is way more liquid than your typical gel type sanitizer. Be careful when pouring it out.
One last thing – I don’t add much scent, sometimes I don’t add any. To this batch I used Thieves blend from Young Living because it’s supposed to have good properties too. I mostly use hand sanitizer in my car and soon after using it, I will use hand lotion so that’s the main reason I don’t use scent in mine. I like those heavily scented lotions!
Just be very careful to take into account that whatever you add in will reduce the percentage of alcohol in your concoction.