Coronavirus is causing a run on grocery stores, and hand sanitizer is on many people’s lists. If you can’t find hand sanitizer to buy, can you make it? The answer is yes.
The World Health Organization has a detailed planning sheet for making hand sanitizer. You can find it here. It’s pretty complicated, though.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, “CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. But if soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others. The guidance for effective handwashing and use of hand sanitizer in community settings was developed based on data from a number of studies.”
Here’s a roundup of easy DIY recipes for hand sanitizer:
Wired offers a simpler recipe for a quick gel recipe. Here it is:
Aloe vera gel
Tea tree oil
“Mix 3 parts isopropyl alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel. Add a few drops of tea tree oil to give it a pleasant scent and to align your chakras,” Wired reports.
The Spruce also has a recipe for homemade hand sanitizer. For this recipe, you would need:
“2/3 cup 99 percent rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol
1/3 cup aloe vera gel
8 to 10 drops essential oil, optional.”
The Spruce advises you to mix the ingredients together and then pour them into a bottle with pump dispenser. It’s that simple!
Live Simply also offers a DIY hand sanitizer recipe. This recipe calls for the following:
“3 TB 190 proof alcohol or at least 120 proof or rubbing alcohol or witch hazel (the original recipe called for witch hazel, however, alcohol is considered the best)
1 TB aloe vera (this is to prevent hands from drying out from the alcohol)
1/2 tsp vegetable glycerin or vitamin E oil
20 drops tea tree essential oil
10 drops lavender essential oil.”
The site advises you to mix the ingredients in a bowl and then put in a bottle. That’s it!
52 Perfect Days.com offers this recipe:
2 oz glass spray bottle
10 drops Lavender oil
6 drops Lemongrass oil
25 drops of Tea Tree oil
1 ounce (6 teaspoons) Aloe Vera gel
2 ounces (12 teaspoons) grain or Isopropyl alcohol* or you can use witch hazel
1 tsp Vitamin E oil
The site suggests that, per the CDC, you use “hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol content.”
The CDC does advise, “Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs.”
Adds CDC: “Why? Soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizers at removing certain kinds of germs, like Cryptosporidium, norovirus, and Clostridium difficile. Although alcohol-based hand sanitizers can inactivate many types of microbes very effectively when used correctly people may not use a large enough volume of the sanitizers or may wipe it off before it has dried.”
CDC also advises:
“Hand sanitizers may not be as effective when hands are visibly dirty or greasy.”
“Hand sanitizers might not remove harmful chemicals, like pesticides and heavy metals, from hands.”
“If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.”
Explains CDC, “Many studies have found that sanitizers with an alcohol concentration between 60–95% are more effective at killing germs than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers 16,20. Hand sanitizers without 60-95% alcohol 1) may not work equally well for many types of germs; and 2) merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright.”
The agency further suggests, “When using hand sanitizer, apply the product to the palm of one hand (read the label to learn the correct amount) and rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry.”
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