DIY hand sanitizer is easy, effective, and cheap. With flu season, and the added coronavirus upon us, pharmacy’s and grocery stores are finding themselves running low on hand sanitizer. So here is what you need to know to make your own effective hand sanitizer.
Hand Washing Should Be Your First Line of Defense
First, whenever possible wash your hands. This is more effective than hand sanitizer in stopping the spread of flu, cold, or the coronavirus. Soaping up the hands for at least 20 seconds, then rinsing will remove the germs from the skin. Hand sanitizer kills the germs, but they remain on the skin.
When washing your hands isn’t possible hand sanitizer is an effective option, as are disinfecting wipes for surfaces like grocery carts, doorknobs etc. Germs can live on surfaces for up to 2 weeks, so disinfecting can be a useful step in stopping the spread of illness. During flu season regularly disinfecting surfaces, toys, electronics, and toothbrushes can decrease the probability of illness, or those nasty repeat episodes.
Efficacy of DIY Hand Sanitizer
In order for a hand sanitizer to be effective it must be 60% alcohol, anything lower than that reduces effectiveness dramatically. There are many recipes floating around with alcohol levels far too low to be effective. Pay attention to the kind of alcohol you purchase and the safe dilution ratios. Note: vodka does not contain a high enough alcohol content to be substituted in sanitizer recipes.
Isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol comes in a variety of strengths. Each calls for a different recipe.
Recipes For DIY Hand Sanitizer
70% alcohol should be mixed 9 parts alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel i.e. 9 tablespoons alcohol to 1 tablespoon aloe vera gel.
91% alcohol should be mixed 2 parts alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel.
99% alcohol should be mixed 3 parts alcohol to 2 parts aloe vera gel.
After applying allow the sanitizer to completely dry on your skin before applying a moisturizer.
Recipe for Cleaning Wipes
Honestly, this isn’t a recipe. The most effective disinfecting wipe is to simply take a paper towel, or a cloth, dip it in rubbing alcohol, and wipe the surface you wish to disinfect. This method will guarantee a high alcohol level that will leave surfaces germ free.
You can easily fill a small glass or plastic jar with alcohol. If you carry that and a wash cloth you can wipe down grocery carts and door handles while you are out and about. Think of it as a public service.