Ok, so we know what happened. Because most people were unprepared, stores got raided. There's long lines, supply chain issues and utter chaos at most stores around the country. It's been an absolute madhouse trying to get supplies to deal with the Corona Quarantine.
Well, the fortunate news is that most people are unaware of an easy little trick to make nearly an unlimited amount of hand sanitizer while avoiding the panic and the lines.
To first learn how to make your own hand sanitizer, let's look at what the actual ingredients of a consumer hand-sanitizer. This was purchased at a major pharmacy before supplies ran out.
The ingredients are as follows: purified water, Lavendula angustifolia (Lavender) Essential oil, Organic Aloe barbadensis leaf, Glycerin. Notice the Active ingredient is Ethanol @ 62%. We're aiming for a minimum of 60% alcohol to other ingredients.
As a side note, you're not supposed to capitalize the species in the binomial nomenclature in biology for the names of the plants. That would be the second word for those who are not familiar with biology.
So here's how to make your own hand sanitizer.
- Small 2 oz spray bottle
- Large pump spray bottle
- 500mL beaker
- Essential Oils
- Vitamin E Oil
- Tea Tree Oil
- Aloe Extract
- Vegetable Glycerin
- Povidone Iodine (optional)
- Isopropyl Alcohol OR 95% Grain Alcohol (Everclear)
- Pour 500mL of grain alcohol or isopropyl alcohol into your 500mL beaker
- Pour this out into the large pump spray bottle. This is going to be your storage that you'll use to refill the smaller containers with. This is also great for spraying down large areas of skin or clothing.
- Pour 100mL of Aloe Extract in the Beaker.
- Remove any chunks with a fork or strainer.
- Pour the Aloe into the spray bottle.
- Add 10-15 drops of your favorite essential oils. I like Lavender and Lemon in mine.
- Add 10mL Tea Tree oil
- Add 30mL Vitamin E Oil
- Add 30mL Vegetable Glycerin
- Mix thoroughly by shaking vigorously
- Add to small 2 oz spray bottle for portability & Enjoy!
I've see a lot of Wal Marts and other pharmacies run out of Isopropyl alcohol. Amazon's currently out too. So it's time to get a bit creative here. A lot of liquor stores carry a brand of 95% ethanol called Everclear. You're basically looking for Grain alcohol and anything above 60% will do. The goal of this mixture is to maintain at least 60% alcohol and allow the mixture to stay on any surface needing to be sanitized for at least 30 seconds. So the ratio of alcohol to other ingredients is usually 3:1.
Since you have 95% alcohol x 1/3 = 68% which meets our minimum alcohol amount. Giving us about 8% wiggle room to maintain the right antiseptic qualities of the alcohol.
This is why we mix the oils and the aloe extract. It not only makes your skin super soft, but it also helps dilute the mixture so it doesn't evaporate so quickly. 95% alcohol tends to be very volatile and therefore combustable. It evaporates nearly instantly on any surface, hence why we need something to extend the time the alcohol stays on the surface.
The vitamin E oils helps to soften your skin. The Tea Tree oil adds another layer of anti-microbial qualities to the spray. The other essential oils add a nice smell when the alcohol evaporates leaving your skin feeling fresh and nice.
You have 2 options. Get either grain alcohol (ethanol @ 95%) from your local liquor store. Or get isopropyl alcohol from your local grocery store (minimum 70%).
This is going to be just as effective as the “official” ones you can buy in the store.
Because it's the same ingredients. Look at the back of the ingredients list of your hand sanitizer (above). You will see either ethanol or isopropyl alcohol as the main active ingredients.
Occasionally, you will see some with antibiotics, or iodine-based cleaners, but by and large it's just alcohol. Once the main anti-septics run out, you can start using povidone-iodine. This is super effective and is used pre-surgery. But, this is not my favorite option because it does tend to stain hands and clothing. However, it is just as, if not more effective than alcohol.
Please comment if you have questions.
Please note, there are affiliate links above, we may get compensated for promoting the links.
If you don't want to go through the trouble of making your own hand sanitizer, you can also purchase one here.