Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipe

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Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipe


We get a lot of questions about making homemade hand sanitizer. Honestly, homemade hand sanitizer is one of those things I don’t make because you can buy it in large bottles for very little — probably less than buying the ingredients, especially if you buy things like essential oils for it.

I personally think it’s cheaper to just buy some sanitizer than to make homemade hand santizer. If you buy a big jug of it then the store bought sanitizer can last a really long time! Even though it’s not much cheaper, this is a very, very simple recipe and takes less than 5 minutes to make!

Homemade hand sanitizer tips:

Keep small lotion bottles that are empty to put your homemade hand sanitizer in for your purse, backpack, locker, lunchbox, car, changing table or diaper bag. It seems like we always have small samples of lotions that we are using up so this is a great way to recycle the bottles.

Another option to making homemade hand sanitizer would be to just put some rubbing alcohol in a small spray bottle (like the eyeglass cleaner bottle) and keep it in your purse. Then just spray a couple of times on each hand, rub together and you’re done with much less work and expense.

You can also put this in a old hand soap pump bottle and keep it on the counter. Of course decorate it!

You can put it in a cut little plastic container and give it as a gift to someone who is germaphobic.


Homemade Hand Sanitizer

1/3 cup of aloe Vera gel
2/3 cup of 99% rubbing alcohol
8-10 drops of essential oil, optional (such as vanilla, lavender, grapefruit, peppermint, etc.)

Mix ingredients. Put funnel in the opening of the bottle and pour the mixed ingredients into it.




  1. Tina Barrett says

    My sister in law and I shared the expense and made a big batch of hand sanitizer this fall when the flu season started. It worked great! We used the empty soap dispensers for everyday use, but we stored the extra in large empty syrup and ketchup bottles with flip tops. The squeeze bottles make it super easy to refill your pump bottle. We liked the lavender scent the best.

  2. Dineen says

    Most hand sanitizers are made with ethyl alcohol. (The kind you can drink.) You start slathering this stuff on your hands all the time and alcohol is absorbed and it makes you sick! That’s why they tell you not to rub down kids with alcohol to cool them when they have a fever. Grapefruit essential oil actually increases the absorption rate through the skin, making it more toxic!
    Don’t use this recipe, please.
    Use high alcohol vodka or something like Everclear instead. Even so, realize by “flavoring” it, you may be further tempting a young child to taste it and poison themselves. A danger with the commercial stuff already.
    Please, be safe. Be frugal, stick with soap and water. Don’t even use antibacterial agents that only create “superbugs”.

  3. Dineen says

    Please, Jill and Tawra consider removing that recipe. Look at a bottle of hand sanitizer and see the ingredients. Bottles of alcohol even say not to rub on large areas of the body… the way people are so into slathering that stuff on, over and over through out the day, I really worry.
    Dineen Ford
    Longtime reader trying to keep you out of trouble

  4. says

    While I appreciate your concern this is a recipe that you need to use common sense when making.

    If your kids like peppermint and are into “eating” everything then of course don’t make it.

    As for the amount of alcohol, the amount that you put on to sanitize your hands (less than a teaspoon) is certainly not going to harm anyone.

    I don’t think it’s necessary to pull the recipe since most people will find it helpful and use common sense.

  5. says

    For years I have used this solution for sanitizing and cleaning when on the road.
    We do a lot of hunting and so we get a lot of stuff on our hands when we are enjoying our sport.
    I keep a spray bottle of vinegar and water in the car at all times.
    Spray on your hands and rub it off.
    Vinegar is a natural sanitizer and it won’t harm anyone who decides to drink it.
    Spraying is easy for you to get it on the little ones hands and they rub it off which gets the dirt as well.

  6. Teresa says

    I agree with Tawra. Hand washing sized amounts of sanitizer are safe. The alcohol is further diluted by the aloe vera which suspends it. It is intended for use only on the hands, and misuse by goofballs is their own responsibility. Don’t dumb us down because others are irresponsible.

  7. Dawn-Michele says

    thanks for the recipe, I have a small house that has a bathroom without a sink. (it was originally for a handicapped man, only has a shower and toilet) anyway… I don’t carry the stuff around, but do keep it on the wall in a dispenser in this bathroom. This will make it super easy to keep the dispenser filled. I agree, people need to be responsible for their own decisions, good or bad. I love having the information and making my own decisions!

  8. DRS says

    Since manufacturers of commercial hand-sanitizer have collectively decided to add perfumes to their product, this recipe is especially useful to allergy sufferers. There are too many unnecessary scents in products these days.

    The vinegar spray is a wonderful suggestion and one I have also used over the years.

    Though I agree that in most cases soap and water is sufficient, Dineen should realize that in some locations the water may not be the safest to use.

  9. Sylvia says

    Thanks for the recipe. Maybe the “food grade” vodka would be a good suggestion in parenthesis in the recipe. I believe that is what I will use. I too am a firm believer in vinegar.

  10. Rob says

    I personally cannot use many hand sanitizers, because I have an allergy to aloe. But the vinegar solution might be an option. Is it posted on your website somewhere?

  11. Anne says

    This is a great recipe for me as I have celiac and most of the commercial products on the market use either oat or wheat extract to soften the skin. As I have to avoid both I cannot purchase any of the ones on the market at present.

    As to the people with concerns about this recipe and want it removed, simply don’t make it for yourselves or use apple cider vinegar rather than the alcohol used in the recipe.

    Just because people MIGHT use it incorrectly doesn’t mean that no one should have the information.

  12. rose says

    and some of those hand sanitizers are soooo expensive and smell like stinkweed too (i have smelled one that my daughter got one as a “free” gift when she bought some kind of cosmetic .. and yes, it had a terrible smell to it (maybe that is why they gave it away bc no one would buy it) .. and then i have smelled some that really nice too ..
    i have to agree with the one person who said to keep the recipe .. if you agree wiht the ingredients and want to make it . there’s a recipe ..
    if you dont, then dont make it or find another recipe that you like the ingredients ..
    that is what is so great about or country … we have these freedoms to choose .. esp if we want to live more on the “green” side or we want to buy the stuff in the stores ..
    either way, enjoy what u have and want … 😀

  13. Cindy says

    I think this recipe is as safe really as what people buy so long as you use common sense. The only thing I would be careful about is putting rubbing alcohol on your hands undiluted by the emolient ( aloe vera). Using rubbing alcohol alone will kill the good bacteria as well as the bad which in turn can cause you problems. Anyway….I LOVE this website, it has helped save so much money and because of this, my husband and I can live great on one income. Thanks for letting people know the truth about the consumer market!! Blessings to all and “life more abundant” as our Lord taught us.

  14. John Williams says

    Tawra, common sense should never be assumed.
    And, not everyone will know all the background to the topic even if you do.
    I suggest that if you know of a possible downside to a tip, mention it in the same posting.
    You are being responsible and also help people like me that don’t know of the caution required with alcohol on skin.
    Not everyone that reads the tip will know that.

  15. Liz says

    I appreciate all the recipes on the website as a source to save money. As several others have mentioned, use of any product needs to be done with common sense. Even commercial hand sanitizers shouldn’t be used in abundance with small children, particularly when their hands are going directly in their mouths. Thanks for the recipes. Don’t know if I’ll use this one, but I’m glad to know it’s an option.

  16. lillithree says

    the small amount that it actually takes to sanitize in proportion ratio to the hands, even over time would not build up and harm or kill the individual. If the person using it is slathering on that much, they have an OCD problem and a loved needs to take it away and seek them help…… much like repetitive hand washing. Retired health professional and mother of 13.

  17. Maidmirawyn says

    Thanks for this recipe! I know I could buy hand sanitizer at Bath and Body Works, but I don’t like the ingredient list.

    I rarely use it myself, though I carry it. During allergy season or if I have a cold, I use it before the welcome time at church. (Hey, I like my church family! Don’t want want to infect them.) but my husband is an elementary school librarian, so I make him keep some on hand. With staffing cuts, he’s often tied to the checkout desk when he’s not teaching, and kids are such little plague carriers! He gets sick a lot less this way. He also uses it when he teaches piano lessons, since he and the kids are both touching the keys constantly.

    Thanks again!

  18. Carol says

    Great ideas! I tried the vodka one and loved it. I also keep a travel pack of Huggies Baby Wipes in my car I pour Hydrogen Peroxide in the package and use the wipes to cleanse hands, shopping cart handles and if I spill something on my clothes like food. Peroxide won’t hurt you and the baby wipes also smell fresh and are soft. We also take them into the restaurant to freshen up after handling the menu. You think about it… Sometimes those things are gross! Blessings!!!

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