Try this quick and easy homemade hand sanitizer recipe to make your own homemade hand sanitizer. You’ll also find easy tips for saving money on hand sanitizer.
Hand sanitizer has been growing in popularity in recent years, but demand for it has exploded since the scare over the Covid-19 virus began. Were you in the stores when it was impossible to find soap, sanitizer and even toilet paper?
We get a lot of questions about whether we have a homemade hand sanitizer recipe. Honestly, hand sanitizer is one of those things I don’t usually 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.
Some people really go overboard, but if you want yours to have an unusual scent that is especially appealing or meaningful to you or if you just want to know what is actually in your hand sanitizer, homemade might be for you!
I personally think it’s cheaper to just buy some sanitizer than to make homemade sanitizer. 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! If you can’t find sanitizer in the store or if you just prefer to make your own, you’ll find our easy homemade hand sanitizer recipe below.
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.
If you can’t find 99% rubbing alcohol 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 homemade hand sanitizer recipe into an old hand soap pump bottle and keep it on the counter. Of course, decorate it!
You can put it in a cute little plastic container and give it as a gift to someone who is germaphobic.
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Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipe
1/3 cup of aloe vera gel
2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol*
8–10 drops of essential oil, optional (such as vanilla, lavender, grapefruit, peppermint, etc.)
Mix all of the ingredients. Put a funnel in the opening of the bottle and pour the mixed ingredients into it.
*If you can’t find 99% rubbing alcohol just use less aloe for a thinner hand sanitizer and put in a spray bottle.
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.
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”.
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.
Longtime reader trying to keep you out of trouble
Most are made with rubbing alcohol actually…isopropyl alcohol.
Alchohol closes pores….this is why if you are having heat stroke, you get in the shade, use cold water, ice etc. fever probably the same!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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?
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.
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 … :D
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.
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.
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.
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.
Hi, do you have a recipe for homemade makeup remover?
No we don’t but I just use baby shampoo.
Baby wipes also work great for removing makeup. Gentle but effective.
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.
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!!!
Thank you for this recipe. I will definitely try it!
To jump in on makeup removal: I have very sensitive skin. To remove eye makeup, I use Vaseline. Not only does it remove eye makeup, it also moisterizes the eyes. Vaseline also does not burn the eyes like most of the makeup removers. As of the other parts of the face I just use a non-perfumed cheap liquid soap. This soap also dries up all oily areas on the face. I then replace dry skin with cocoa lotion.
Tawra, Thanks again for all you and your family do!
donna j burham
Tawra and Jill:
thanks so much for posting. As I write this, March 6, 2020, there isn’t a bottle of sanitizer to be had in all of Massachusetts. Further, what is coming in is price gouged! I refuse to be held hostage by these big companies so will make my own! taking advantage of folks panic is just so wrong! thank you again
By the way – you may not be able to find 99% rubbing alcohol, but 91% is common. I heard on radio that it needs to be 70+ percent (So, Vodka wouldn’t work for example). 91% Isopropyl should be easier to find and cheap and effective! There’s also no sanitizers available in VA ;)
Most of the hand sanitizers have 60%-70% rubbing alcohol so getting 70% will work if you can find it. Our Walmart is completely out of all rubbing alcohol and all hand sanitizers. I found a few at Family Dollar so that might work for some of you. I hope this helps. These are scary times we are in.
I also want to thank you for a very simple hand sanitizer recipe. I live in Las Vegas and I COULD NOT BELIEVE
that there is NO hand sanitizer to be had. So I will make some – it will probably be more fun than going to the store and buying it.
I’m going to make this. It’s not that soap and water won’t work but there are times you can’t be near a sink. No sanitizers to be had in Western New York either and I refuse to spend $50.00 for a bottle of Purell on Amazon. Thank you for sharing and be well.
I’m having trouble getting the gel to mix with the alcohol….can I heat it slightly?? I shook it and as soon as I stop the gel just settle back on the bottom
having the same issue…
Mary Ann Mehegan
If you cannot find Rubbing Alcohol, another idea is buy EverClear in a liquor store. It is very high alcohol content.
Mary Ann Mehegan
FYI- Per the CDC, a hand sanitizer needs to contain at least 60% alcohol.
Rev. Philip E. Evans
EverClear (depending on the source and brand) is usually 75% or more.
i am excited i am going to attempt
I loved your nails for St Paddy’s day. You were going to mention where and how. I would love to have my nails look like yours
The aloe does not dissolve. Anyone else have this problem?
Take a whisk and whisk up really well
I had the same problem. Whisk also did not work. Used my Vitamix. Worked perfectly.
Since Aloe Vera gel is almost impossible to buy in stores or th e online variety too expensive, can this recipe use aloe Vera after sub gel as a substitute? Just wondering
You really don’t need the aloe if you just can’t find it. You can just use the alcohol and then rinse your hands. The main thing the aloe is for is that if you use alcohol by itself all the time it could be drying so that is what the aloe is for.
Should read “after SUN gel”
Do not know for sure Kathleen you might try googling it
We made this and it is very watery. It not the same consistently as the hand sanitizers in the stores. Is that the way it’s supposed to be?
It really doesn’t matter. Your aloe is maybe a little thinner than some. It won’t affect it. You can just rub your hands with the alcohol and it will kill everything if you don’t want to go through all the trouble of mixing everything. The aloe is just to help with dryness. Doesn’t matter if it is thick or thin and you don’t even have to add essential oil it is just to make it smell good. I personally just rub my hands with alcohol, use some lotion and call it good.
I see this recipe for hand sanitizer when I look up on how to make hand sanitizer, so it may be in a spray version but it works just as good as the jel kind
I used all natural aloe Vera gel and 99% alcohol. It coagulated partially. What could be wrong?
Take a whisk and whisk really good.
How about using:
Please suggest AMOUNTS of each…..thank you
I don’t have amounts for those but Alcohol and Hydrogen peroxide do exactly the same thing so it would be over kill and waste to use both at the same time. They both disinfect. You could though maybe replace the aloe vera with the glycerin. I know so many love making their own sanitizer so we have this recipe but I personally don’t have the energy and to do all of that mixing. I would just rub some alcohol or peroxide on my hands and put on some lotion and call it good.