When it comes to preventing the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, nothing is better than traditional hand washing. But if you don’t have soap and water on hand, the best alternative is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Unless you have a stock of commercial hand sanitizer, you may have a hard time finding it in a store or online right now. Due to the rapid spread of the new coronavirus, most retailers are unable to meet the demand for hand sanitizer. The good news: All you need to make hand sanitizer at home are three ingredients. Read on to learn how to do it. What ingredients do you need? Making your own hand sanitizer is easy and only requires a few ingredients: isopropanol or isopropyl alcohol (99% alcohol volume) aloe vera gel an essential oil, such as tea tree oil or lavender oil, or you can use lemon juice instead The key to making an effective germ-killing sanitizer is being accurate with the 2: 1 ratio of alcohol to aloe vera. This keeps the alcohol content around 60%. This is the minimum percentage necessary to kill most germs, according to the CDC. How to make your own hand sanitizer Dr. Rishi Desai, Osmosis Medical Director and former Epidemic Intelligence Officer in the CDC’s Division of Viral Diseases, says the following hand sanitizer prescription will kill 99.9% of germs after 60 seconds. Hand sanitizer recipe This is what you will need 3/4 cup isopropanol or isopropyl alcohol (99%) 1/4 cup aloe vera gel (to help keep your hands soft and counteract irritability from alcohol) 10 drops of essential oil, such as lavender oil, or you can use lemon juice Instructions: Pour all the ingredients into a bowl, ideally one with a pouring spout such as a glass measuring container. Mix with a spoon, then beat with a whisk to turn the sanitizer into a gel. Pour the ingredients into an empty bottle so you can use it easily and label it “hand sanitizer.” Jagdish Khubchandani, PhD, associate professor of health sciences at Ball State University, shared a similar formula. His hand sanitizer formula combines: two parts isopropyl alcohol or ethanol (91% to 99% alcohol) a part of aloe vera a few drops of clove, eucalyptus, peppermint, or other essential oil If you make hand sanitizer at home, Khubchandani says you should follow these tips to the letter: Prepare it on a clean space. Clean the surface where you are going to make the disinfectant with a previously diluted bleach solution. Wash your hands well before doing the sanitizer.
To mix, beat with a clean spoon. Wash these items well before using them. Make sure the rubbing alcohol you use for your hand sanitizer is not diluted. Mix all the ingredients well until they are well integrated. Do not touch the mixture with your hands until it is ready to use. If you want to make a larger quantity of hand sanitizer, the World Health Organization (WHO) has a formula for a sanitizer that uses: isopropyl alcohol or ethanol peroxide glycerol sterile distilled water or cold boiled water It is safe? These days, there are many recipes for hand sanitizer on the internet, but are they safe? These recipes, including the ones above, are for use by professionals who have the experience and resources to make homemade hand sanitizers.
Homemade hand sanitizer is only recommended in extreme situations when you cannot wash your hands in the immediate future. The wrong ingredients or proportions can cause: lack of effectiveness, which means that the disinfectant may not effectively eliminate the risk of exposure to some or all of the microbes skin irritation, injury, or burns exposure to hazardous chemicals by inhalation It is also not recommended that children use homemade hand sanitizer. Children may be more likely to use hand sanitizer improperly, which could lead to an increased risk of injury. How to use hand sanitizer When you use hand sanitizer, you should rub it on your skin until your hands are dry. And, if you have greasy or dirty hands, you should wash first with soap and water.