One way you can stop the spread of germs, bacteria, and viruses are by cleaning your hands using soap. But, what if there’s no soap around? Well, in such a case, one sure-fire way of maintaining hygiene is by using a hand sanitizer. But, what if the situation is dire and there are no more sanitizers left out in pharmacies and supermarket stores? Well, the only alternative in such a scenario is to learn how to make hand sanitizer to protect yourself from the spread of viruses.
But, How do Sanitizers Work?
First, the main active ingredient in most sanitizing agents is alcohol. Getting to science just a bit, alcohol is an organic molecule that’s made up of Carbon, Oxygen, and Hydrogen. When working with alcohol, you need to understand that besides ethanol, there are other chemicals involved such as Propanol and Isopropanol.
Before you commence, it’s important to know that the alcohol concentration in your sanitizer must be about 60% for it to take effect. For the case of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) and grain alcohol (ethanol), the concentration should be about 90%-95% for it to be effective.
During your procedure, always avoid using certain alcohol chemicals such as methanol and butanol as they’re highly toxic.
Finally, alcohol kills a variety of bacteria and viruses by breaking up the cell’s metabolism. When mixed in the right ratios, the resulting hand sanitizer can be effective enough to destroy pathogens and other disease-causing agents.
So, with all that in mind, let’s head straight to our main topic of the day which is making a hand sanitizer. Note that, making a hand sanitizer is a pretty simple process that doesn’t require any knowledge in rocket science. So, if you’re ready, let’s get rolling.
How to Make DIY Hand Sanitizer
List of Ingredients
- Measuring cup
- Measuring spoon
- A funnel
- 8-10 drops of essential oil
- Empty spray bottles
- 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol: isopropyl alcohol to be precise
- 1/3 cup aloe vera
- Step One: Begin by mixing isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) into a bowl then add aloe vera. Note that, for your sanitizer to be effective, the alcohol concentration should be at least 60%. Therefore, ensure that you maintain a ratio of 2:1 of isopropyl alcohol to aloe vera which can be achieved by mixing 2oz of the rubbing alcohol to 2oz of aloe vera.
Use a spoon to mix the two ingredients thoroughly until the concoction is entirely smooth. In case the solution is thin and you need to make it thicker, then you can add a spoonful of aloe Vera. If it’s too thick, then you can thin it by adding a spoonful of alcohol.
- Step Two: Here, everything depends on your own personal needs. You can opt to add some drops of essential oil. For those that love the fragrance of essential oil (which by the way is used in most hand sanitizers today), then you can add about 8 drops of the oil to the mixture then stir.
Essential oils such as lavender, cinnamon, peppermint, and clove oils not only add the fragrance to your sanitizer, but they also have additional antiseptic properties that can be beneficial.
Now, during the initial process, some people may opt to use glycerin instead of aloe vera. If that’s the route you had chosen, then the glycerin and the hydrogen peroxide should be added in this stage (instead of the aloe vera). Since glycerin is thicker than alcohol, the concoction should be stirred thoroughly.
- Step Three: Once it’s ready, you can go ahead to add it to the respective spray bottle. To do this, you’ll need to place a funnel on the mouth of your container then pour it over. Cap the top tightly and get ready to use your hand sanitizer.
In case there’s a leftover sanitizer, simply spray some rubbing alcohol inside the bottles then allow it to evaporate naturally. Place the funnel on top and pour the remaining hand sanitizer.
- Step Four: When the bottles are ready, take your time to label each one of them to enhance convenience.
What About a Gel Sanitizer?
In case you needed to make a gel sanitizer, here’s a simple procedure you can follow.
- A cup of 91% isopropyl alcohol
- ½ cup of aloe vera gel
- Essential oil
Step One: To commence, pour the isopropyl alcohol inside a clean bowl then mix it with aloe vera gel. Since the high concentration of alcohol can be hard on your skin, using the aloe vera gel is a great way of counteracting the effect to keep your hands smooth.
Step Two: Add the drops of essential oil to your mixture then stir again using a spoon. Here, you have the freedom to use any essential oil of your choice provided you’re comfortable with the fragrance.
Step Three: Since the solution is quite thick, mixing it alone may not work. Therefore, you need to whisk it thoroughly until it becomes a homogeneous gel.
Step Four: Once you’re done mixing, pour a small portion of the remaining alcohol into your bottles then allow it to evaporate. After the alcohol has evaporated, pour the concoction inside the bottles and label them.
Finally, yet importantly, there’s one important thing you need to know. Isopropyl alcohol is highly flammable and can burn your arms if you get to contact during preparation. So, to avoid this, you should use nitrile gloves before you get started.