This is not the kind of stuff we normally cover but given the circumstances, and some of the inaccurate news that’s been going around, we’re going to branch off into safety today and teach you how to make hand sanitizer at home.
What you need
While you can make hand sanitizer at home, the ingredients for it will have to be purchased. If you can, try to order them online but remember that online orders can take more time to fill. Keeping your own safety and the safety of others in mind, do what’s best to buy the following;
- Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (91% – 99 % alcohol volume). This 91% – 99% is important and you should read the label on the bottle to confirm that you’re buying the right kind. This will be available in most pharmacies and can be bought over the counter. This is a transparent, runny liquid almost like water in appearance but somewhat thicker.
- Aloe Vera gel. This can be bought at any regular drug store and/or pharmacy. You can also check online, or at the supermarket. Remember that you need this in processed form and any Aloe Vera you have growing at home can’t be used in its place. This will be a transparent gel that will be thick and will have to be scooped out with a spoon.
- An essential oil. This is a complete list of essential oils. Some are more readily available than others e.g., Lavender oil, or Tea Tree oil. If you’re unable to find an essential oil, lemon juice will do the job too.
You need to use precise measuring tools to make hand sanitizer. Regular kitchen measuring tools will do the job.
You can make this in almost any type of container but it’s a good idea to use either steel or glass. Try to avoid ceramic. Use a steel spoon to mix everything.
Make sure you have something to transfer the sanitizer to once it’s ready. You cannot leave out it in the open or it will evaporate.
Make hand sanitizer
Warning: DO NOT MAKE THIS NEAR AN OPEN FLAME.
In order to make hand sanitizer at home, you need to mix your three ingredients in the right proportions.
Add 3/4 cups of Isopropyl to your bowl. Add 1/4 cup of Aloe Vera gel to it, and mix it well. Add 8-10 drops of the essential oil and mix again. The oil might tint the solution a different color but don’t worry. When it’s thoroughly mixed, convert it to a bottle for storage and use.
If you need to make a much larger batch, you should read the instructions that WHO has for creating hand sanitizer in large amounts.
Hand sanitizer should be used when soap and water aren’t available. Whenever you can, you should wash your hands, and make sure you wash them for 20 seconds.
Hand sanitizer is for you but you should also disinfect other surfaces that you will touch frequently e.g., door knobs/handles. Lifehacker recommends using bleach and has a write-up on how to create the right solution and use it.
DO NOT MIX
The method for creating hand sanitizer at home is the same but its main ingredient i.e., Isopropyl might also be hard to find too. As such, there are several methods going around for alternative cleaning solutions that aren’t safe. We don’t have a definitive list of them but the following ingredients should not be mixed no matter.
Bleach and Vinegar: Mixing the two will release Chlorine gas which is highly acidic. It will burn.
Hydrogen Peroxide and Vinegar: This will make peroxyacetic acid which will burn you.
Bleach and Ammonia: Mixing them will release Chloramine which will cause breathing problems, and it might also burn you.
Bleach and Rubbing Alcohol: This makes Chloroform which is an anesthetic and a sedative when inhaled or ingested. It might not burn you but why take the chance?
The above are all household items, one of them is actually used to make a sanitizer but make sure you follow the correct method. Bleach is not supposed to be used on people. Also, don’t try to make Clorox wipes at home.