Make your Own DYI Hand Sanitizer

Make your Own DYI Hand Sanitizer

Make your Own DYI Hand Sanitizer

Coronavirus has wiped out all supplies of hand sanitizer. If you weren't one of the folks who grabbed a bottle or two before the hoarding began then you might be out of luck for a while.

There's good news though: the traditional hand sanitizers you get from the store are made from alcohol and aloe vera gel, so you can make your own pretty easily.

Make sure that if you decide to try and make your own hand sanitizer, it contains at least 60% alcohol, so when you are mixing other items in keep that in mind.

It's the alcohol that kills the bad stuff, and the aloe is a carrier and also makes sure you don't dry out your hands.

DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe

Combine in a bowl:

  • ⅔-cup (150 mL) rubbing alcohol (99or 91% isopropyl alcohol)
  • ⅓-cup (70 mL) aloe vera gel

Stir. Decant into a clean soap or pump bottle

Pretty easy, if you can find or happen to have those ingredients!

Remember: Sanitizer is only effective if you cover your hands thoroughly and then let them dry. Using just a few drops isn't going to work, really go for it!

Make sure your hands aren't covered in dirt or grease otherwise the sanitizer won't be able to penetrate.

Read the CDC's guidance on Sanitizers and their use here.

Alternatives That Work

Firstly, if you think your hands are contaminated, don't touch you eyes, mouth or nose. Then wash them with soap. That is supposed to work better than liquid and gel sanitizers anyway.

But if those options aren't available, here are some other ideas. We can't guarantee any of these work, so use at your own risk.


Use nitrile gloves to keep the bad stuff off your hands. Dispose of them once done, and do NOT reuse. Latex works too, not as good as nitrile.

You have to take them off correctly so you don't contaminate yourself: here is how to do so.


In a pinch you can use alcohol pads (the kinds in first aid kits) to wipe down your hands, but that will become painful after a few times as your skin starts to dry out. 

Ethanol (aka ethyl alcohol) in distilled beverages, such as moonshine and vodka, has been shown to work against bacteria and viruses as long as its 180 proof or higher...finally a non-self-destructive use for Everclear!


As we discussed in our post How to Prepare for Coronavirus, you can make a bleach+water solution which can disinfect. Not sure you really want to cover yourself in bleach not the best idea. Also it takes about 5-6 minutes to work. Good for surfaces, people? Not so much.


Copper kills all kinds of viruses and bacteria just through contact. The science behind that is real, this isn't new-age fluff.

Here is a good article about copper and what it can do.

There is a company called Copper Touch which makes pure copper bars which are intended to be used to clean your hands. All you do is rub them along all parts of your mitts for 1 minute or two.

They kill ~ 94% of dangerous bacteria: the most common types as well as the antibiotic-resistant strains.

An interesting idea, worth looking into.

Copper Touch bar in a hand


If you have any additions, questions, or want to talk to the gang, head on over to our Facebook Group and join in the conversation over there!

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