How to make (DIY) your own hand sanitizer at home – Step by step with Videos

With the outbreak of COVID-19 pandemic, the general public is constantly reminded of the importance of regular hand washing.

diy sanitizer

If access to clean water and soap is possible, make it a habit to thoroughly wash your hands as it is the simplest yet tested and proven effective way of preventing the spread of infection.

On the other hand, if soap and water are not available, then your next option is to use alcohol or hand sanitizer with at least 60% of alcohol content.

With the fear that COVID-19 pandemic brought to the public, many people hoard alcohol and hand sanitizers. If you are one of those people who run out of hand sanitizers, do not worry as you can make a hand sanitizer right in the comfort of your home. (1, 2, 3, 4, and 5)


The image above are the ingredients used for making hand sanitizer at home

Image 1: The image above are the ingredients used for making hand sanitizer at home.
Picture Source:

What you will need?

  • Alcohol (isopropyl or rubbing alcohol 99%); ¾ cup

  • Aloe Vera gel ¼ cup

  • Essential oil of your choice such as lavender oil, tea tree oil, eucalyptus, or peppermint oil. If essential oil is not available, you can use natural fruit extract such as lemon juice (10 drops).

  • Bowl and spoon

  • Funnel

  • Bottle, ideally plastic bottle which will be used to store the sanitizer. A travel size plastic bottle is ideal.

  • Gloves (nitrile) to protect your hands while working. (4, 5, 6, and 7)

What to keep in mind?

  • Make sure that the portion of alcohol and aloe vera is 2:1 to keep the alcohol content in 60%. This amount is already effective in killing germs.
  • Aloe vera is an important ingredient as it moisturizes the hand counteracting the harshness of alcohol.
  • Do not use more alcohol than what it recommended as you might end up burning your hands.


Combine all ingredients in a bowl ensuring the right measurementsImage 2: Combine all ingredients in a bowl ensuring the right measurements.

Picture Source:


How to make your own hand sanitizer : Video


Pour the mixture in a travel size bottle.

Image 3: Pour the mixture in a travel size bottle.

Picture Source:

Follow these steps:

  1. Into a bowl, pour all the ingredients. Ensure that proper measurement of every ingredient is followed.
  2. Using a spoon, beat the ingredients in a bowl in a whisking motion to turn the mixture into a gel.
  3. In a clean empty bottle, pour the gel and put appropriate label – hand sanitizer.

Are do-it-yourself hand sanitizers safe to use?

As the fear brought by coronavirus disease 2019 continues to escalate, more and more people hoard hand sanitizers forcing others to create their own hand sanitizer at home.

The question is, are DIY home sanitizers safe to use? Generally, they are safe to use for as long as proper measurements and ingredients are followed.

More so, they are only recommended in extreme situations such as if you are unable to wash your hands because there is no clean water and soap available.

It is important to make sure that the ingredients, proportion, and steps are followed the right way to avoid errors which could lead to:

  • Lack of efficiency of the DIY hand sanitizer making it ineffective in killing microbes.
  • Skin irritation which could lead to burns and other related injuries.
  • Inhalation of hazardous chemicals. (2, 5, 8, and 9)

What is the correct way of using hand sanitizers?

  • Apply the sanitizer on the palm of one hand.
  • Rub your hands together making sure to continue rubbing your hand until the greasy of feeling of the sanitizer disappears.
  • When rubbing your hands, you have to ensure that the entire hands and fingers are covered by the sanitizer.
  • Ideally, you should continue rubbing for at least 30 seconds.

Are hand sanitizers effective in killing microbes?

The effectiveness of hand sanitizers depends on their alcohol content. If the correct alcohol content is followed, then it is helpful in quickly reducing the number of microbes in your hands.

Some of the microbes that hand sanitizers can get rid to include the dreaded Novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2. However, you have to keep in mind that alcohol-based hand sanitizers do not kill all known microbes.

They won’t even get rid of harmful chemicals. Some of the microbes that are not fully destroyed by hand sanitizers are norovirus, clostridium difficile, and cryptosporidium. (3, 7, and 10)

How effective is DIY hand sanitizer in killing microbes?

Alcohol is the active component of hand sanitizer. For the hand sanitizer to be effective, it should have at least 60% of alcohol content, which means, you need to use 99% alcohol.

Do not use butanol or methanol alcohol as they are toxic.

They will do more harm than good. As you notice, another primary component of DIY hand sanitizer is essential oil. The essential oil you choose will not only improve the fragrance of the hand sanitizer but also the germ-fighting ability.

Some essential oils have germ-fighting properties such as clove oil, tea tree oil, and thyme oil. If you happen to choose essential oils with germ-fighting properties, make sure to reduce the drops to at least 2 to 5 drops.

These essential oils are very powerful and when used in large amount can irritate your skin. Aloe Vera is an essential component too as it keeps the skin moisturized. Alcohol can dry the skin and may increase the risk of bacterial infection.

With the Aloe Vera content, drying of the skin will be prevented. (2, 3, and 6)


Final word

  1. Although hand sanitizer may help in fighting off microbes still the importance of hand washing should not be set aside.
  2. Hand washing is still the best form of prevention. In the event that soap and water are not available, then your next best course of action is to use alcohol and alcohol based hand sanitizers.
  3. As more and more people prevent themselves from the dreaded COVID-19 and other infections there are, this has lead to shortage of supply of disinfectants including hand sanitizers.
  4. Fortunately, you can create your own hand sanitizer right in the comfort of home. Make sure you follow the correct ingredients and measurements to achieve the right formulation.
  5. You don’t want it to be less effective or else it will be of no use. On the other hand, you have to make sure it is not too strong or else it will cause more harm than good.




Published by Dr. Raj MD under How to.
Article was last reviewed on January 7th, 2022.

Leave a Reply

Back to Top