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How to Make Hand Sanitizer at Home

From time-to-time, I have posted various recipes on these pages, but none more timely or important than this one. I am sure the shelves of the grocery stores in your neighborhoods have long been empty of hand sanitizer. But, don’t panic – you can make your own at home! Here is how to make hand sanitizer.

Alcohol content: Must be above 60% in the finished product!  Some products you can buy on the market that have above 60% alcohol:

Isopropyl Alcohol – Usually I can find this at the pharmacies in concentrations of 70% or 91%.  You may already have it in your medicine cabinet.  You must use different amounts of this depending on if you have 70% or 91% concentration, read below for recipes.

Grain Alcohol – Find it at the liquor store.  This comes in a variety of “proofs” from 151 proof (75.5% alcohol) to 190 proof (95% alcohol).  I have been unable to locate anything more than 151 proof in my area.

NOTE: Alcohol in all forms is probably also getting hard to find on supermarket shelves. However, I found plenty in my local “beauty supply” store, as they use this as a sanitizer for hair and nail products. If people have caught on to this “hack” try beauty supplies or barber supplies online and you should find it. Look for “Beauty Secrets Cleansing Alcohol.”

Emollients: With this amount of alcohol, the sanitizer will be so drying to skin, so you need to add an emollient.

Aloe Vera gel – This is a nice option for adding some nice emollience to skin.  However, I tried some recipes with aloe vera and grain alcohol and the aloe vera gel congealed into this really gross blob (I guess it got drunk!).  I did not have the same problem with isopropyl alcohol

Glycerin – This can be found in the pharmacy usually near the laxatives.  Glycerin is the byproduct of the soap making process, which is a process by which fat and lye are combined to make soap.  Be sure that your glycerin comes from vegetable fat vs animal fat if this is a concern to you.  Glycerin is a humectant and will help to moisturize your skin.

Hand Sanitizer Spray Formula Options:

Grain alcohol 151 Proof: 3/4 cup
Glycerin: 1/8 cup

Isopropyl Alcohol 70%: 3/4 cup
Glycerin or aloe vera gel: 2 Tablespoons


Isopropyl Alcohol 91%: 1/2 cup plus
Glycerin or aloe vera gel: 1/8 cup
Distilled water: 1/8 cup

Good luck, stay safe, wash your hands, do not touch your face – and STAY HOME!

Do you have any “coronavirus” hacks you would like to share? Please reply using the comments below!

About Cynthia Lechan-Goodman

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