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Homemade Hand Sanitizer with Alcohol and Aloe Vera (effective against COVID-19)

Learn how to make homemade hand sanitizer using either 91 to 99% strength alcohol, or the 70% alcohol. Both recipes are strong enough to kill the current coronavirus when used correctly. Also, you can use either fresh aloe vera plant leaves or bottled aloe vera gel for this hand sanitizer recipe – whatever you have access to! 
Prep Time10 mins
Keyword: aloe vera alcohol hand sanitizer, coronavirus hand sanitizer, COVID 19 hand sanitizer, hand sanitizer, homemade hand sanitizer

Equipment

  • Blender (recommended)
  • Small travel-size bottles
  • Larger storage bottle for extra

Ingredients

Using 91 to 99% strength rubbing alcohol

  • 2 parts 91-99% alcohol. For example, 1 cup alcohol
  • 1 part Pure aloe vera gel. For example: 1/2 cup of aloe gel (not aloe vera lotion)

Using 70% strength rubbing alcohol

  • 3 cups 70% alcohol
  • 1/3 cup Pure aloe vera gel. NO more than 1/3 cup*

Instructions

Making Homemade Hand Sanitizer

  • Combine rubbing alcohol and pure aloe vera gel in ratios described above.
  • You may scale up both ingredients to create a larger batch, but maintain the same ratios (For example, it is okay to use 2 cups of 99% alcohol and 1 cup aloe vera gel. OR 5 cups of 60% rubbing alcohol and 1/2 cup aloe vera.)
  • Add a few drops of essential oils of choice, such as lavender, rosemary, eucalyptus, cinnamon, tea tree, citrus, thyme, lemongrass or oregano.
  • If using fresh aloe vera leaf, peel away the skin and use only the inner gel. See the demonstration video in the body of this article.
  • It may be possible to combine bottled aloe vera gel and alcohol by whisking vigorously in a bowl. We use fresh aloe vera, and blend it in a Vitamix blender. A blender is recommended for the most smooth and combined homemade hand sanitizer. It should not clog your bottle.
  • Once thoroughly combined/blended, add the finished homemade hand sanitizer to a travel size spray or squeeze bottle of choice. Note that this recipe will create a fairly thin, sprayable hand sanitizer (rather than a thick gel). Store the excess in a cool dark location.
  • Store the excess in a cool dark location. Fresh leaf aloe vera gel may turn light pink when exposed to light, but it is not "going bad". The alcohol effectively preserves it.

Using Homemade Hand Sanitizer Correctly

  • Shake before use.
  • Spray or squeeze a generous amount of hand sanitizer into the palm of your hand. I put quite a lot on.
  • Next, rub it around until all surfaces of both hands are thoroughly wetted. Pay special attention to finger tips, fingernails, between fingers, and even the backs of your hands. 
  • Rub your hands together (like you’re washing your hands) until they feel dry. Yet don’t wave your hands about to make it “dry faster”. A long wet contact time is good!
  • The CDC says that effectiveness of hand sanitizer decreases when hands are heavily soiled with dirt or grease. Thus, they recommend washing your hands with soap and water in those circumstances instead. 

Notes

*According to the Center for Disease Control, hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol is effective at killing the COVID-19 coronavirus, along with many other types of viruses, bacteria, and germs.
Meaning, do not dilute 70% alcohol by any more than 10%. Do not use ratios with any more aloe vera or less alcohol than described above, or it may be ineffective at killing COVID. 
Contact time is important. Aloe vera slows the drying/evaporation of rubbing alcohol, increasing contact time. Do not expedite the drying process by waving your hands or blowing on them. Allow it to slowly dry to be most effective.