Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipes – The Quick and Easy Way

adult giving child homemade hand sanitizer

Hand sanitizer was invented back in 1988 by GOJO, and it was called Purell. They wanted to meet the market’s needs and help people everywhere combat germs and, ultimately, disease, in a quick and easy way, centered on people on-the-go. But did you know you can also make your own? Building on this idea, we have selected a few recipes for homemade hand sanitizer for you, so that you can ward off bacteria in an all-natural way.

Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipes and Ideas

#1. Vinegar

You may not know this, but vinegar has excellent antibacterial properties. In fact, it’s so powerful in this regard that it kills 99 percent of all bacteria. As an added value, vinegar does not pollute the environment, it’s not toxic, and it’s safe to eat. The latter means you can use it on children and pets as well, without the fear of them ingesting the sanitizer and becoming sick.

You can use white vinegar for this purpose. Store it in a small, travel-size spray bottle and take it with you wherever you go. Spray copiously on your hands, and rub them together until they’re dry. You can also shake them. You needn’t worry about the smell, because it will dissipate quite quickly, leaving your hands bacteria-free and odorless.

However, if you feel you still can’t stand the smell, add one or two drops of lemon or lavender oil to mask the vinegar -like smell.

#2. Aloe Vera


  • Six ounces of water
  • One teaspoon aloe vera
  • Two drops of cinnamon essential oil
  • Two drops clove oil
  • Two drops rosemary
  • Two drops eucalyptus oil

You need to mix them all together and pour the concoction in a spraying bottle. Pour some on your hands whenever you feel the need and shake or pat dry.

Warning – some essential oils are very potent and can cause rashes and irritation when applied directly to the skin. Use aloe vera in a copious amount, as it soothes the skin and prevents these ailments. Apart from that, don’t use all the oils in the recipe if you have sensitive skin. Pick two of them and prepare the concoction using those. Since they all have the same antimicrobial quality, it will suffice.

#3. Alcohol Infused Homemade Hand Sanitizer


  • Two-thirds of a cup of rubbing alcohol or ethanol
  • A third of a cup of aloe vera gel – try to find the organic type because it has fewer additives than the typical kind and it’s healthier. You can replace the aloe vera gel with vegetable glycerin.
  • Eight to ten drops of an essential oil of your choosing – thyme, clove, lavender, peppermint, cinnamon leaf.

Pour all the ingredients in a ceramic or metal bowl, give them a good whisk, and funnel them into a pristine bottle.

Tip – use 60 percent alcohol, as this is the only way it will be able to fight germs. Also, if need be and you find his concoction a bit irritating, don’t give up on it. Instead, add some chamomile essential oil, which will balance it out nicely.

rubbing alcohol for homemde hand sanitizer

#4. Hydrogen Peroxide Homemade Hand Sanitizer

You need to make a three percent solution hydrogen peroxide. The chemical has been proved efficient against bacteria because, when it comes in contact with it, it oxides it. This process causes the bacteria to decompose.

The concoction is very simple to make and even easier to use. However, if you plan on carrying it around with you as your all-day hand sanitizer, you must store it in a dark colored bottle and away from any source of light. Spending time exposed to sunlight will oxidize it.

Spray it on your hands every time you feel the need, allow it to foam and them shake or pat dry.

Warning – children may not be open to the tickling sensation that hydrogen peroxide triggers in the surface of the skin.

#5. Tea Tree Oil

This astonishing substance is anti-fungal, antiviral, anti-inflammatory, and antibacterial. It has an amazing effect on bacteria, thoroughly destroying it.

To create this homemade hand sanitizer, you must mix up to ten drops of tea tree oil with one teaspoon of Castile oil. When these two ingredients are thoroughly combined, you can pour them in six ounces of water. Give the container a good shake before every use.

Warning – tea tree oil is known to cause irritations, should you add too much of it into your homemade hand sanitizer. To balance this effect, add a teaspoon of aloe vera gel or liquid vitamin E.

#6. The Sweet Smelling Homemade Hand Sanitizer


  • Five to ten drops of lavender essential oil – make sure it is pure and organic
  • 30 drops of tea tree essential oil – in a concentration of 0.5 percent
  • One tablespoon of witch hazel – you can replace it with the same amount of high-proof vodka
  • Eight ounces of aloe vera gel – it must be pure and organic
  • A quarter teaspoon of vitamin e oil which you can replace with glycerin. This ingredient will soften your hands and make the homemade hand sanitizer last longer without spoiling. Therefore, do not skip it.

tea tree oil as ingredient for homemade hand sanitizer

In a small glass or ceramic bowl, add all the essential oils and the vitamin E. Swirl them around until they are mixed through. Add the witch hazel or vodka if this is what you’re using and mix again. This entire concoction should then be added to the aloe vera gel. Mix it well to ensure they combine perfectly.

Tip – Shake the spray bottle gently before each use. If correctly stored, this homemade hand sanitizer should last you several months.- One of the reasons why this recipe calls for lavender oil is for it to mask the tea tree oil’s strong smell. In case you don’t like it or find it overbearing, replace the lavender with any other essential oil which you find pleasing. Some good choices are sage, peppermint, sandalwood, and rosemary.- Since this hand sanitizer has a selection of essential oils, it’s best you test it out before actual use. Try it on a small patch of skin and see how you react to it. Don’t forget about the rest of your family members who might be using it. They could develop an allergy as well.

#7. The ‘No-Germs Allowed’ Homemade Hand Sanitizer


  • One cup of water
  • Half a cup of aloe vera concentrate – be careful, because this recipe is not like the other ones. Instead of the classic aloe vera gel, it calls for concentrate, because the gel doesn’t mix as well.
  • A quarter cup of olive oil, which you can replace with jojoba, avocado or almond oil.
  • 15 drops of tea tree oil
  • 20 drops of orange essential oil.

Mix all the ingredients together and create a lovely, orange-scented homemade hand sanitizer. In case you are not too fond of this smell, swap if for another one, according to your preferences.

#8. Peppermint Homemade Hand Sanitizer


  • 12 drops of lavender oil
  • Six drops of peppermint oil
  • Three ounces of aloe vera gel
  • One ounce of grain alcohol
  • One capsule of Vitamin E

The first step of this recipe calls for you to mix the oils and alcohol. Once they have blended thoroughly, you can add the aloe vera gel. When you’re ready, pour the entire mixture into a clean and dry bottle. You can use a spraying one or a plastic squeeze type, like the ones you can see in stores.

Given the fact that peppermint is quite a potent essential oil, it’s best if you don’t use it on children under the age of six. Their skin is quite sensitive, and the oil might cause them a burning sensation, rashes, and irritations. You can adjust the formula for this homemade hand sanitizer for children as follows.

  • 25 drops of lavender oil
  • Three ounces of aloe vera gel
  • One-ounce grain alcohol
  • One capsule of Vitamin E or 400 IUs

Tips – don’t rub it off before it has dried completely. It’s the only way to make sure it’s truly efficient against germs and bacteria.- don’t touch your eyes or your mouth immediately after you’ve applied the hand sanitizer.- do not use the homemade hand sanitizer on your private parts- if your hands are very dirty or greasy, the sanitizer may not work as efficiently.

peppermint oil as ingredient for homemade hand sanitizer

#9. The Cinnamon Homemade Hand Sanitizer


  • Four ounces of aloe vera gel
  • Four ounces of 40 percent vodka
  • 20 drops organic clove bud essential oil
  • 17 drops lemon oil
  • Ten drops cinnamon leaf essential oil – make sure you use cinnamon leaf oil for this recipe, as opposed to the more traditional cinnamon bark one. The latter is far stronger than the former and, even though it is better if you’re concocting a diffusing blend or spray, it can irritate your skin. In the same way, if you’re planning on using this homemade hand sanitizer on children below the age of six, leave out the cinnamon oil. When it comes to toddlers and babies, you should try to avoid all essential oils.
  • Seven drops of eucalyptus oil
  • Five drops of rosemary essential oil, organic

The basis of this homemade hand sanitizer is the vodka. Slowly pour all the drops of oil into it. Count them all very carefully, so as not to make any mistakes. Shake the container as you go. Add the aloe vera gel and give it one last shake.

Tip – you can replace the vodka with witch hazel.

Witch hazel is a shrub, mostly ornamental, that grows in America and Asia. It also has some medicinal purposes, for which people use its bark, leaves, and twigs. As far as the afflictions for which it can be used, witch hazel is good for the following.

  • Hemorrhoids – You can use witch hazel water as a relief for the itching, irritation, discomfort, and burning caused by hemorrhoids, as well as other anal conditions.
  • Small bleedings – the same water, obtained from either the plant’s leaves, bark or twigs can stop minor bleedings.
  • Irritations at skin level – Researches have shown that the special witch hazel ointment called Hametum can relieve skin irritations, as long as they are mild ones.

Although it is quite a useful plant that people commonly utilize for many conditions, including for homemade hand sanitizer recipes, witch hazel can have some side effects.

  • Stomach upset – if drunk or otherwise ingested
  • Liver problems – when taken in a large dose
  • Carcinogenic trigger – the shrub has a chemical in its composition called safrole that may cause cancer if taken in vast quantities or for an extended time.
  • Although there have been no compelling studies, it’s best that pregnant and nursing women stay away from witch hazel, for safety reasons.

witch hazel as main ingredient in homemade hand sanitizer

Can You Drink Homemade Hand Sanitizer?

This question might sound weird or even a bit redundant, but many people have actually tried to drink hand sanitizer. Therefore, the subject needs to be addressed. The habit of drinking the substance began with inmates, and it quickly spread to teenagers. They prepare a ‘cocktail’ by mixing the sanitizer with mouthwash. The problem is they typically end up in the hospital.

The main reason behind their rapid trip to the ER is that, first of all, hand sanitizers contain toxic chemicals. Secondly, they have a vast amount of concentrated alcohol in it that causes rapid intoxication and poisoning.

A classic 250 ml bottle of hand sanitizer has the same quantity of alcohol as five shots of hard liquor. Apart from that, the alcohol is not the typical drinking type, but rubbing alcohol. This difference means it is poisonous to the body, and it can cause brain damage, hemorrhage, liver failure, and it attacks the drinker’s nervous system.

Another thing you need to be aware of is that the alcohol in store-bought hand sanitizers is ‘denatured.’ In other words, it has been purposely contaminated so that it discourages drinking. Unfortunately, it didn’t reach its goal, as people still drink it.

Some teenagers have even been found to distil hand sanitizer using salt. This process is a viable one, and you can, indeed, separate the alcohol from the other ingredients. However, one must always remember that, even if distilled and ‘purified’ from the toxic chemicals it contains, you will still get a very low-quality type of alcohol. Apart from that, it will also be toxic since it has been denatured to begin with and it will be in a very high percentage.

In fact, this is the reason why people end up in the hospital in the first place. The alcohol a typical hand sanitizer has in its composition is a lot stronger than vodka, for example. To put it simply, you drink a small amount, and you get intoxicated very fast, sometimes without even knowing. Since it’s not able to process so much alcohol at once, your body ceases to work properly, thus the need for prolonged hospitalization.

If you needed one more reason for starting to produce your very own homemade hand sanitizer, this is it. Apart from all the chemical substances it has, if ingested, even by accident, it can lead to physical damage beyond repair. Needless to say, though, homemade hand sanitizer cannot be drunk either.

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