The current events unfolding around the world have made it clear that proper sanitation is a critical step during an emergency. The pandemic keeps showing us that careless people will get infected, and their faith remains unknown. Supplies run low, and people get desperate during a medical emergency, and as we’ve all seen that hand sanitizer has become an item of great value.
What happens when there’s not enough to go around when it’s sold out everywhere, and the remaining items are being sold at overinflated prices? The smart thing to do is to make your own, and this article will show you how to make your own hand sanitizer. A simple and fast DIY hand sanitizer that doesn’t require you to have a chemical engineer degree.
🧼 The need for a DIY hand sanitizer
Amid the COVID-19 concerns plaguing our nation, hand sanitizer soon turned into liquid gold, and shelves are being cleared pretty fast. After seeing how valuable this item has become, a lot of people got inspired to make their own. The DIY hand sanitizer recipe most people used involved using a mixture of vodka and aloe vera gel.
For months this mixture was labeled in survival communities as an effective disinfection method, and a myth was born. However, the Center for Disease Control (CDC) tells us that such a mixture is not a proper disinfectant, and it’s important to understand how to make an effective DIY hand sanitizer.
Even more people in West Virginian believed that they would become virus-free due to their affinity to moonshine. We all know that alcohol is a powerful agent against bacteria and viruses, but unfortunately, that’s only half of the story.
🍶 Is alcohol a good disinfectant?
Alcohol eliminates pathogens by denaturing the proteins found in bacteria and viruses. However, it is required to use a certain alcohol strength to become a good disinfectant. The CDC recommends that any improvised disinfectant that is produced in austere environments should contain a minimum of 60 percent alcohol.
The problem is that a lot of the drinkable alcohol you find on the market’s shelves falls well below this level. In fact, in a survival situation, most alcohol will not kill viruses, and it’s not like in the movies when you see the hero clean his wound with a bottle of whiskey.
A good alternative to store-bought alcohol for a proper DIY hand sanitizer would be to use ethyl alcohol, also called grain alcohol. Grain alcohol is obtainable in 151 and 190 proof (75.5 and 95 percent alcohol to water ratio), but the problem is that many states have declared it an illegal item to own since it can easily cause alcohol poisoning. People used to drink it without mixing it, and they would end up in the ER room.
Even with its impressive alcohol percentage, grain alcohol still isn’t strong enough in a DIY hand sanitizer formula since it’s diluted with aloe vera gel to reduce the drying effects of the alcohol.
Another option for the self-sufficient prepper would be rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol), but the basic over the counter variety you can get is typically only 70 percent to water ration. As you can imagine, mixing it with aloe will make your DIY hand sanitizer fall below the minimum 60 percent recommended.
Now don’t get me wrong, all of the above are still better to have and use than leaving a wound dirty and exposed to impurities. However, there’s still hope for those survivalists that want to do things by the book.
⚕️ Pick the right alcohol
Fortunately for us, commercial isopropyl alcohol that has a 91 to 99 percent can be bought online from medical supply stores or at various retailers. You can make a DIY hand sanitizer without having to worry that diluting it with aloe and various essential oils may diminish its strength. Yes, you’ve read that right. You can add essential oils to add a supplemental layer of immune support while at the same time giving your DIY hand sanitizer a pleasant smell.
📝 DIY hand sanitizer recipe
This basic recipe is based upon the recommendation from James H. Redford MD, one of our trustworthy contributors.
- 2/3 cup 91-99 percent isopropyl alcohol
- 1/4 – 1/3 cup pure aloe vera gel
- 8 – 10 drops of essential oil (Thieves or Thyme essential oil is recommended)
In a small bowl, you will have to thoroughly whisk together the alcohol and aloe vera gel. Add the essential oil of your choice and mix well. Now, use a small funnel to pour the mixture into a clean small squeeze bottle or empty hand sanitizer bottle.
👏 The proper way to use hand sanitizer
There is a certain way to use hand sanitizer, and you should not abuse it. Use roughly a quarter-sized squirt, then rub your hands together on the fronts and back for at least 20 seconds. Make sure you also rub it between all of your fingers, on your fingernails, and along your wrists. Do so until the sanitizer is totally dry.
It is important to show children how to use hand sanitizers so that it can do the job properly. It only takes a few drops and a through rubbing to keep them safe.
A DIY hand sanitizer is not a difficult endeavor, and it’s one of the projects that will keep you and yours safe during these difficult times. This seems to be the sickness year, and we all must do everything in our power to protect ourselves and the people around us.
Just remember that a DIY hand sanitizer should contain the right percentage of alcohol and proper aloe ration so that it can safely kill all the germs.
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