Homemade Hand Sanitizer With Simple Ingredients You Already Have

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It’s surprisingly easy to make hand sanitizer with a couple of items you might already have at home. The CDC recommends proper hand washing with soap and water whenever possible. But if soap and water isn’t available, this DIY disinfectant recipe a great solution.

homemade hand sanitizer

Washing your hands with soap and water is the best way to disinfect against germs, but homemade hand sanitizer can work when traveling.

Alcohol is one of the best disinfectants to kill germs, so it’s no surprise that alcohol is one of the two ingredients in this diy recipe. The other you probably have in your medicine cabinet — aloe vera gel, that sweet cooling relief for sunburned skin. To be effective, hand sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol, according to the CDC.


How To Make Hand Sanitizer at Home

It’s really easy to worry about the availability of cleaning supplies with the coronavirus pandemic. Being stuck inside your house for weeks on end is one thing — but doing so without cleaning supplies is my worst nightmare. 

When you make natural hand sanitizer, you know exactly what ingredients are included. You can even use essential oils to help fight germs and customize the scent to get rid of the harsh chemical smell.  

hand sanitizer ingredients

Adjust the ratio of alcohol to aloe vera gel to make up for different isopropyl alcohol concentrations. Hand sanitizers should have at least 60% isopropyl alcohol.

The good news is that homemade hand sanitizer can be made with just two ingredients that you probably already have at home. 

  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
  • 2/3 cup 91% isopropyl alcohol
  • spoon
  • small jar or container 

Add the aloe vera gel and alcohol to a bowl.

how to make hand sanitizer

The steps for using hand sanitizer are based on a simplified procedure recommended by CDC. Make sure to let the solution dry completely on your skin!

Stir to combine until there is a smooth consistency. 

This recipe will have a more liquid consistency than the hand sanitizer you can buy in stores due to the higher alcohol content. 


Can I use 70% rubbing alcohol instead?

Don’t have 91% isopropyl alcohol at home? It’s OK! If you need to use 70% rubbing alcohol, you just need to change the ratio of the ingredients to adjust for the lower alcohol content. 

Remember, the CDC recommends at least 60% alcohol in hand sanitizer. When you are mixing that alcohol with aloe vera gel, it will become even more diluted, so we have to use a higher ratio. 

With 91% isopropyl alcohol, you need 2 parts alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel, or a 2:1 ratio. When using 70% isopropyl alcohol, you will need 9 parts alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel, or a 9:1 ratio.

diy hand sanitizer

If soap and water are not available, using a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.


Is homemade hand sanitizer safe?

Homemade hand sanitizer is a great alternative to store-bought disinfectant in a pinch. However, it’s important to use caution when working with chemicals. Make sure to get the ratio correct and follow the recipe closely — too much alcohol can burn your skin. If you don’t put enough alcohol, your DIY solution won’t be effective at reducing germs.


Can I use essential oils to make hand sanitizer?

We love using essential oils in household cleaners, so we found a hand sanitizer substitute that uses some of our favorite natural products:

  • 2 Tablespoons aloe vera gel
  • 1 Tablespoon purified, distilled, or boiled water
  • 1/8 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil
  • 5 drops Thieves essential oil

Mix the aloe vera gel, Thieves essential oil, and Vitamin E oil to reach a smooth consistency. Add water to dilute the mixture and stir together. The solution should be thin and light to coat your hands.

Don’t worry if you can’t find those ingredients on store shelves, thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. This DIY hand sanitizer recipe with essential oils uses witch hazel instead of aloe vera gel and Vitamin E oil.

make hand sanitizer with aloe vera gel

Many studies show that hand sanitizers work well in clinical settings like hospitals, where hands come into contact with germs but generally are not heavily soiled or greasy.


How to Use Hand Sanitizer Effectively

The number one mistake people make when using hand sanitizer is not letting it dry completely. So many times — especially with kids — we squirt some in our hand and rub it around, then move on before it even has the chance to dry.

To ensure hand sanitizer is effective against germs, squirt some in the palm of one hand. Rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry. Studies show that covering all areas with hand sanitizer and letting it dry completely has the same effectiveness as providing detailed steps for rubbing-in hand sanitizer.

diy sanitizer recipe

When hand sanitizer doesn’t contain at least 60% alcohol, it may merely reduce the growth of germs rather than killing them outright.

Store your DIY hand sanitizer in an air-tight container at room temperature. I used an empty mason jar that I already had at home for ours. 


Even More Homemade Cleaning Supplies:

Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Make your own homemade hand sanitizer to disinfect against germs.

Prep Time 5 minutes

Active Time 5 minutes

Total Time 10 minutes

Difficulty easy


  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel
  • 2/3 cup 91% isopropyl alcohol


  • bowl
  • spoon
  • small jar or container


  1. Add the aloe vera gel to a bowl.
  2. Stir in the isopropyl alcohol until the mixture is well-blended.


You can adjust the ratio of alcohol to aloe vera gel to account for different levels of alcohol content:

  • For 91% isopropyl alcohol, you need 2 parts alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel, or a 2:1 ratio.
  • For 70% isopropyl alcohol, you will need 9 parts alcohol to 1 part aloe vera gel, or a 9:1 ratio.

Follow ratio guidelines closely to avoid injury or illness.

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Did you find our homemade hand sanitizer recipe helpful? Disinfect your home with these deep cleaning hacks that use common household ingredients.


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