What if you can remain germ and virus-free all the time?
You cannot wash hands everywhere, like during traveling or serving at an isolated work site, so what could you do then to stay free of germs?
Yes, you turn towards hand sanitizers because they get the job done anywhere. But what if they run short in case of a pandemic eruption?
You make your own at home!
This blog will tell you how. From recipes for homemade hand sanitizer to proportions for different quantities and care instructions, it would describe everything related to homemade hand sanitizer backed up by scientific proof.
So let’s get started.
How do hand sanitizers work?
According to Insider, the hand sanitizer must contain at least 60% alcohol to be effective in killing germs and viruses. But normally, hand sanitizers use 90-99% alcohol. Alcohol works by destroying the cell walls of the germs, splitting them into pieces and unbalancing their metabolism.
Hand sanitizer ingredients:
Alcohol is the main constituent, although some also use propanol and isopropanol. Other ingredients include
- Aloe vera or glycerol: for moisturizing capabilities
- Essential oils like tee tree oil or lavender oil: to bestow a nice smell to the liquid
- Colored pigments: for color
- Hydrogen peroxide: used to kill the contaminating bacteria which might enter the liquid during preparation
Does hand sanitizer work for viruses?
Yes, it does. There are many studies that confirmed the effectiveness of hand sanitizers in reducing bacteria like MRSA, E.coli, and salmonella.
You would have seen many hand sanitizer bottles depicting the label “Kill 99% germs”. While it is true for a majority of pathogens, it may not be exactly correct for some germs like Norovirus and Cryptosporidium. Both of these parasites can cause diarrhea.
Let’s move on to the meat of the blog now.
How to make homemade hand sanitizer?
You should always use commercial hand sanitizers; however, in case of emergency situations, when they suddenly run out of the market or you are not allowed to move out of your houses, preparation at home becomes inevitable.
It can be made in smaller and larger quantities. We will share each recipe with you.
Hand sanitizer recipe (small volume)
There is a simple ratio you should keep in mind during the preparation.
Use 3 parts of alcohol (90-99%) & 1 part of aloe vera.
- Measure¾ cup of alcohol and transfer it into a bowl.
- Measure ¼ cup of aloe vera gel extracted from the plant and pour it in the bowl.
- Add 5-10 drops of the essential oil you have with you.
- With the help of a spoon, mix all the components and let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes.
- Transfer the prepared hand sanitizer in a soap bottle by funneling it.
Aloe vera might make your hands sticky so, if you want to prepare a spray type version of the hand sanitizer, here is the recipe.
- Mix three parts of alcohol with 1 part witch hazel.
- Pour desired drops of essential oil and colored pigment.
- Mix all the ingredients together and let it sit for a while before transferring to a spray bottle.
Hand sanitizer recipe (large volume)
In order to make larger volumes of hand sanitizer, check the recipe approved by WHO. For that, you need the following ingredients:
- Hydrogen peroxide (3%)
- Boiled (then cooled) water
Care instructions while making hand sanitizer at home
You are making a disinfectant for sure but if not prepared with care, it could end up being contaminated.
- Use the sterilized apparatus (mixer, bowl e.t.c).
- When making large quantities, WHO recommends letting the solution sit for 72 hours before use.
- Don’t sneeze or cough in the solution; otherwise, the whole sanitizer will be contaminated. Wear gloves and masks during the preparation, especially when preparing large quantities.
- Only use the recommended proportions.
Homemade hand sanitizer vs. Handwashing
It’s as clear as glass: Hand washing is the better method to keep away from viruses and germs. Homemade hand sanitizer should only be used if soap and water are not accessible.
That being said, it is a sure-shot way of protection against diseases apart from making your immune system strong.
You should use the hand sanitizer in the following cases immediately:
- After coming out of the washroom
- After offboarding from public transport (you may have held the seat and the poles of the bus/train)
- After sneezing and blowing your nose
- After playing at home or ground
Using a hand sanitizer can protect you from harmful viruses and bacteria but only make them at home if they are extinct in the market and you have no access to regular hand washing. We wish you never have to face such circumstances.