Making hand sanitizer at home – Quick & Tested Recipes

How to make homemade hand sanitizer

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?

How do hand sanitizers work
Alcohol destroys the cell walls of the germs

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?

Does hand sanitizer work for viruses
Hand sanitizers are highly efficient in guarding against a majority of germs

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?

How to make homemade hand sanitizer
Image Source

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.

Gel type:

  1. Measure¾ cup of alcohol and transfer it into a bowl.
  2. Measure ¼ cup of aloe vera gel extracted from the plant and pour it in the bowl.
  3. Add 5-10 drops of the essential oil you have with you.
  4. With the help of a spoon, mix all the components and let the mixture sit for 20-30 minutes.
  5. Transfer the prepared hand sanitizer in a soap bottle by funneling it.

Spray type:

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.

  1. Mix three parts of alcohol with 1 part witch hazel.
  2. Pour desired drops of essential oil and colored pigment.
  3. 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%)
  • Glycerol
  • Alcohol
  • 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.

  1. Use the sterilized apparatus (mixer, bowl e.t.c).
  2. When making large quantities, WHO recommends letting the solution sit for 72 hours before use.
  3. 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.
  4. Only use the recommended proportions.

Homemade hand sanitizer vs. Handwashing

Homemade hand sanitizer vs. Handwashing
Always prioritize hand washing against against hand sanitizers

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:

  1. After coming out of the washroom
  2. After offboarding from public transport (you may have held the seat and the poles of the bus/train)
  3. After sneezing and blowing your nose
  4. 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.


Leave a Reply
  1. Thank you for sharing! I have not been able to purchase hand sanitizer from the time the virus hit the U.S. Shelves have been empty of this product.

  2. Great products and ideals for hand sanitizer.l have tried to buy several. items but they are not going through
    Please advise

  3. Useful, but a couple of issues;

    if coughing into the mix during preparation contaminates the whole batch it’s not much of a sanitizer

    Also alcohol is not an alcohol, it is the name for a group of chemicals with similar structure (and properties) e.g. methan-ol, ethan-ol, propan-ol etc

    Bacteria is already plural, you cannot add an s.

    I do think that if you are providing health advice, you should at least understand it and the science behind it.

    • Thanks for the deep analysis first of all Hank. It is just a precaution because you wouldn’t want any germs to enter the solution before it is properly mixed. Healthline advises to use clean mixing equipment and washing hands before the preparation, let alone coughing in the mixture.
      As for the error in grammar you indicated, it has been rectified.

  4. Take some cotton balls and soak them in the alcohol mixture. Put the soaked cotton balls and put them in a ziplock bag. Good way to apply and not waste the disinfectant. The 3 to 1!solution is best way. Retired pharmacist George.

  5. Many thanks!
    Now this is what NEIGHBORS do!
    Let us keep being real neighbors-spirit-soul-body(financially,health & well-fare,state)!
    The color pigments should be what also repels the adverse invaders,but it was not detailed!
    All this is a BLESSING to our hands and therefore a our work will be secured !

    • Thanks a lot for this humble gesture. Super committed to bring useful information for our users in the future as well. You should visit our blog section for other helpful stories as well.

  6. Thanks for sharing these recipes for hand sanitizer, very informative and essential to staying healthy from this deadly virus.

  7. I think your awesome with all these recipes for sanitizers! U can’t find it in the stores because there always sold out! Thank you, gail mckey

  8. Thank you sooo much and This seems to be a great idea and I will try and mix a bach and tell you how it goes OK. Thanks again and stay safe.

    • I have seen this on “Sunshine and Succulents” You cut a leaf off the plant and peel back the outer part. Then scrape the gel from the inside. I imagine you’ll need almost the whole plant to get 1/4 cup, but succulents renew themselves easily. It does take a long time to grow back. It also might send out a brand new “baby” shoot, which will take months to grow to full size.

    • Cut the bottom part of the aloe vera leaf, followed by the sides and then the top part. Then slice the gel slowly using a knife and blend it in a blender for no chunks at all.

  9. Thank you for sharing a positive, unselfish, not trying to sell me your product email. Usually I delete emails from uplift but for some reason this time I started reading it and saw it was not a sales pitch. Many KUDOS to you!!!

  10. Very very useful and timely Information about making home sanitizer with ingredients easily available. Even though I am not sure if alcohol is ethanol or methanol the seller may guide me of course or who sells alcohol and where should we get alcohol and hydrogen peroxide. However many many thanks for the information

  11. Thank you for your continuing communication with us. It is a very kind and thoughtful thing to do during this pandemic. We appreciate the comments and subjects you have chosen, that can be so important to be aware of- that can make such a difference to those who are so very frightened now.
    We have made this hand sanitizer but using the Aloe Vera directly from the plant took a lot more time. The gel was not liquid and had to be blended first.
    We are keeping busy at home as usual. Being retired, we are used to the “quiet life”. Staying informed is a big part of our lives and implementing some of what we learn helps to keep our minds occupied and more positive.
    Again, thanks for the email.

  12. A suggestion. We have found rubbing alcohol impossible to find. I sent my daughter to the liquor store to buy 100 proof Vodka. It too will soon be unavailable if this thing keeps going much longer. The store she used offered her 190 proof because they were so low on the 100 proof.

  13. This sounds like it would B fine for hand sanitizer. I am going to try this starting tomorrow since I only have peroxide!
    Thank You very much!!!

  14. I have been searching for rubbing alcohol for 5 weeks. Hand sanitizer is available but not the isopranol. I prefer homemade because the commercial has chemicals. And I like to use my essential oils. Thank you for your formula. I will try it when I can get the rubbing alcohol. ?

    • You can use Ethyl alcohol as an alternative to rubbing alcohol. This is found in the “Grain alcohol” bottle which contains about 75.5% alcohol. You can get it from local stores.

  15. Thank you so much, what a lovely person you are to share your recipe. As a household of extremely vulnerable people it will put our minds at rest. Thank you for your selfless act. I will try this this afternoon. Stay safe. Xx

  16. Thank you for the homemade hand sanitizer recipes. I will try to make some. Why can you not use the gel aloe Vera found in bottles vs. the real plant. Please elaborate on this. Thank you again.

  17. If you can’t get rubbing alcohol you can use PGA (Pure Grain Alcohol). You can purchase it at any liquor store and it’s 92-97% alcohol. It’s just a bit pricey but hey, it does the job and after all, that’s what we all need. Give it a try; it works! BTW – it costs under $10.00. Everyone be safe and hang in there.

  18. I cannot use hand sanitizer with alcohol in it.( due to a short term med that reacts with the alcohol getting absorbed into my bloodstream.) Do you know of any without alcohol ? I know they gave the homeless people non-alcohol sanitizer. How is all of this alcohol affecting driving tests and children?Thanks.

  19. It’s funny. I already made some, before I saw your recipe. Thank you for caring and not charging us for the information. You are a ROCK STAR! ??

  20. This is a great way to help people feel more protected.. Store this information away for a later date because at this point in time there is No isopropyl alcohol available Anywhere ! But, this is the correct formula, and it will always be useful in the future.. Lary

  21. Many comments on no isopropyl alcohol…use grain alcohol from a liquor store. Also, when harvesting fresh aloe Vera, be sure to cut off the side spikes.

  22. It is an absolutely amazing recipe, to us it in bus, post office, toilet, it is so useful and important! I have always a spraying bottle with me!

    Thank you, to helping us with a spray, who not make the hands sickly and dry!

  23. I will make this if I can find alcohol anywhere. We have a few bottles at home with maybe 1/2 to 1 inch at the bottom of each.

    I also have a half dozen tiny purse-sized hand sanitizers that I’ve acquired over the years – they’re coming in handy.

  24. For your alcohol go to your drug store where they probably will be out, but ask when the next shipment will be in. Make sure you’re there early on that day. Stay safe everyone

  25. Thanks so much for all your recipes. In a time when we are so vulnerable, it’s nice to have alternative methods to use. I’m definitely trying. Although, I have pure Aloe Vera in a bottle, I can probably figure out a new recipe for myself.

  26. What % or volume of Hydrogen Peroxide are you using? And it’s important to let people know that Hydrogen Peroxide cannot come into contact with Acetone. It’s highly flammable.

  27. Since I do not cook anything special like a sufelle or fancy things I can not even say this should be a education achievement in the end?

  28. Now off to the store for alcohol or maybe a local pub when they are open again. I wonder if jack Daniels would work at least it would feel good maybe ?

  29. Thanks for sharing your ideas with us and your friends. Learning is a skill that cannot end. Let us appreciate thanks
    Stefaans Ramadivhana

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