The health crisis seems to be changing daily. However, when it comes to preventing the spread of COVID-19, basic hygiene practices can help your life.
But if water and soap aren’t available, your next best option, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC)Trusted Source, is to use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol.
Most people don’t have a stock of hand sanitizer at home, and you’ll likely have a hard time finding any at a store or online right now. The good news? You can make it at home, read on to find out how.
What ingredients do you need?
Making hand sanitizer is easy to do and only requires a few ingredients:
- isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent alcohol volume)
- aloe vera gel
- an essential oil, such as tea tree oil or lavender oil, or you can use lemon juice instead
The key to making an effective, germ-busting hand sanitizer is to stick to a 2:1 proportion of alcohol to aloe vera. This keeps the alcohol content around 60 percent. This is the minimum amount needed to kill most germs, according to the CDCTrusted Source.
Hand sanitizer recipe
What you’ll need:
- 3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent)
- 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel (to help keep your hands smooth and to counteract the harshness of alcohol)
- Ten drops of essential oil, such as lavender oil, or you can use lemon juice instead
- Pour all ingredients into a bowl, ideally one with a pouring spout like a glass measuring container.
- Mix with a spoon and then beat with a whisk to turn the sanitizer into a gel.
- Pour the ingredients into an empty bottle for easy use, and label it “hand sanitizer.”
Please note: CDC recommends washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because handwashing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands. But 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. The guidance for effective handwashing and the use of hand sanitizer in community settings was developed based on data from several studies.