In March, I began making hand sanitizer for my husband to carry with him to work. Initially I started out with rubbing alcohol, glycerin, witch hazel, and essential oils, but we found this combination very drying to the skin, so I made a few changes.
The CDC recommends minimums of 60% ethanol or 70% isopropyl alcohol in hand sanitizers for maximum effectiveness. Everclear 151, and certainly 190, as well as rubbing alcohol both have the requisite alcohol contents.
Currently, in my hometown, rubbing alcohol is no longer to be found and the shelves in every store I’ve been to are empty; therefore I have substituted Everclear 151. To purchase Everclear 190 at the VAABC stores, you have to go in and place a special order then wait two weeks or longer, so I use the 151, which they have on the shelves.
I use 5 parts Everclear, 1 part aloe vera gel, essential oils of bay laurel, eucalyptus, rosemary, lemon, and tea tree, and vitamin E oil to craft hand sanitizer. Other options for essential oils are thyme, clove, pine, lavender, and peppermint.
The proportions are as follows, I tripled them to make a large batch at one time, which yielded roughly 36 ounces:
- 1 1/4 cup rubbing alcohol or Everclear 151
- 1/4 cup aloe vera gel
- 20 – 40 drops essential oil
- 5 drops Vitamin E oil
Mix all the ingredients and shake well, whisk, or whizz in the blender, then pour some into a spray bottle. I reuse an empty hand sanitizer spray bottle. Label and store the extra in a cool, dry cupboard for refills.
Keep your hands washed when possible, spray (or rub) your homemade sanitizer into your hands when that’s not an option.
We keep two gallon jugs of water, dishwashing soap, and a towel in our car, an ingenious idea that came by way of a friend, and wash our hands after going in and out of places. We also carry a small spray bottle of sanitizer in pocket or bag.
There are so many ways to wellness; I’d love to hear some of the ways you navigate being well in these times.