Homemade Hand Sanitizer With Simple Ingredients You Already Have

It’s surprisingly easy to make homemade 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 hand soap and water isn’t available, making your own hand sanitizer with this DIY disinfectant recipe is an effective way to decrease the spread of germs.

Make your own homemade hand sanitizer from common household ingredients - shown is a bottle of homemade hand sanitizer and the ingredients to make it
Make our homemade hand sanitizer recipe to make hand washing easier
with simple ingredients!

Alcohol is one of the best ways to disinfect and kill germs, so it’s no surprise that alcohol is one of the two ingredients in this easy diy hand sanitizer recipe. The other you probably have in your medicine cabinet — aloe vera gel, that sweet cooling relief for sunburned skin.

To be an effective hand sanitizer must contain at least 60 percent alcohol, according to the CDC.

How To Make Homemade Hand Sanitizer

The availability of hand sanitizer has been a bit of a roller coaster ride over the last year.  At first it was in short supply, you couldn’t find it anywhere and then it started popping up in stores and online, but a lot of it was really weird stuff!  And I wasn’t exactly sure what I was buying when it came to these random hand sanitizer brands.

When you make natural homemade hand sanitizer, you know exactly what ingredients are included. I like to include my favorite safe essential oils as a good way to customize the scent to get rid of the harsh alcohol smell.  

homemade hand sanitizer recipe ingredients shown in a glass bowl on a white table
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 sanitizer can be made with just two ingredients that you probably already have at home which are the same ingredients that many of the commercial hand sanitizers contain as well. And you know how obsessed we are with easy DIY recipes…so this was just a natural next step here at Kids Activities Blog! 

If you don’t, I went ahead and found everything you need on Amazon and included the affiliate links in this article.

Supplies to Make Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Homemade Hand sanitizer gel recipe steps - adding the aloe to the alcohol and stirring
Make this easy homemade hand sanitizer gel recipe that follows the CDC recommendations.

Steps to Make Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipe

You are going to be surprised how easy it is to make this!

Step 1

Add the aloe vera gel and alcohol to a bowl.

Step 2

Stir the two ingredients to combine until there is a smooth consistency. 

Step 3

You are done with the mixing process!  Add the finished hand sanitizer recipe to the type of container that best suits your needs.

Tips for Using this Homemade Hand Sanitizer Gel

  • This recipe will have a more liquid consistency than the hand sanitizer you can buy in stores due to the higher alcohol content.
  • Make sure to let the solution dry completely on your skin!
  • This will feel like a gel hand sanitizer because of the gel-like nature of the aloe.
  • If you want to add drops of essential oil to make it smell differently…try your favorites like orange oils for a citrus smell or lavender oil for calming.

Can I use 70% rubbing alcohol when making homemade hand sanitizer?

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 concentration.

This is because 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 gel shown made with 70% alcohol vs. 91%
The goal is a homemade hand sanitizer gel with at least 60% alcohol can help you avoid getting sick and spreading germs to others.

Is Homemade Hand Sanitizer Gel Safe for Kids?

Homemade hand sanitizer is a great alternative to store-bought disinfectant in a pinch to clean kid’s hands. However, it’s important to use caution when working with alcohol around small children.

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.

Do not use homemade hand sanitizing gel on kids who have a tendency to put things into their mouth to taste them.  Even small amounts of isopropanol can be very dangerous because it is easily absorbed through the gums.

If you are worried that your child has consumed hand sanitizer, then contact help immediately and watch for signs like dizziness, headache, nausea and other unusual symptoms or behaviors.

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.

Here is another essential oil hand sanitizer recipe that we love.  This DIY hand sanitizer recipe with essential oils uses witch hazel instead of aloe vera gel and Vitamin E oil.

how to make hand sanitizer gel with aloe vera gel - ingredients for our two ingredient homemade hand sanitizer recipe
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:

  1. Squirt some in the palm of one hand.
  2. 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 gel recipe with two ingredients and easy to use in a jar
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

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

Materials

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

Tools

  • bowl
  • spoon
  • small jar or container

Instructions

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

Notes

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.

Recommended Products

As an Amazon Associate and member of other affiliate programs, I earn from qualifying purchases.

Did you find our homemade hand sanitizer recipe helpful?

Disinfect your home with these deep cleaning hacks that use common household ingredients.

2 Comments

  1. Master Khan says:

    Yeah I made a sanitizer by using your method it really works.

  2. Kristen Yard says:

    I am so glad you liked it! It’s really helpful for when it’s hard to track down sanitizer!

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