DIY Hand Sanitizer

DIY Hand Sanitizer


Hand hygiene is probably the most important intervention to reduce the spread of germs and, with people panic buying at the moment, hand soaps and sanitizers have quickly sold out.


Ok, so we have been told to wash our hands…. While soap and water is the best way to thoroughly clean our hands, it is surely a good idea to “sanitize” our hands also when we are out and about.

But do we really want to use that store bought hand sanitizer? Do we want to put this stuff on our skin?



For a more in depth analysis of these ingredients and what they do to our skin see my blog


Today, I’m offering few ideas on how to make your own hand sanitizer, which you can also use to clean your mobile phone, keys, door knobs, buggy handles, and more.

Pour it into a little spray bottle and carry it with you.


Alcohol-based hand sanitizer


I am not a big fan of alcohol in personal care products, and it’s not a secret that most alcohol based handrubs leave the hands dry, cracked, and irritated after repeated use. This is why I kept the alcohol content relatively low here, feel free to increase the quantity if you prefer.




1/3 alcohol (min 70%)

1/3 aloe vera

1/3 water

A little spray bottle, preferably dark glass


How to


The best way to use aloe vera is always directly from the plant itself. Gently take a plump leaf, slice it open and spoon out the clear gel.

If you don’t have a plant, you can often find aloe leaves at local markets. Otherwise, you can use a couple of spoons of organic aloe vera gel or juice, make sure there are no additives.

Pour all the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.

You can also add few drops of essential oils, choose from the ones mentioned below for added protection.


Essential oils-based hand sanitizer



Essential oils are plant-derived extracts that have a wide array of qualities. The ones listed below have documented anti-viral, anti-bacterial and anti-septic properties:


  • Tea tree
  • Oregano
  • Thyme
  • Clove
  • Rosemary
  • Eucalyptus
  • Cinnamon
  • Lemon
  • Lavender


Tea tree is the star of this hand sanitizer. Antiseptic, antibacterial, antifungal, anti-inflammatory and antiviral, it is commonly used to prevent infections.

Some people find the smell of tea tree quite intense; if that is you, just add few drops of any of the essential oils listed above.

I have used Hamamelis (witch hazel) water here, which is antibacterial and antimicrobial. If you don’t have any, filtered water will do.




1/3 aloe vera

2/3 Hamamelis water or filtered water

2 drops tea tree essential oil

A little spray bottle, preferably dark glass


How to


Pour all the ingredients in a spray bottle and shake well.


Thieves blend


For centuries aromatic vinegars (vinegar infused with medicinal herbs and essential oils) have been used to avoid infectious diseases in times of epidemic; even doctors attending the sick used them as a protective agent.

A potent antiseptic, vinegar is also an extracting medium and a carrier for the active ingredients in the medicinal herbs and oils.

In the 18th century a special aromatic vinegar formula gained huge popularity. The ‘Vinegar of the Four Thieves’ was named after four bandits who, during a plague epidemic in Marseilles, used it to protect themselves from the disease while robbing the sick and the dead, without getting infected. They repeatedly washed their hands, nose and mouth with this special herbal vinegar. (Schmitz R. The Pomander. Pharmacy in History1989)

Over the centuries, the recipe travelled out of France and has been changed and adjusted few times; the one below is what is still in use today.

This blend is a potent antibacterial (1), and studies have shown that many of its ingredients have the ability to inhibit respiratory tract infections, including penicillin-resistant strains of pneumonia(2)

Remember: this solution is highly concentrated. always dilute well before using it.




25 drops clove essential oil

25 drops lemon essential oil

10 drops cinnamon bark essential oil

13 drops eucalyptus essential oil

7 drops rosemary essential oil

Small dark glass bottle


How to

Mix all the essential oils together and store in a dark glass bottle.


Now, let’s make our hand sanitizer…


Thieves hand sanitizer




10 drops of Thieves blend

1 teaspoon organic aloe vera

Hamamelis water or filtered water

A small dark glass spray bottle


How to


Pour the Thieves blend and the aloe vera in a spray bottle, fill up with Hamamelis water and shake well.