3 Homemade Hand Sanitizer Recipes (Rubbing Alcohol Alternatives)

7 Materials
1 Hour

We've searched high and low for hand sanitizer and disinfecting wipes, but haven't been able to find any. My husband suggested we just do our own homemade hand sanitizer, but then when we went out to buy the ingredients, the shelves were empty, so we were forced to think outside the box!

In order for sanitizer to be affective, it must have an alcohol content of a minimum of 60% alcohol content (World Health Organization recommends 75%). Keep this in mind when you're diluting your alcohol products down with water, moisturizers, etc.)

Don't forget that hand sanitizer is not a replacement for hand washing!!

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How to Make Hand Sanitizer At Home

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Recipe 1 (World Health Organization WHO-volumes adjusted for smaller use)

Recipe #1 (World Health Organization WHO-volumes adjusted for smaller use)

1 C Rubbing Alcohol (95%)

1 TBS Hydrogen Peroxide

1 TSP Glycerine

1/3 C Water

Alternatively, if you don't have access to rubbing alcohol, you can replace it with Isoproply Alcohol, but to keep the alcohol content above 60%, leave out the water.

Alternative Recipe

1 C Isopropyl Alcohol (70%)

1 TBS Hydrogen Peroxide

1 TSP Glycerine

Recipe 2: Grain Alcohol

If you don't have access to rubbing alcohol or isopropyl alcohol, you can pick up a bottle of Grain alcohol from your local liquor store.

Recipe 2: Grain Alcohol

1 C Grain Alcohol

1/3 C Aloe Vera (preferable pure)

~10 Drops Essential Oils (optional) (OR Vitamin E drops OR Tea Tree Oil)

Alcoholic spirits like rum and whiskey do not have a high enough alcohol content to effectively disinfect. The final concentration has to be MINIMUM 60% alcohol content (AFTER dilution). World Health Organization recommends 75% alcohol content, so NO your bottle of 40% you've got in your cupboard will not work! :)

Disinfecting Wipes

As a result of this current crisis, we were not able to find any disinfecting wipes either, which work great to help stop the spread of germs. We used baby wipes and cotton pads to create our own handmade disinfecting wipes.

We used the World Health Organizations recipe (Recipe #1 in this tutorial) for hand sanitizer and soaked our baby wipes and cotton pads and then placed them in air-tight containers, for disinfecting on the go!

Make sure you label all of your homemade sanitizers and disinfectants so they only get used for what they are intended for.

Make Your Own Alcohol

If you don't think you can rely on stores to keep rubbing alcohol and grain alcohol on the shelves and you'd instead rater be self-sufficient, then you might want to consider purchasing an Air Still.

Here is a link to the one we purchased:

Air Still - https://amzn.to/2IW05BU

Alcohol Hydrometer - https://amzn.to/3d4XvXX

Graduated Cylinder - https://amzn.to/2wilNx9

This small unit can distill as much alcohol as you'll need for making your own hand sanitizer and sanitizing wipes. It also can distill all the clean drinking water your family will need.

Step 1: Make Sugar Wash

  • Combine 4L of warm water, 2.5 cups of Sugar and 1 tsp of yeast into a fermenting container
  • Let ferment for 1 - 2 weeks between 18 - 24 C

Step 2 : Distill

  • Once sugar wash is no longer sweet fermentation is complete
  • Transfer wash into Air Still and turn machine for full operating instructions see instructions that come with machine.
  • The product you collect from the first run will be 50% abv, pour this back into the Air still and run through a second time to achieve a 80% abv.

Note : This alcohol should be used for disinfecting purposes only.

Step 3 : Making Hand Sanitizer and Sanitizing Wipes

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Have a question about this project?

3 of 12 questions
  • Patt
    on Apr 3, 2020

    Can I make the aloe from my houseplant?

    • Itsmemic
      on Apr 5, 2020

      yes of course even better! Scrapes out pulp from leaves and put in the blender ! Voila !!

  • LJ
    on Apr 12, 2020

    i don't have aloe , or glycerin. Any other suggestions to use as the moisturizer part of the hand sanitizer?

  • Mel
    on Oct 3, 2020

    can i substitute glycerin with aloe vera?

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