DIY Hand Sanitizer - Spray or Gel

8 Materials
5 Minutes

Learn how to make your own DIY hand sanitizer in a convenient gel or spray format. Both recipes are made with high- proof vodka instead of rubbing alcohol, making them ideal for those with eczema or who are sensitive to strong scents. Plus, the addition of humectants such as aloe vera gel and glycerin help to moisturize dry or sensitive skin.

What you’ll need to make hand sanitizer spray:

High-proof vodka

Vegetable glycerin (shown in beaker)

Essential oils, if desired

Spray bottle

small funnel (optional)

High-proof vodka, vegetable glycerin and essential oils to be combined in a spay bottle

What you’ll need to make hand sanitizer gel:

High-proof vodka

Aloe vera gel (shown in beaker)

Essential oils, if desired

Squeeze or pump bottle

It’s a common misconception that you can’t use vodka to make your own hand sanitizer. You can, but it’s very important to remember that you can’t just use any vodka brand.

In order for hand sanitizer to be effective, your final product must contain 60% alcohol or more. Regular vodka is only 40% alcohol, which isn’t enough to kill germs.

So, it’s important that you choose a high-proof vodka.

You also must be precise with your percentages. For more information on which vodka brands meet these requirements, CHECK OUT OUR BLOG POST HERE.

Aloe gel shown in glass beaker

While nothing replaces proper hand washing, hand sanitizer can come in handy during those times when you don’t have access to soap and water.

However, if you suffer from eczema or dry hands, store-bought products might be much too harsh on your skin. And sometimes for various reasons, commercial hand sanitizers may not be available.

So, we wanted to offer effective homemade recipes.

Let’s get into how to make this DIY.

Pour high-proof vodka into spray bottle using a small funnel

To make hand sanitizer spray, begin by pouring high-proof vodka into a spray bottle.

We recommend using a glass or stainless steel spray bottle, but if you don’t have one on hand, you can also use a plastic spray bottle. However, it’s important to remember that essential oils can cause plastic bottles to break down, so skip the essential oils if you need to keep your hand sanitizer in a plastic bottle.

Next, add vegetable glycerin

After you’ve poured in your vodka, add vegetable glycerin and a few drops of essential oils, if desired. Alcohol is the main disinfectant in this recipe, but essential oils such as eucalyptus or lavender can add a pleasant fragrance.

Replace the nozzle of your bottle and shake to combine.

To make gel format: mix vodka and aloe vera gel in a glass beaker or mason jar

To make hand sanitizer gel, begin by pouring your vodka into a clean container such as a mason jar or a glass beaker.

If desired, you can add a few drops of essential oils. But again, if you’re planning to keep your sanitizer gel in a plastic container, skip the essential oils.

If you’d like your sanitizer to have a nice aloe-green colour, you can opt to add a few drops of natural green food dye.

Now, pour your aloe vera gel into your jar.

NOTE: Depending on which brand of aloe vera you choose, your sanitizer may not be as thick as you'd like. Your sanitizer’s viscosity will be dependent on which aloe vera gel you use.

Mix your aloe gel into your vodka thoroughly. If your sanitizer becomes lumpy, it can also help to shake it in a mason jar.

Pour your finished hand sanitizer gel into a squeeze bottle

Transfer your finished sanitizer gel into a squeeze bottle or a pump bottle.

For exact measurements, please SEE OUR BLOG POST HERE.

We hope you enjoyed this tutorial. Remember these hand sanitizers do not replace soap and water, and are only to be used as a backup until you can properly wash your hands.

Also, please remember that we are not suggesting you avoid rubbing alcohol if it is your only option. When faced with using rubbing alcohol or risking getting sick, you’re still better off using it than completely forgoing a disinfectant.

Gel hand sanitizer in a squeeze bottle and spray hand sanitizer in a glass spray bottle

This recipe is also ideal for those with conditions such as migraines and eczema in mind, who might not be able to use products containing rubbing alcohol.

We hope you enjoyed this DIY. For more home cleaning recipes, check out our blog!

Resources for this project:
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A Life Adjacent
Want more details about this and other DIY projects? Check out my blog post!
Frequently asked questions
Have a question about this project?
  3 questions
  • Susan W Baldwin Susan W Baldwin on Mar 23, 2020

    What are the portions of al vera and alcohol

  • Tammy Clark Tammy Clark on Mar 23, 2020

    Can U use the al Vera that U can drink that is the al Vera I can find

  • Betty Betty on Mar 25, 2020

    Please tell me, what is vegetable glycerin.

Join the conversation
5 of 16 comments
  • YavieK YavieK on Mar 27, 2020

    The CDC has made a statement that Vodka doesn’t provide a high enough % of alcohol. 80 proof vodka only contains 40% alcohol. You’re better off purchasing a high % rubbing alcohol, it needs to be a minimum of 70% to be effective.

    • See 2 previous
    • Laura Vallee Albrets Laura Vallee Albrets on Nov 08, 2022

      Good, cuz I can't stand the smell of drinking alcohol in hand sanitizer! Stinks! And I do like to drink Vodka!

  • Diane Diane on Jan 26, 2021

    What about using everclear? I use vodka in my tomato juice 😉

    • A Life Adjacent A Life Adjacent on Feb 20, 2021

      Definitely! That's one of the brands we recommend in the post. And  don't want to waste the good stuff you use in your tomato juice!