Two-Ingredient All Natural Gel DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe

March 9, 2020 separator DIY Bath & Body

Pop by the liquor store, and then come back to learn how to make your own DIY hand sanitizer recipe with just two ingredients right at home!
Mix up a bottle of natural DIY hand sanitizer gel with this quick, easy recipe. You can even use it as a spray if you put it in a spray bottle! Add optional essential oils for a better smell, and use 100% aloe vera gel for a moisturizing mixture. It's safe for kids to use on their hands, but be sure to add cute labels to keep the bottles from getting mixed up so that nobody accidentally drinks it! This homemade hand sanitizer with Everclear grain liquor is great for disinfecting and is even effective against Coronovirus (COVID-19) since it contains at least 60% alcohol, which is CDC recommended. 

Disclaimer: I am not a healthcare professional. I’m just a mom trying to share a solution I’ve found to a common concern. When it comes to health, please always do your own research from trusted sources like CDC.gov and WHO.int! 

For the third day of CRAFTWEEK, I’m combining creativity and practicality to show you how to make a common item that’s suddenly become very hard to find. Today’s CRAFTWEEK giveaway is sponsored by Cricut. Pop over to my Instagram to enter to win!

If you’ve been on the internet or out of your house in the last week, you know everybody’s out there prepping for quarantine.

Oddly, I think the most common thing flying off the shelves at my local stores is toilet paper. I have to say that, while wiping wouldn’t be my first priority in a crisis, I guess it would be nice to have…

But cleaning products and hand sanitizer have already completely gone missing from my local stores, too. I’ve asked at three different stores, only to be told that all the hand sanitizer was bought up days ago. 

Honestly, my household isn’t getting too concerned about the virus yet. We’re practicing social distancing and keeping a close eye on any new developments.

I’ve also taken the opportunity to give my toddler a very thorough refresher on proper handwashing technique. In fact, I’ve realized most of the adults I know could use a reminder, too, since soap and water should always be the first choice for germ-busting and hand-cleaning!

And when we’re out and about running errands, I’ll give us both a quick squeeze of hand sanitizer to tide us over until we get to a proper bathroom. 

I’m going to repeat this one more time for the people in the back: I AM NOT A HEALTHCARE PROFESSIONAL. I AM NOT GIVING MEDICAL ADVICE! What I’m doing is providing a mathematically accurate, research-backed, and cited recipe for homemade hand sanitizer. 

Mix up a bottle of natural DIY hand sanitizer gel with this quick, easy recipe. You can even use it as a spray if you put it in a spray bottle! Add optional essential oils for a better smell, and use 100% aloe vera gel for a moisturizing mixture. It's safe for kids to use on their hands, but be sure to add cute labels to keep the bottles from getting mixed up so that nobody accidentally drinks it! This homemade hand sanitizer with Everclear grain liquor is great for disinfecting and is even effective against Coronovirus (COVID-19) since it contains at least 60% alcohol, which is CDC recommended. 

How to Wash Your Hands Properly: Use Soap 

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) say that washing hands with soap and water is one of the best ways to protect yourself and your family from getting sick in most situations. Soap and water are more effective than hand sanitizer because sanitizers don’t work against all types of germs, and they don’t work as well if your hands are visibly dirty. 

They recommend washing hands:

  • Before, during, and after preparing food and before eating
  • Before and after caring for somebody who’s sick
  • After using the toilet, changing a diaper, or helping a little one use the toilet
  • After blowing your nose, coughing, or sneezing*
  • After touching garbage
  • After handling animals, their waste, or their food or treats

*But please, please, remember to cough or sneeze into your elbow or a tissue instead of hands!!!

Now that you know the occasions when you should be scrubbing up, here’s how the CDC advises you wash your hands:

  1. Wet your hands with clean, running water (warm or cold), turn off the tap, and apply soap.
  2. Lather your hands by rubbing them together with the soap. Lather the backs of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails.
  3. Scrub your hands for at least 20 seconds. Singing “happy birthday” twice takes around 20 seconds!
  4. Rinse your hands well under clean, running water.
  5. Dry your hands using a clean towel or air dry them.

Source: CDC.gov “Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives”

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Mix up a bottle of natural DIY hand sanitizer gel with this quick, easy recipe. You can even use it as a spray if you put it in a spray bottle! Add optional essential oils for a better smell, and use 100% aloe vera gel for a moisturizing mixture. It's safe for kids to use on their hands, but be sure to add cute labels to keep the bottles from getting mixed up so that nobody accidentally drinks it! This homemade hand sanitizer with Everclear grain liquor is great for disinfecting and is even effective against Coronovirus (COVID-19) since it contains at least 60% alcohol, which is CDC recommended. 

How to Use Hand Sanitizer

But let’s say you’re out and about, and you don’t have access to soap and running water. Obviously hand sanitizer is a better options than just dusting your hands on your pants — or on mom’s shirt, as is the case with every toddler ever. 

The CDC does acknowledge that hand sanitizer can quickly reduce the number of certain types of germs on hands and that if soap and water aren’t available, you can use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer to get by.

They do emphasize that the hand sanitizer should contain at least 60% alcohol, so that means none of the alcohol-free formulations we love for our kids. 

If you’re using hand sanitizer, make sure to do it right: 

  1. Apply hand sanitizer to the palm of one hand.
  2. Rub your hands together to distribute the sanitizer.
  3. Rub sanitizer over every part of your hands, including backs of hands and between fingers.
  4. Continue until hands are dry, or approximately 20 seconds. Singing “happy birthday” twice takes around 20 seconds!

Source: CDC.gov “Handwashing: Clean Hands Save Lives”

Mix up a bottle of natural DIY hand sanitizer gel with this quick, easy recipe. You can even use it as a spray if you put it in a spray bottle! Add optional essential oils for a better smell, and use 100% aloe vera gel for a moisturizing mixture. It's safe for kids to use on their hands, but be sure to add cute labels to keep the bottles from getting mixed up so that nobody accidentally drinks it! This homemade hand sanitizer with Everclear grain liquor is great for disinfecting and is even effective against Coronovirus (COVID-19) since it contains at least 60% alcohol, which is CDC recommended. 

Does Hand Sanitizer Work Against Viruses?

There isn’t a vaccine yet for the virus that has us all terrified, but the CDC recommends frequent hand-washing with soap and water as a preventive measure. They say to use a hand sanitizer with at least 60% alcohol if you can’t get to soap and water. However, if your hands are visibly dirty, you need to find soap and water!

Source: CDC.gov “Disease 2019 Prevention and Treatment”

Dr. David Agus points out that while hand sanitizer doesn’t kill all germs, it is effective against this specific enveloped virus because the alcohol in the sanitizer destroys the shell, or “envelope glycoprotein” around the virus, which causes the virus to die quickly. 

Mix up a bottle of natural DIY hand sanitizer gel with this quick, easy recipe. You can even use it as a spray if you put it in a spray bottle! Add optional essential oils for a better smell, and use 100% aloe vera gel for a moisturizing mixture. It's safe for kids to use on their hands, but be sure to add cute labels to keep the bottles from getting mixed up so that nobody accidentally drinks it! This homemade hand sanitizer with Everclear grain liquor is great for disinfecting and is even effective against Coronovirus (COVID-19) since it contains at least 60% alcohol, which is CDC recommended. 

Ingredients for DIY Sanitizer Gel

Is all the hand sanitizer sold out where you live, too? Don’t worry — you can make your own!

There are probably hundreds of different homemade hand sanitizer recipes on the internet. And depending on what you’re looking for from your sanitizer, a lot of them may be fantastic. But if you’re looking for something that will kill as much of the really yucky stuff as possible, don’t bother with the alcohol-free formulas. 

Remember that the key ingredient is always going to alcohol for really effective DIY hand sanitizer!

The World Health Organization has a couple recipes that they recommend. The first one uses ethanol alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and glycerin. The second one combines 99.8% isopropyl alcohol, hydrogen peroxide, and glycerin. It yields a 75%-alcohol solution, which is well above the CDC recommendation of 60%. However, since both of these formulas are liquid and also seem like they would have a very drying effect on the skin, I went with another recipe.

Source: WHO-Recommended Handrub Formulations

Here’s what I’m using for my liquor store hand sanitizer recipe:

I wanted a less-liquidy hand sanitizer so that my toddler isn’t splashing it everywhere before it has a chance to kill anything when I put it on her hands. Plus, my skin gets super dry this time of year. 

I checked a few nearby stores for isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol), and they were out of that already, too. Apparently we’re buying up every single thing that will kill germs. Okay, I can work around that…

So I hit up the liquor store and picked up a bottle of 151 proof Everclear grain alcohol. Everclear – besides being the secret ingredient in every frat party trash can full of punch – is ethanol alcohol. Depending on where you live, Everclear is also sold in 120 proof, 189 proof, and 190 proof. The only one that won’t work for hand sanitizer is 120 proof because it doesn’t have enough alcohol.

Which type of Everclear is better?

Use the highest proof (alcohol content) you can get. Some states don’t allow the sale of the higher proof versions, so I had to get the 151. With a higher proof/alcohol percentage, you can add more aloe without diluting the alcohol too much, so you’ll have more of a gel consistency and more moisturizing qualities in your end product.

The only other ingredient you need is 100% aloe vera gel, which is typically found with sunscreen and other sun-care products. 

The alcohol serves the germ-killing purpose, and aloe vera gel will help thicken the mixture up just a bit and adds a touch of moisturizing property to the formula. 

How to Make All Natural DIY Hand Sanitizer

Mix up a bottle of natural DIY hand sanitizer gel with this quick, easy recipe. You can even use it as a spray if you put it in a spray bottle! Add optional essential oils for a better smell, and use 100% aloe vera gel for a moisturizing mixture. It's safe for kids to use on their hands, but be sure to add cute labels to keep the bottles from getting mixed up so that nobody accidentally drinks it! This homemade hand sanitizer with Everclear grain liquor is great for disinfecting and is even effective against Coronovirus (COVID-19) since it contains at least 60% alcohol, which is CDC recommended. 

Ingredients

If you want to make an exact World Health Organization formulation, again, you can find their recipes here. Everclear is ethanol alcohol, which is the same active ingredient called for by the WHO. Please note that this post contains a few affiliate links, from which I can make a commission if you make a purchase. There’s no additional cost to you! 

For 151 proof Everclear (Final solution: 62.9% alcohol/more liquidy)

  • 10 ounces (1 1/4 cup) 151 proof Everclear Grain Alcohol
  • 2 ounces (1/4 cup) 100% aloe vera gel

For 189 and 190 proof Everclear (Final solution: 63.3% alcohol/less liquidy)

  • 8 ounces (1 cup) 189 or 190 proof Everclear Grain Alcohol
  • 4 ounces (1/2 cup) 100% aloe vera gel

For 120 proof Everclear: Do not use!

Update: I’ve had questions about concentration for isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol).

For 70% isopropyl alcohol: Do not use!

For 91% isopropyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol (final solution: 65.0% alcohol)

For 99%+ isopropyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol (final solution: 66.0% alcohol) 

Instructions

Mix up a bottle of natural DIY hand sanitizer gel with this quick, easy recipe. You can even use it as a spray if you put it in a spray bottle! Add optional essential oils for a better smell, and use 100% aloe vera gel for a moisturizing mixture. It's safe for kids to use on their hands, but be sure to add cute labels to keep the bottles from getting mixed up so that nobody accidentally drinks it! This homemade hand sanitizer with Everclear grain liquor is great for disinfecting and is even effective against Coronovirus (COVID-19) since it contains at least 60% alcohol, which is CDC recommended. 1. Pour 8 ounces of Everclear into a jar. 

2. Add the specified amount of 100% aloe vera gel, depending on the alcohol percentage of your Everclear. Check the ingredients above if you’re not sure!

Note: Don’t add too much aloe vera gel, or you could dilute the alcohol too much, weakening it’s germ-fighting potential.

Mix up a bottle of natural DIY hand sanitizer gel with this quick, easy recipe. You can even use it as a spray if you put it in a spray bottle! Add optional essential oils for a better smell, and use 100% aloe vera gel for a moisturizing mixture. It's safe for kids to use on their hands, but be sure to add cute labels to keep the bottles from getting mixed up so that nobody accidentally drinks it! This homemade hand sanitizer with Everclear grain liquor is great for disinfecting and is even effective against Coronovirus (COVID-19) since it contains at least 60% alcohol, which is CDC recommended. 

3. Screw the lid tightly on the jar, and shake like crazy. Remember those bizarre shake weights that were sold on late-night infomercials? Channel those people while you’re shaking up your all natural hand sanitizer recipe… 

Mix up a bottle of natural DIY hand sanitizer gel with this quick, easy recipe. You can even use it as a spray if you put it in a spray bottle! Add optional essential oils for a better smell, and use 100% aloe vera gel for a moisturizing mixture. It's safe for kids to use on their hands, but be sure to add cute labels to keep the bottles from getting mixed up so that nobody accidentally drinks it! This homemade hand sanitizer with Everclear grain liquor is great for disinfecting and is even effective against Coronovirus (COVID-19) since it contains at least 60% alcohol, which is CDC recommended. 

4. Pour into smaller containers. I’m not a fan of plastic, but for something you’ll want to throw in your purse or diaper bag, it’s a better option than glass. The mini plastic shampoo bottles in the travel section of stores like Target are perfect for this. Keep one in the car, your purse, your diaper bag, on your desk at work – you get the idea!

Mix up a bottle of natural DIY hand sanitizer gel with this quick, easy recipe. You can even use it as a spray if you put it in a spray bottle! Add optional essential oils for a better smell, and use 100% aloe vera gel for a moisturizing mixture. It's safe for kids to use on their hands, but be sure to add cute labels to keep the bottles from getting mixed up so that nobody accidentally drinks it! This homemade hand sanitizer with Everclear grain liquor is great for disinfecting and is even effective against Coronovirus (COVID-19) since it contains at least 60% alcohol, which is CDC recommended. 

5. LABEL YOUR CONTAINERS! This is not negotiable, you guys. We want to keep everybody safe, so it’s important that this doesn’t accidentally turn into somebody’s breakfast drink!

If you have a Cricut or other cutting machine, you can cut out cute little “sanitizer” labels from peel-and-stick vinyl. Here’s a free file you can use!

Printable Instructions

Yield: varies

Two-Ingredient All Natural Gel DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe

Mix up a bottle of natural DIY hand sanitizer gel with this quick, easy recipe. You can even use it as a spray if you put it in a spray bottle! Add optional essential oils for a better smell, and use 100% aloe vera gel for a moisturizing mixture. It's safe for kids to use on their hands, but be sure to add cute labels to keep the bottles from getting mixed up so that nobody accidentally drinks it! This homemade hand sanitizer with Everclear grain liquor is great for disinfecting and is even effective against Coronovirus (COVID-19) since it contains at least 60% alcohol, which is CDC recommended. 

Make your own all natural, two-ingredient DIY hand sanitizer recipe gel. Hint: The main ingredient is from the liquor store, not the pharmacy!

Active Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes
Difficulty Beginner
Estimated Cost $20

Materials

  • Everclear 151 or 190 OR
  • Isopropyl alcohol/rubbing alcohol 91%+
  • Aloe vera gel

Tools

  • Measuring cups
  • Jar
  • Small containers

Instructions

Important: Refer to full post for ingredient amounts!

  1. Pour the required amount of alcohol into a lidded jar.
  2. Add the required amount of aloe vera gel.
  3. Put the lid on the jar, and shake vigorously until completely mixed.
  4. Pour into smaller containers.
  5. Label your containers to avoid mixups!
  6. To use. apply to palms of hands, and rub all over fingers and hands for at least 20 seconds.
But wait, there’s more…

Now that you’re on your way to sucking all the moisture out of your poor skin, you’re probably going to want to exfoliate, moisturize, and relax. Here are some other posts you might like:

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12 comments

    1. I don’t think it would hurt at all as long as you’re not adding a huge quantity that dilutes the alcohol. But several drops should be fine.

  1. So i just tried to make this with 4 oz of 190 proof ever clear and 1.5 oz aloe (69% alcohol ratio) and the ever clear turned my natural ape into a glue like substance?? Ruined

    1. Good question, Roxana! It would be effective if you just poured it directly on your hands, though it would evaporate very quickly. The concentration isn’t high enough to mix it with any aloe vera gel because that would bring it below 60%.

  2. Will this formula produce the gel-like consistency of store-bought sanitizers? Every formula I’ve tried yields a very liquidy sanitizer.

    1. Hi Ricky! The Everclear 190 would give you the best gel-like consistency because it can be diluted with more aloe vera gel without losing effectiveness. The one I made with the 151 is like a thin gel — definitely not as thick as the store-bought formulations but not super liquidy.

    1. It’s so unfortunate that some greedy or panicked people have taken away the entire supply. I’m glad this helps!

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