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Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

A man applying hand sanitizer to his bare hands.
This is our official recommended recipe to make your own hand sanitizer at home. This recipe follows WHO guidelines for maximum cleaning power.
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We're seeing a lot of hand sanitizer recipes which don't adhere to the recommendation of containing 60% alcohol. These might smell nice but won't be effective.

One of the most important things to prevent diseases including the coronavirus and the flu is to frequently wash your hands.

This recipe shows how you can make your own hand sanitizer at home using rubbing alcohol. This is becoming especially important as supplies sell out in coronavirus hit areas.

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Bronze Tip Medal for All Time! 75 Tips
February 29, 2020

Hand sanitizer is an effective way to wash your hands when you don't have access to soap and water. The following recipe lets you make your own hand sanitizer at home.

Beyond the coronavirus hand sanitizer is a must have for parents to have in the car or stroller. Frequently washing your hands cuts down on the risk of the flu and food poisoning.

Note that this recipe is based on the recommendations of the World Health Organization (WHO), converted to U.S. ingredients.

Many online recipes seem to focus more on how the sanitizer smells than on its effectiveness. Authorities are recommending sanitizer with 60% alcohol content. Our recipe here should meet that recommendation.

Total Time: 5 Minutes

Yield: 4 Cups

Source: World Health Organization

Link: WHO Recommended Handrub Formulations

A man applying hand sanitizer to his bare hands.
 

Supplies:

  • 4 cups Isopropyl Alcohol (70%)
  • 3 Tbsp Hydrogen Peroxide (3%)
  • 1 - 2 Tbsp Glycerine
  • Mixing Container
  • Individual Bottles for Dispensing
Homemade Hand Sanitizer
 

Steps:

  1. Pour the isopropyl alcohol into a clean container. It's easiest to mix the sanitizer directly in the bottle in which you'll store it.
  2. Homemade Hand Sanitizer
     
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  3. Add 3 tablespoons of hydrogen peroxide (H202 3%).
  4. Homemade Hand Sanitizer
     
  5. Add 1 - 2 tablespoons of glycerine. Make sure you get all the glycerine out of the spoon since it flows slowly. WHO only recommends one tablespoon but two makes the sanitizer a little easier to rub on.
  6. Homemade Hand Sanitizer
     
  7. Gently mix the ingredients together either by stirring or sealing and gently shaking the bottle.
  8. Homemade Hand Sanitizer
     
  9. Dispense the sanitizer into smaller individual bottles. This is a great way to refill sanitizer bottles which have run out.
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These supplies cost us about $6 ($2 isopropyl alcohol, $1 hydrogen peroxide, glycerin $3) but the hydrogen peroxide and glycerin can be used for many batches. During an outbreak hand sanitizer refills often sell out.

We are using 70% isopropyl alcohol which is known in the U.S. as rubbing alcohol. If you are using 98% alcohol measure out 3 cups and then add a cup of distilled water to make 4 full cups of sanitizer. If you are using 91% isopropyl alcohol, measure out 3 and 1/3 cups and then add 2/3 cups of water to make 4 full cups of sanitizer.

You can also use drinking alcohol in place of the rubbing alcohol but it is difficult to get a high enough proof. The equivalent of 70% rubbing alcohol would be 140 proof vodka. See the WHO link for additional information.

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Videos

March 23, 2020

Learn the step by step process of making your own hand sanitizer in this short video. This recipe makes a strong enough sanitizer to kill of the coronavirus.

This is based off of the World Health Organizations' recommendations. This recipe uses rubbing alcohol, hydrogen peroxide and glycerine.

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Questions

Ask a QuestionHere are the questions asked by community members. Read on to see the answers provided by the ThriftyFun community or ask a new question.

March 19, 2020

I need to use this one bottle of 500 ml or 2 cups of isopropyl alcohol to make my sanitizer.

Please send me a conversion for the recipe.

Making Hand Sanitizer with 99% Isoproply Alcohol
 

Answers


Silver Post Medal for All Time! 433 Posts
March 19, 20200 found this helpful

Here is a conversion site www.metric-conversions.org/ You only need 3/4 cup of alcohol.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 105 Posts
March 19, 20200 found this helpful

3/4 of your final solution needs to be alcohol. They recommend that you use 1 tablespoon hydrogen peroxide with 3 ounces of water. Considering alcohol will need less water to make the solution.

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Adjust the measurements of the water so that you end up with 3/4 of the final solution as alcohol.

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Bronze Post Medal for All Time! 140 Posts
March 19, 20200 found this helpful

www.wikihow.com/make-hand-sanitizer - is the recipe for sanitizer - the first post was a type-o. Excuse my first answer post!

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Gold Answer Medal for All Time! 617 Answers
March 31, 20200 found this helpful

3/4 is the ratio but you are better off using 70% alcohol as it turns out

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Answer this Question

July 29, 2021

Instead of buying bottle after bottle of hand sanitizer which can go fast with a lot of kids, I save old spray bottles that give a mist like hair spray pump bottles. I refill them with rubbing alcohol.

Using a spray bottle to sanitize hands.

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July 8, 2020

Many people recommend Listerine as a general sanitizer, but it is untested scientifically. It has too low an alcohol content to be effective in killing bacteria and viruses on surfaces. There is some evidence that thymol and the other essential oils contained in the original Listerine can break the lipid barrier and kill viruses but more research needs to be done.

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At this time, Listerine should only be used for oral health.

A bottle of amber Listerine on a white backgroun.

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May 8, 2020

This DIY hand sanitizer combines rubbing alcohol, aloe gel, and your choice of essential oil. Use when you are unable to wash your hands to help prevent the spread of disease, such as viruses.

Aloe-Based Hand Sanitizer - aloe leaf, essential oil bottle, and a pump bottle

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