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Homemade Hand Sanitizer

Category Cleaning
Many commercially produced hand sanitizers contain chemicals you may not wish to use. An alternative is to make your own formula. This is a page about homemade hand sanitizer.


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.

By 0 found this helpful
January 7, 2010

How can I make my own foaming hand sanitizer? I use a Germ X brand I love, but the main ingredient is benzalkonium Chloride,.13 %. There are other ingredients, which may be the foaming properties, cetrimonium chloride, diglycerol, disodium cocoamphodiacetate, fragrance, glycerin, hydrochloric acid, and then some other things that are unpronounceable.

I have tried using a very small amount of dishwashing liquid and castile soap with at least 60% alcohol. No foam. I have added coconut oil, water, and even glycerin to other batches, still no foam. Finally, I added a few squirts more of dishwashing liquid, voila! It foamed beautifully, but what I made was not sanitizer, but soap. It had to be rinsed.

I should note I am simply refilling this Germ X foaming container. I've made foaming hand soaps for years, but alas, these have to be rinsed. I want a no-rinse option to use as sanitizer. Any ideas? I am guessing this product needs a surfactant that doesn't need to be rinsed like soap. I hate to keep paying for a new bottle of Germ X. This foaming stuff is great, it doesn't burn my hands, packs in bags without leaking and is great for my daycare outings. Any suggestions are much appreciated.


By missy


January 7, 20100 found this helpful

The alcohol in hand sanitizer evaporates, that's why no rinsing is needed. Try using alcohol in your mixtures and see what happens. Try adding a bit of glycerin as well.

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January 8, 20100 found this helpful

Yes, as I stated, I used at least 60% alcohol and also glycerin. They don't foam and am wondering what the "secret" ingredient is to make it foam--am not a chemist, but I'm guessing it's a surfactant of sorts. Thanks for input.

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January 9, 20100 found this helpful

Any recipe I have found calls for alcohol also, they state you can substitute vodka, perhaps it would not be so hard on your hands. Sounds like fun using it anyway. Just had to let you know if you hadn't already! They all do call for a surfactcant as the drying agent so it doesn't have to be washed off for what I can find.

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January 15, 20100 found this helpful

You are using way too much alcohol. All you use is a couple of capfuls of alcohol and just 2 small squirts of dishwashing liquid and the rest with water.


Good luck.

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Read More Answers

March 25, 20050 found this helpful

I am looking for a easy homemade sanitzer I can use at work and home. Especially at work since I work at a desk where multiple people use it on different shifts.

Thanks - Laww


March 25, 20050 found this helpful

Get a bottle of alcohol and use this as a sanitizer. Don't forget your telephone as a lot of germs can gather there. Unscrew the mouthpiece and wipe it out thoroughly. Prevents a lot of colds.

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March 25, 20050 found this helpful

I use a mixture - 1 part rubbing alcohol to 3 parts distilled water.. Put it in a spray bottle. Squirt and wipe everything in site .

It gives stainless steel a real shine.
I also use it to clean windows. My grandmother used to add a teaspoon of ammonia to the mixture when she washed windows, but I dont..

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March 25, 20050 found this helpful

What exactly are you afraid of catching? Our entire environment and skin surface is covered with micro-organisms - the vast majority of which are harmless. It is impossible to sterilise human skin, or surfaces in an open room environment. Carrying your worries to their logical conclusion would mean you would have to sanitise any public areas you frequent like all forms of public transport, restaurant tables, shop counters, etc. The most common source of human infections is other human beings - are you going to 'sanitise' family members before hugging and kissing them? I know I'm getting silly now but there is a massive industry supporting the advertising that encourages us to think it is necessary to 'sanitise' our homes and workplaces, and buy the products to do it.


There are times when sanitising something is appropriate - things that have been in the sick room or chopping boards where raw meat is prepared for example. These are areas where there is a demonstrated risk of cross infection - but sitting at an office desk is not one of them. If the desk area is dirty wash it with detergent and water and stop worrying. Detergent and water is used to clean all areas in hospitals, (except where there is a demonstrated cross infection risk such as body fluids). The overuse of antibacterial products is hastening the development of resistant bacteria and is neither effective nor necessary for general cleaning in the home or workplace.



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March 28, 20050 found this helpful

Hi Laww, I can understand your concern, but this may one place 'frugal' isn't as important as your peace of mind, and you should go ahead & splurge on the real storebought stuff. It's true we can't protect ourselves from all germs and we have to pick our battles. Just think of all the bacteria on the handles of shopping carts where everyone has touched, or money which is the dirtiest thing in the world, computer keyboards, the toilet handle or the pen the bank or a cashier hands you to sign something with.


All these things are touched by multitudes of people before reaching your hands.
I once watched a video of a well known professional male cleaner who went thru a house cleaning & sanitizing the whole house except for the toilet handle - how many people wash their hands BEFORE flushing??? ha! You'd be very surprised by how many people seldom wash their hands. In absence of any sanitizer just remember don't touch your face & wash your hands often. And be sure to wash your hands BEFORE using the bathroom to keep down bladder & 'female' infections.

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