I’m not the biggest fan of hand sanitisers, but there are times that you can’t get to the soap and water. There are lots of good natural options around these days (check out Hello Charlie’s Hand Sanitiser Cheat Sheet), but sometimes you wonder if it’s worth making your own. It’s cheaper, and you know exactly what goes into it.
So what should go into a hand sanitiser? According to the CDC (Center for Disease Control & Prevention), you need a hand sanitiser that’s at least 60% alcohol for it to be effective.
It’s also worth noting that hand sanitisers don’t work on hands that are dirty or greasy, so use a baby wipe on your hands before applying hand sanitiser. Or do my trick of pouring a bit of water on your hands, rubbing them together and then drying them on a clean cloth (which I have to admit is sometimes my tshirt, but needs must and all that).
There are plenty of recipes for DIY hand sanitisers floating around on the web, but unless at least 2/3rds of the recipe is alcohol, it’s not going to be effective.
For an extra antibacterial boost, it’s a good idea to add some essential oils. The bonus with this is it makes your hand sanitiser smell great!
Ideal essential oils would be:
- tea tree
- peppermint (substitute spearmint if you are pregnant or breastfeeding)
If you’re pregnant, choose from spearmint, bergamot, lemon, geranium, chamomile or lavender.
To counteract the drying effect of the alcohol, you’ll want some moisturising ingredients as well. I had some vegetable glycerin and some Vitamin E, so I’ve added some of those. You could also use aloe vera gel (but check to see what additives are in it).
You’ll also need a spray bottle. Glass would be ideal, but if you don’t have a glass spray bottle, choose a dark plastic bottle or a metal bottle rather than a clear one.
Here’s the recipe:
- 3 tablespoons alcohol (a cheap vodka is ideal, or you could use rubbing alcohol)
- 1 tablespoon vegetable glycerin or aloe vera gel
- 1/4 teaspoon of Vitamin E oil
- 15-18 drops of any mix of the suggested essential oils
Mix everything together in your spray bottle and you’re ready to go. Shake well before use.
And if this sounds good, but you don’t have the ingredients, or you’re just not into DIY, check out Hello Charlie’s range of natural hand sanitisers here.
Image Credit: Nate Steiner on Flickr
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