Make your own Hand Sanitizer

pump bottle with hand sanitizer

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Easy hand sanitizer for when you don’t have a sink handy

Hot topic alert! Finding hand sanitizer these days is like finding the holy grail at your local store. Let’s make an effective alternative, without any mysterious ingredients? Are you ready to avoid the shop-hopping, time-sucking, sanitizer-scavenger hunt?

Even when you do find hand sanitizer, you have to thoroughly read the ingredients to avoid things like the mysterious “fragrance” and other harsh chemicals that can leave your hands dry and cracked. Our recipe includes things like aloe, vitamin E and witch hazel, all ingredients that help soothe and protect your skin.

Why use hand sanitizer?

We use it to de-nature or de-capsulate viruses and bacteria that we come into contact with and prevent their method of infecting you or others (by transmission).

A high enough percent alcohol base can manage this. The key is high percentage – 60% ABV (alcohol by volume) or higher. So, if you plan on using something on your shelf – just watch those percentages. Or, grab up some high percentage isopropyl alcohol instead. Otherwise, at a lower ABV, the alcohol is basically *just* a drying agent. Drying agents alone are not effective in the “knocking-out-the-virus” category.

Tips & Notes:

Something else to know – most organisms live longer, and transfer more readily on/to wet surfaces vs dry. So, a drying agent is actually really important when it comes to cleaning and keeping areas or hands clean, especially when you don’t have access to things like paper towels. Another key ingredient in this recipe for helping to denature and make organisms vulnerable, and unable to replicate or infect, are some natural compounds found in essential oils. Many of these compounds are natural anti-bacterials and anti-virals, and are definitely worth using to boost the effectiveness of this recipe overall.

Bottles with hand sanitizer ingredients

A few ingredients we use are optional: Vitamin E oil, aloe juice, and vegetable glycerin. These ingredients in our recipe protect and soothe the skin, as well as limit the harshness of the alcohol. Witch hazel can be used to create a more well-rounded and supportive recipe as well. Dry skin equals broken skin. And broken skin on the hands increases your risk factor for infection – so do what you can to keep your skin healthy! Polysorbate 20 is an emulsifier that works well for liquid recipes, such as this one. This ingredient allows the recipe to stay blended and not separate.

We also include essential oils in our recipe. Many essential oils have antibacterial, antiviral, and antimicrobial qualities. They also smell amazing, making them the perfect ingredients to add to your hand sanitizer. Feel free to substitute with different oils to create an aroma that you love. Eucalyptus, peppermint, or spearmint are great substitutions.

Here’s a simple recipe that protects your hands and keep surfaces clean when you don’t have a good ol sink (with soap!) handy. If you have other recipes for hand sanitizer you’d like us to share, or have questions, don’t hesitate to contact us!

Want an actual soap to use?

This foaming face wash is actually also great for hand washing. Or grab one of our shop to get some beautiful handcrafted soaps.

pump bottle with hand sanitizer
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DIY No-Wash Handwash

Tired of searching all over for hand sanitizer?  We’ve got your back with this easy recipe!
Keyword: diy, essential oils, hand sanitizer


  • 8 ounce pump or flip top bottle


  • 1 tablespoon aloe gel or liquid
  • 1 teaspoon vitamin E liquid
  • 1 tablesppon  vegetable glycerin
  • 2 tablespoons witch hazel
  • 10 drops clove essential oil
  • 10 drops tea tree essential oil
  • 10 drops lemon essential oil
  • 4 ounces alcohol
  • ½ teaspoon Polysorbate 20 (optional)
  • distilled or filtered water


  • Add all ingredients as listed into empty, clean container.  Once added, place lid on container and shake vigorously to combine.  Recipe will have to be shaken prior to each use for best effectiveness, unless the emulsifier is used.

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