We have seen on the news and social media platforms about how fast the coronavirus spread all over the country. As more cases are reported, the virus has spread to at least 70 patients in Seattle and cases in New York doubled to 22.
I live in Arizona and we have got a few people who are put in quarantine due to being contracted to the virus. This has made the hysteria among people everywhere. People start stocking up on food, water, hand sanitizer, hand soap, paper towel, toilet paper etc. I admit it, I started to stock up on some important stuff for my own family too! Isn’t that crazy?
Hand Sanitizer Shortage
Last night I tried to look it up online on amazon just to see if they still have hand sanitizer stocks. Just as I expected, most of it is out of stock or unavailable. Even worst, the price has been marked up by some other retailers. Don’t stressed out yet!! We can actually make our own hand sanitizer.
I personally have checked out the World Health Organization (WHO) recommended handrub formulations. I think it is important to follow the proper guidelines in making our own hand sanitizer at home that actually works not only for killing the germs and preventing the spread of the virus but also good and safe for our skin and health. We don’t want to end up with an end product that is not effective or too harsh on our skin.
What’s the Key in Making Homemade Hand Sanitizer that Actually Works?
The key is to get the right ratio of ingredients. The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) recommends using a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol, which store-bought hand sanitizers have. We don’t want to screw up the formula because if we use too much alcohol, it can dry our skin, therefore making it MORE vulnerable to infection. If the ratio is off, the hand sanitizer will not be effective to kill the germs.
What’s the Recipe?
Here are the things we need:
1. Sterile water or alcohol.
2. An alcoholmeter to measure the concentration of alcohol in the final product and glycerol (also known as glycerin). We can get it from the local drugstore or check out
3. Aloe vera gel.
4. (Optional) Essential oils of our choice. However, WHO does not recommend it because they could cause an allergic response. We can find most homemade hand sanitizer out there call for essential oils to mask the smell of alcohol so the end product will not smell medicinal.
You will also need some other tools such as bowl and spoon, measuring cups, funnel, recycled hand sanitizer bottle.
The recommended ratio is 60% alcohol to 40% aloe vera gel in volume or 2/3 rubbing alcohol to 1/3 cup aloe vera gel. Be careful when pouring the pure alcohol, keep it away from your skin.
Essential Oils in Hand Sanitizer
If you are not allergic to ingredients like thyme, lavender or chamomile, you may add essential oils of your choice into your homemade hand sanitizer mixture. Adding the fragrance will not only help you to enjoy using it but also protect you against germs. Ingredients like thyme and clove oil actually have antimicrobial properties. If you decide to use antimicrobial oils, please only use a drop or two, since these oils tend to be very powerful and might irritate your skin. Other essential oils, such as lavender or chamomile, may help soothe your skin. I especially love to use essential oils that have floral fragrance. Jasmine is one of my favorites. What about you?
If We Don’t Make Our Own Hand Sanitizer, What Should We Do Instead?
According to CDC and WHO, the best thing we can do in order to protect ourselves from getting sick, either from the coronavirus or anything else is to wash our hands. We should wash our hands with soap and water for about 20 seconds, especially after we use the restroom, before and after we prepare food, before and after we eat, before and after we prepare food, after handling any form of waste, after touching pets, after touching kids toys, and in many other occasions in our day to day life.
Also, we should remember to avoid touching our face in general, especially with dirty hands. Everything we touch and hold throughout the day is covered with germs and if we touch our lips, nose, or eyes we risk to spread viruses and bacteria into our own body. If we sneeze, it is important to use tissue to cover our mouth then throw the tissue right away and if you have access to clean water, wash your hands afterwards, otherwise use hand sanitizer.
Basically, in order to make sure our immune system strong enough to fight off illnesses, we should exercise, get enough sleep, drink enough water and eat nutritious healthy food.
Other helping things that we can do to minimize the risk of getting sick include: cleaning the surfaces in our home, disinfecting our electronic devices, disinfecting our kid’s toys, staying away from people who look sick and avoiding crowded places such as train station, airport, etc if possible.
When To Use Hand Sanitizer?
One thing to keep in mind, we should only use hand sanitizer when we don’t have access to soap and water. Before using hand sanitizer, we should wipe our hands off with tissue or clean cloth when our hands are greasy or too dirty.
Whenever we visit someone in the hospital or clinics, it is important to use hand sanitizer after our visit since it can help prevent the spread of diseases.
So, Should We Make Our Own Hand Sanitizer?
It’s up to you. If you are determined to make your own hand sanitizer, avoid any recipes that do not use at least 60% alcohol. Otherwise, just wash your hands.
For more details about World Health Organization (WHO) recommended handrub formulations, check out
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The information contained in this article is for educational and informational purposes only and is not intended as health or medical advice. Always consult a physician or other qualified health provider regarding any questions you may have about a medical condition or health objectives.