Hand sanitizer shortage - DIY

Stressed due to hand sanitizer shortage? – Make Our Own!

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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

We Stress Free does not provide medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment. However, if you need someone to talk to and want to make friends, please feel free to reach me at ferra@westressfree.com. If you would like to REDUCE your STRESS and are interested to do an ONLINE THERAPY, you can do so here.



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.

18 thoughts on “Stressed due to hand sanitizer shortage? – Make Our Own!

  1. At first I was blowing off this news of the virus but now I’m kind of freaked out. I’m trying to be as clean as possible but it’s hard sometimes not to do things like touch your face! It’s actually pretty cool to learn to make your own sanitizer. It’s pretty important to have . A quick sanitary act

    1. Thank you for stopping by and checking out my brand new page. 

      Yes, at first I thought we are okay here in the U.S., far from China but no… Since people travel, they can get the virus anywhere. We don’t know how to know if someone has the virus. So, first thing first, take care of ourselves. I can’t believe the hysteria and how people react to this virus that keep spreading. The hand sanitizer shortage should not be a problem if we have access to water and soap.



  2. Very good and timely information. I know that hand sanitizer is very hard to find and it may be like that for some time. By the way, I have always been told that using hand sanitizer is not a replacement for washing hands with warm water and soap. So as long as you re washing your hands on a regular basis then that is all that is necessary.

    1. Hi Lee,

      Thank you for taking time to visit my page and read my post. I really appreciate your input. 

      Yes, I agree. I feel so much better when I wash my hands.

      Once again thank you!

      All the best!


  3. Making your own hand sanitizer is great, and so much better and healthier for your skin. Aloe vera is excellent for your skin and I have a lot of aloe vera growing on my land 🙂 I don’t have any allergies to essential oils, so I will add it to my homemade sanitizer. I like citrus and also vanilla. 

    I will make this at home this weekend. It looks easy enough. If I had known how easy this was, I probably would have made this before 😉 It would be a good idea to put it in small flasks that you can carry in your purse, so that you always have hand sanitizer with you when you leave the house. 

    Very useful post! Thank you!

    1. Hi Christine,

      Thank you for taking time to visit my page and read my post. I really appreciate your input.

      Yes, I know right? It’s easy but tricky though, but I am willing to try. I do have two different brands of aloe vera gel at home. I got one from the hospital as a gift from the hospital after I gave birth to my baby. The other one is a recommendation from a friend. So I will definitely make my own and follow your idea of bringing a small flask in my purse. 🙂



  4. I like how you refer back to an official organization like the WHO. It fits the theme of your site. Because they are a proper healthcare organization it gives some peace of mind that their formula is safe and works.

    Just a question on corona virus in general. You mentioned some ways to strengthen the immune system. I’ve heard a few doctors online recommend taking vitamin D supplements to strengthen respiratory health. What do you think of that?

    1. Hi Faheem,

      Thank you for taking time to visit my page and read my post. I really appreciate your kind words and input!

      I think by referring to official organizations will help to create trust on our readers. That’s why I did some research on my topic. WHO and CDC would be our safe references.

      Regarding taking vitamins to boost up our immune system, I take vitamin C and sometimes D. I don’t do it everyday cause I substitute it with food. I eat more fruits and vegetables and keep reminding myself to drink enough water. Vitamins are helpful but I personally think that eating healthy food, drinking enough water, and getting enough rest are much better.

      What do you do in keeping yourself healthy?



  5. This is a great recipe for hand sanitizer. Our local store has run out of this product. Luckily we bought some as my wife had surgery and we wanted to keep our hands clean. But thanks for sharing the recipe, I will be making some this weekend.

    It is amazing the hysteria behind the virus. It seems to make it grow bigger than it really is. 

    1. Hi Eric, 

      Thank you for taking time to visit my page and read my post.

      Since we have a baby at home, we need to have wipes, hand sanitizer, paper towel, soaps, all those kind of stuff handy. So I feel okay with what we have now at home. It should be okay for few weeks but I hope the shortage is only temporary. It really is mind blowing how people react to the virus spread. 



  6. It’s actually pretty cool to learn to make your own sanitizer. With the outbreak of the Coronavirus, one can only rely on having a handy sanitizer available as it’s difficult to keep your hands off your eyes and face. Thanks for adding the ingredients and method of making a hand sanitizer of your own. Thumbs up

    1. Hi Juliet, 

      Thank you for taking time to visit my page and read my post. I really appreciate your kind words and input!



  7. Amazing and helpful article. This has been an epidemic and almost every store inside and outside of the US has run out of hand sanitizers. I went to my local pharmacy a few days ago and they were even out of normal alcohol. It’s becoming really stressful and alarming the rates these products are being sold. I also searched around on amazon and some products exceeded $100 which is insane and inhumane knowing the crisis we’re living in, one of the sad things about living in such a capitalist and money-hungry world. 

    1. Hi Stephanie,
      Thank you for taking time to visit my page and read my post. I really appreciate your kind words and input!

      It is scary to see the hysteria. Lots of retailers is using this fear based shopping as their source of reaping more profits. I hate that when they jack up the price on everything people need to fight the virus. Talking about the shortage again on other thing like face masks, yesterday I saw an article from a Vietnamese journalist stated that one retailer got caught red handed ironing used face masks. Isn’t that crazy?



  8. Good stuff! Thank you for sharing this recipe. You’re right – the mass hysteria has spread all over the world. And I’m also guilty of stockpiling some necessary items. I wonder, is rubbing your hands with pure alcohol not enough? I think aloe vera is to keep it from evaporating too quickly? It’s my first time to hear about an Alcoholometer. I was curious so I clicked on the link but it led back to the same page and so did the two other links. Anyhow, thanks again for the recipe!


    1. Hi Sonny,

      Thank you for taking time to visit my page and read my post. I really appreciate your kind words and input!

      Oh wow, so I did a rookie mistake there about the link. My apologies. But hey, thanks so much for pointing out my mistake. I am soooo thankful. I will fix the problem ASAP. 🙂

      No, actually aloe vera gel is going to moisturize our skin as rubbing alcohol will result a dry skin. So, it is beneficial to mix those two main ingredients together in making our own hand sanitizer. We kill the germs but we also want to make sure our skin won’t be dry.



    1. Thanks a lot Sonny. It’s all fixed now. Hope you can be directed to the right link if you would like to learn more about alcoholmeter.

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