With the growing concerns about the alcohol based hand sanitizers I decided to do some googling and see if I could make my own without alcohol and with the amazing essential oils with their anti-viral, anti-bacterial properties. Here is what I found....
Making homemade hand sanitizer (click on link for sourcing)
Essential Oils to UseCedarwood, lavender, lemon, lemon grass, myrrh, neroli, patchouli, peppermint, rose, sandalwood, tea tree, thyme and ylang-ylang essential oils all have antiseptic properties.
Clove, niaouli and pine oils have both disinfectant and antiseptic properties.
Tea tree oil is the most powerful of these essential oils and has antiviral, antifungal and antibacterial properties–making it the recommended essential oil to use in the following recipes. But it should not be used on infants or pregnant /nursing women. Adding more tea tree oil to any recipe will make the hand sanitizer more effective but the smell can be overwhelming. View the American Society for Microbiology’s study about TTO for further information about its effectiveness. Most organisms can be killed with a 0.50% concentration (E.coli, Staphylococcus and Streptococcus special and others) but to kill the penicillin-resistant bacteria Pseudomonas aeruginosa, a 3.0% concentration is needed. All of these findings have been published in international journals. A few drops of essential oils like basil, rosemary, rose, lavender, lemon or geranium will lighten and balance the aroma.
In the recipes below, you can mix oils to suit you tastes or just use one type of oil but their effectiveness will be reduced versus using tea tree oil. These mixtures are 0.5% tea tree oil, and therefore should be effective enough to kill most bacteria, even without the presence of alcohol.
One essential oil blend option which is safe for families is a combination of lavender and pine but the number of drops of oils used will need to be increased to be effective. This will create a disinfectant, antiseptic hand sanitizer with calming effects. Add a little citrus or rosemary to enhance and round out the aroma.
Aloe vera gel is in ingredient in all of these recipes and I just wanted to mention that this means pure aloe vera gel without the coloring, flavoring and so on. It’s not the same as juice. It should say “100% aloe vera gel” somewhere on the bottle. If it doesn’t, it’s the wrong stuff.
Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer Gel
- 1 cup pure aloe vera gel
- 1-2 teaspoons of witch hazel (add until the desired consistency is reached)
- 25 drops (1/4 tsp) tea tree oil (or increased amounts of other essential oils as listed above)
Mostly Alcohol Free Hand Sanitizer Gel
- 2 cups pure aloe vera gel
- 2 tablespoons 90% SD40 alcohol (perfumer’s alcohol if you can get it)
- 2-3 teaspoons tea tree oil (or increased amounts of other essential oils as listed above)
Alcohol-based Hand Sanitizer
- 1/4 cup pure aloe vera gel
- 1/4 cup grain alcohol or vodka
- 13 drops (1/8 tsp) tea tree oil (or increased amounts of other essential oils as listed above)
Here is another simple & easy Hand Sanitizer using On Guard