Since we are smack dab in the middle of flu season…I think we are all more mindful of how important it is to wash our hands….OFTEN! I personally love my homemade foaming hand soap I keep at the sink, and use it OFTEN. But soap and water hand washing isn’t always possible. In those circumstances, a hand sanitizer is a good alternative.
If you’re like me, you are constantly buying those little bottles at the checkout stand at the grocery store and tucking them in your purse. But since they are so small and don’t last long….you are also constantly throwing the plastic bottle away and buying another one.
This is where the homemade version makes so much sense. You control the ingredients AND the plastic that you throw away.
Most “recipes” you find online will be some combination of alcohol and aloe vera gel…but I recently ran across an online article about a pediatrician in New Jersey who recommends hand sanitizer utilizing essential oils INSTEAD of alcohol because of their antibacterial properties and because bacteria can become immune to alcohol-based sanitizers.
This is his formula:
Alcohol-Free Homemade Hand Sanitizer
- Start with a recycled hand sanitizer bottle or liquid soap bottle
- Fill it 2/3 of the way with water
- Add 1 Tablespoon of aloe vera gel
- 10 drops each of the following oils: lemon, cinnamon, eucalyptus and clove bud.
- Top off the bottle with water and shake it up. Spray onto hands (3-5 sprays) and massage the spray into hands for 5-10 seconds.
If you don’t have access to these particular oils…don’t despair…you can still make your own hand sanitizer using what you have and it will still be far superior to anything bought in the store.
Homemade Hand Sanitizer
- 1/3 cup of Aloe Vera Gel
- 2/3 cup of Rubbing Alcohol
- 8-10 drops of essential oil (such as lavender, lemon, peppermint, etc. Whatever you have/like.)
- Recycled hand sanitizer or liquid soap bottle
Measure out ingredients into a bowl. Stir. Pour into empty bottle. Screw the pump back on. Shake.
And finally….when you do need to BUY, rather than MAKE, a hand sanitizer, here are a few things to keep in mind:
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers should contain at least 60 percent alcohol to be effective in killing germs.
- Look for natural ingredients, including witch hazel and antibiotic essential oils, such as lavender, tea tree, rosemary and thyme.
- Alcohol-based hand sanitizers dry out your skin, so it’s important to moisturize, too.
- Hand sanitizer doesn’t work very well if you have dirt on your hands; the grime keeps it from reaching to your skin. So when your hands are dirty, find a sink and wash them.
- Many “soaps” in public restrooms are actually detergents. Many commercial soaps also contain triclosan and synthetic fragrances. To combat this, carry a bar of fragrance-free soap, or a little bottle of castile soap with you.
NOW we are all set to fight germs through the nasty flu season!
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