This recipe for a homemade hand sanitizer spray, made with alcohol, aloe vera juice, and essential oils, is a fun gift to make for everyone on your list.
This homemade hand sanitizer spray is simple to create and makes a great gift too. Recently I was talking with my friend about the contertop cleaner I make to use on my granite. I like the way it smells, and it's great for disinfecting the kitchen. I wondered if I could bottle this same recipe, as a hand sanitizer, and give it out as a gift.
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So I did a little research. The counter-top spray has rubbing alcohol as the active ingredient. My research showed that rubbing alcohol, or isopropyl, can be harmful if ingested, and even though I don't expect people to drink it, they may be using it often, and it would be absorbed through the skin.
I also found that quite a few people are using witch hazel in their recipes. However, I could not find enough information to confirm its effect on bacteria.
Finally, I found some using grain alcohol or ethyl alcohol. Dr. Bronner's is a well known respected brand, and their hand sanitizer contains ethyl alcohol. Since this type of alcohol is safe for human consumption, I felt good about it being applied to the skin.
Homemade Hand Sanitizer Spray
- Ethyl Alcohol (grain alcohol like Everclear) or try 99% isopropyl alcohol
Aloe Vera Juice
- Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Peppermint Essential Oil
- Lemon Essential Oil
- Sweet Orange Essential Oil
- 2 oz. Dark Glass Spray Bottle
Disclaimer: The information on this site is not intended or implied to be a substitute for professional medical advice. If you have any concerns about using these materials please check with your doctor first.
UPDATE: I am not a scientific or medical professional. For a definitive recipe please consult The World Health Organization's Hand Rub Formula.
I also learned that you should have around 60% of the active ingredient for this to be effective. To balance the harshness of the alcohol smell and to prevent dryness, I added aloe vera juice and some lovely essential oils.
For this spray I used a combination of lemon, orange, peppermint, and a little tea tree. The citrus and mint mainly for their fragrance, and the tea tree because it has been said to be a great anti-bacterial agent. I used a dark glass spray bottle because the essential oils should last longer when not exposed to the sun, and I like the idea of a spray-on sanitizer.
Hand Sanitizer Recipe (2 ounce bottle)
8 teaspoons of Ethyl Alcohol (substitute isopropyl alcohol at 99%)
4 teaspoons of Aloe Vera Juice
4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
8 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
1/8 teaspoon of Sweet Orange Essential Oil
Bonus: If you like this label you can click on the pic below and it will open to a pdf page which can be printed or saved. It's 2 x 2 inches and fits perfectly on the 2 oz. bottles.
I plan to make at least a dozen of these to hand out during the holidays. Just one of many little gifts I like to make and give this time of year. Of course, this hand sanitizer spray recipe would be great at any time of year, and I think the citrus mint scent is appropriate for both men and women.
DIY Hand Sanitizer
- Droppers and/or small funnels
- Ethyl Alcohol grain alcohol like Everclear or try 99% isopropyl alcohol
- Aloe Vera Juice
- 4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
- 8 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
- 10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
- 1/8 teaspoon of Sweet Orange Essential Oil
- Dark Glass Spray Bottles
- Using a dropper or funnel add the ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol to a clean dry bottle with a spray top.
- Add aloe vera juice.
- Add 4 drops of Tea Tree Essential Oil
- Add 8 drops of Peppermint Essential Oil
- Add 10 drops of Lemon Essential Oil
- Add 1/8 teaspoon of Sweet Orange Essential Oil
- Screw on the cap tightly and add a label.
I just tried a version of this recipe with different essential oils & when the liquid settled, it's curdled. Is that normal? I used aloe vera juice from Whole Foods. Used juice instead of gel for spray bottles.
Deb, I'm not sure what's going on exactly. I suspect it is the aloe vera juice. I used it to add moisture due to the harshness of the alcohol. I believe organic aloe vera can be cloudy. Do you still have the aloe vera bottle? What is the expiration date? Pour some out and take a look. Does it smell ok? I believe organic aloe vera can be cloudy. Also, you can substitute water for the aloe but you may need to moisturize more often. Some recipes are including glycerol for moisture, however, I do not have an exact recipe for the amount to use.
We can't get any of these ingredients where we are.
Walmart, pharmacy,, $Store, grocery store are all out.
I tried looking online, but the prices are outrageous.
Would soap and water mixed in a bottle be enough to help?
Diane, I'm sorry that you can't find the ingredients. There are several other recipes for hand sanitizer that you can search for with different ingredients. Of course, soap and water is better than nothing.
Where can I buy those nice little spray bottles?
Jody, I bought them from Amazon. There is a link to the exact one in the supply list on the post.
We are in tough times right now. Stores are sold out of hand sanitizer, Aloe vera gel, and alcohol. We actually have 61% and 90% alcohol that we can use and I picked up Aloevera liquid thinking it was Aloe vera gel. Reading your post I think I can get away with using the juice and putting it in a spray bottle. Can you reassure me that I’m on the right track. I also have the essential oil’s. Thank you
Jill, I'm sorry, I cannot in good conscience reassure you. This craft project was created as a fun little Christmas gift. I am not qualified to ensure the effectiveness of it. However, I did see this recipe from the World Health Organization that may be helpful. https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf
What brand of aloe juice do you use?
Trudi, I used Lily of the Valley Aloe Vera Juice. There's a link in the post. However, I think any aloe juice would work.
Would you think that aloe vera gel would work in place of aloe vera juice?
I guess you could try it but I would be worried that it might not mix together with the other ingredients. Let me know how it turns out if you do.
I am having hard time finding the everclear. Could I use vodka???
I think you can use vodka although it might have a strong smell. Maybe add a little extra essential oil.
This is great! I just recently used Everclear in my Apple Pie Moonshine and was wondering what on earth I might do with the rest of the bottle!!
Thanks for sharing with us at Throwback Thursday and Happy Thanksgiving!
Cristina at Ava's Alphabet
Great idea, Patti! And I love the gorgeous printable label. Pinned and Sharing! Thanks for joining us at Family Joy Blog Link-Up Party!
what a cool recipe! thanks for sharing!
We use hand sanitizer a lot. Nice DIY. Thanks for joining us at the Inspiration Spotlight party. Shared
While I think this is an excellent idea for grown-ups, the thought of having a cute little bottle of 75 proof alcohol in a household with small children is really scary! Even just 8 teaspoons of such a high proof alcohol would be very dangerous if a toddler drank it! Someone commented about sending it to school with their child - oh dear. Everclear would NOT be allowed in any school.
Yes, of course, this was never meant for children, and like all possible hazards, should be kept out of their reach.
Love this idea! Can't wait to try it!
What a great idea! My son all of a sudden wants hand sanitizer to take to school. I think it's a cool thing to do? I'm so excited I can make it now. It was a pain to keep buying little bottles for him to take to school. Great post!