How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Learn how to make your own hand sanitizer as a healthy alternative to commercial sanitizers that are drying, costly and contain 60 to 90 percent alcohol.
By Richard Freudenberger and the Editors of Backhome Magazine
April 30, 2014
Add to My MSN

Aloe vera acts as the moisturizing ingredient in this simple sanitizer recipe. Using only four ingredients, it's the perfect recipe for learning how to make your own hand sanitizer.
Photo by Fotolia/joanna wnuk

Content Tools

Recent studies show that modern commercial household cleaners are causing serious health issues for individuals and their families. The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money (Fair Winds Press, 2012) by Richard Freudenberger and the editors of Back Home Magazine shows you how to keep a clean and healthy home for just pennies a day. Using a collection of formula for effective cleaning, gardening and home maintenance. Don’t just clean your household, get the longest life out of every item. The following excerpt explains how to make your own hand sanitizer.

How To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer

Cost savings
You’ll spend about equal, but win by making a healthy alternative to drying commercial sanitizers.

This moisturizing hand-sanitizer contains no alcohol like off-the-shelf varieties.

Pocket-size gel hand sanitizers are handy for on-the-go “cleanup,” but these formulas are drying, costly, and contain 60 to 90 percent alcohol. Why rub a formula on your hands that is potentially toxic before you eat? The risk elevates for mothers who carry sanitizers to clean children’s hands. The good news: You can make your own safe, affordable hand sanitizer.

Witch hazel, tea tree oil, and peppermint have antiseptic and astringent properties. They’re great germ killers. Aloe vera will prevent the skin from drying out—a welcome alternative to commercial sanitizers that leave hands parched.

Note: Even use of this all-natural solution should be limited to a few times daily for those with sensitive skin.


• 1 cup (235 ml) pure aloe vera gel
• 1 to 2 teaspoons (15 to 28 ml) witch hazel
• 3 to 4 drops tea tree essential oil
• 3 to 4 drops peppermint essential oil

Step 1: Stir together ingredients. Measure the ingredients and stir together in a mixing bowl.

Step 2: Adjust aloe vera content. To thicken the solution, add more aloe vera gel one teaspoon at a time.

Step 3: Package the product. Travel-size toiletry bottles are ideal for toting this hand sanitizer. Save and clean empty bottles for reuse if you don’t want to invest in empty new ones (available at most drugstores).

More from The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques

• Homemade Household Products from Under the Kitchen Sink
• DIY Recycled, Wooden Compost Bin
• Cleaning Appliances with Baking Soda and Vinegar

Reprinted with permission from The Country Almanac of Housekeeping Techniques That Save You Money: Folk Wisdom for Keeping Your House Clean, Green, and Homey (Fair Winds Press, 2012), by Richard Freudenberger and the Editors of Backhome Magazine.

Post a comment below.


5/5/2014 12:06:42 PM
Wow, I would really like to try this. I wonder if there is any data about how effective this mix is compared to the commercial goop? Anybody out there with a microscope and some petri dishes (or whatever you would use) who might be able to take a look?

Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.