When the coronavirus pandemic infiltrated the United States, one of the first supplies to fly off the shelves was hand sanitizer.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has emphasized that when people do not have ready access to soap and water, a hand sanitizer that contains at least 60 percent alcohol will work in a pinch.
DIY star Kelly Barlow, who started a YouTube channel dedicated to helping others make and do things as budget-friendly as possible, decided to show others how they can make homemade hand sanitizer when none can be found in the store or online.
“Can’t get your hands on hand sanitizer? Here’s a super quick and easy DIY recipe using items that you can get your hands on! It’s going to cost you under $5 and that is going to make you a lot!”
Stay safer with hand sanitizer
Kelly shared that it was frightening when her daughter had the swine flu in the past, so she decided to share with others how to make hand sanitizer themselves.
“There’s a lot of scare going on in the world about some of the viruses going around … those of us who watch the news, we know that there is an outbreak going on right now that started in one country and moved its way to another. I feel that there are precautions you can take to help minimize your chances of getting any of these viruses. We obviously want to keep our hands clean and there are times where we just can’t wash our hands.”
Why not make it?
She noted that it was her husband who inspired her to make her own concoction.
“I told my husband Jeff on the phone, ‘You know, I’m kind of bothered that I can’t get some hand sanitizer. He said, ‘I’m sure you can make it.’ Why didn’t I think of that? I looked up a few recipes, did some research … I want to be education as to the how and why I was making it the way I was making it.”
Make sure rubbing alcohol is at least 70%
Kelly selected a 16-ounce bottle of 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol per the recommendation by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. The optimal alcohol concentration to kill bacteria is 70 to 95 percent.
She explained that it’s wise to use aloe vera gel as the base, because the alcohol can dry out your hands.
She picked up some travel-sized bottles at the Dollar Tree as her containers and with the recipe, ended up filling three with rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel that she had left over.
“It only takes a couple of drops. A little goes a long way. They say it takes 20 to 30 seconds to kill any viruses after applying to your hands. I love the feel of it in my hands and they feel soft. They don’t feel sticky to the touch and they smell amazing. It’s a real budget-friendly way to make hand sanitizer.”
Use caution when whipping up the sanitizer
Corey L. Hartman, a dermatologist at the Skin Wellness Center in Alabama, advised anyone making homemade hand sanitizer to be careful in order to prevent injury.
“As long as the alcohol content is at least 60%, then it’s effective at properly cleansing the hands. As the alcohol percentage increases, so do the chances of developing irritation from using the product.”
Dr. Zenovia Gabriel clarified that the finished sanitizer product must be at a 60% alcohol content after mixing up all of the ingredients because it’s being thinned out when adding aloe vera gel or something similar.
Using 60% alcohol and mixing it with something means it’s being diluted below the recommended level, Gabriel said. Dr. Hadley King advised making sure the utensils and containers are sterile before making the homemade hand sanitizer.
What you’ll need and how to make it
- one-third of a cup aloe vera gel
- two-thirds of a cup of isopropyl rubbing alcohol (at least 60% alcohol)
- any essential oil for scent (optional)
- travel-sized plastic bottles
- Pour one-third of a cup aloe vera gel into a mixing bowl.
- Add in two-thirds of a cup isopropyl rubbing alcohol.
- Mix well. For a thicker consistency, add a bit more aloe vera gel back in.
- Pour the mixture into the hand sanitizer bottles.
- Add a few drops of essential oil for scent.
- Shake it up and use!
Watch Kelly quickly and affordably whip up homemade hand sanitizer in the video below. It’s a terrific alternative when you can’t find any at the store.
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