It’s no surprise that it has become increasingly difficult to find hand sanitizer in stores these days. With all the recommendations on how often we should be washing our hands and disinfecting our homes, everyday cleaning products are a hot commodity. Washing our hands with soap and water is of course the best way to prevent the spread of germs and bacteria. However, hand sanitizer can be used in a pinch between washings to reduce the risk of spread. But what if you’ve looked everywhere and can’t find any? No worries, here’s a handy recipe you can make at home.

What You Need

2 parts rubbing alcohol (the higher the percentage the better, though you’ll want at least 90%)

1 part aloe vera gel

Optional 10-15 drops of essential oil for fragrance (some essential oils have additional antiseptic properties, so you may want to use one of these)

Plastic squirt bottle (feel free to reuse the one from your last hand sanitizer that just ran out)


Simply combine all the ingredients above, stir, and add to your squirt bottle. The reason you want at least 90% alcohol is so that your final mixture is at least 60% alcohol. Of course, the stronger the percentage you get, the stronger the final product will be. In some places you can find rubbing alcohol as high as 99%. Some things to remember, some essential oils can be irritating if you have sensitive skin. You can use fewer drops, or you can combine with a more soothing essential oil such as chamomile. Because of the high alcohol content, this will keep for about 6 months.

Additional Thoughts

As you can see, making your own hand sanitizer in easy. We can get through this together. Keep in mind that hand sanitizer is the second best option to washing with soap and water. It is best to wash with warm water for at least 20 seconds, making sure to scrub every surface of your hands. Some people will tell you to wash your hands for the time it takes to sing through Happy Birthday twice! But who wants to sing that twice every single time you wash your hands? That would get old really quickly! Fortunately there are other songs that have 20 second choruses out there. And right now people are helping by sharing their favorites. NPR has compiled a list of some of those songs that people have submitted. View their list here. Also remember that washing and sanitizing alone can’t prevent the spread, so do your best not to touch your face between washings as well. Cough or sneeze into your elbow to keep germs off your hands. And as always, if you feel sick avoid going out in public.