Try this easy and all-natural Homemade Hand Sanitizer recipe using vodka, witch hazel, rubbing alcohol and/or essential oils. Perfect as a gel or a spray! For more chemical-free options to keep hands and surfaces clean, try our tutorials on How to Make Thieves Foaming Hand Soap and our DIY All-Purpose Cleaner!
I. can’t. stand. hand. gel.
It totally grosses me out. It’s gel-y, stick-y and I really don’t like the idea of adding chemicals to my hands to clean them.
So we eliminated hand gel from our house YEARS ago. Like, back when my daughter used to think it was a toy and smear it all over herself.
It’s been a no-no for the family ever since… which is why back when I saw “hand cleaning gel” on my daughter’s school supply list, I nearly choked on my granola.
My stubbornness kicked in. I absolutely was NOT going to buy a bottle of hand sanitizer and send it with my daughter to school.
I can’t stand the stuff, remember? What’s wrong with natural hand soap and water?
The purpose of hand gel is essentially to clean when soap and water are not available. It’s faster and easier in a classroom environment (or a health care setting), and since not all families teach their kids to wash their hands regularly (or properly), I totally understand why teachers want kids to have some.
At the same time, I’m very much NOT on board with triclosan.
What is Triclosan?
Never heard of triclosan? It’s one of the most common ingredients found in products labeled “anti-bacterial,” including hand gels (which are just one of many potentially contaminated items – get the full list of products to avoid here.)
Besides, the FDA has said so themselves that hand gels are not any more effective than soap and water. So what’s the point of using it?
Can you tell this issue is a soap box for me? Grrr…
There are several options for making an all-natural homemade hand gel. This tutorial will make two kinds you’re used to seeing at stores: gel and spray. If you’re looking for a super super (aka FREE) option, scroll down to the bottom!
DIY All-Natural Homemade Hand Gel
Make this homemade hand sanitizer recipe for times when it is not convenient to use regular soap and water. It is my preferred method for using a hand cleaning gel because it’s:
- Natural. All of the ingredients are naturally derived.
- Non-toxic. Meaning, no icky chemicals like Triclosan. A much safer option for the family to use!
- Customizable. You can make it based on your scent preferences, or whichever purifying essential oils you happen to have at home. Want to have an alcohol based hand sanitizer? You can just make it!
DIY Homemade Hand Gel Supplies
- 2 drops tea tree essential oil**
- 3 drops essential oils** with purifying properties (lavender, thyme, peppermint, clove, cinnamon, rosemary, eucalyptus OR Thieves blend)
- 1 Tbsp liquid (water OR witch hazel OR rubbing alcohol (also called isopropyl alcohol) OR vodka)
- 3 Tbsp aloe vera gel
- 1 tsp vitamin E oil (a soothing, nourishing oil that acts as a preservative)
- squeezable tube or glass jar for storage (or re-purpose a suitable container)
**Note: I know there are a lot of essential oil companies out there and I’ve certainly tried my fair share of brands. But after testing and researching and more testing, only one is worth spending money on (in my opinion). For a couple years now I’ve been committed to Young Living oils, and you can read more about their oils and my decision HERE.
How to Make Homemade Hand Sanitizer
Combine ingredients in a small bowl. Pour into the container of choice and use as needed!
That’s it! It’s literally that simple! 🙂
How long is the shelf life of Homemade Hand Sanitizer?
Vodka and Vitamin E oil are natural preservatives. The shelf life of homemade hand gel will be several months if you use both. If you omit both, you’ve got about a month or so.
Is DIY Hand Gel Safe for sensitive skin?
Some purifying essential oils (like cinnamon especially) can be irritating to sensitive skin. Use less essential oil, or add more of another essential oil that soothes (like chamomile).
Is Homemade Hand Gel cheaper than store-bought?
Straight up, homemade hand gel is NOT more affordable than store-bought. But it doesn’t have icky stuff… so you kinda have to pick and choose what’s more important to you.
If you’re paying off debt or for whatever reason cannot afford the ingredients for the recipe above, consider using vinegar! Vinegar is non-toxic, edible and kills 99% of bacteria. Just keep some in a small spray bottle, spray on the hands and rub together. Shake or wipe dry and you’re good to go.
More Natural Living DIY’s
- How to Make Thieves Foaming Hand Soap
- DIY Homemade Hand Soap
- 7 Benefits of Quality Goat Milk Soap
- DIY All Purpose Cleaner