How to make your own hand sanitizer at home?
|How to make your own hand sanitizer at home? - Sanitizer. Photo: Wired.|
How does sanitizer work?
The active ingredient in this hand sanitizer recipe is the alcohol, which needs to comprise at least 60% of the product in order to be an effective disinfectant.
It is revealed by the Spruce that the recipe calls for 99% isopropyl alcohol (rubbing alcohol) or ethanol (grain alcohol, most commonly available at 90%-95%). Please don't use any other types of alcohol (e.g., methanol, butanol), as they are toxic. Also, if you use a product that contains a lower percentage of alcohol (e.g., 70% alcohol) then you need to increase the amount of alcohol in the recipe or it won't be as effective.
Essential Oils in Hand Sanitizer
In addition to adding fragrance to your hand sanitizer, the essential oil you choose may also help protect you against germs. For example, thyme and clove oil have antimicrobial properties.2 If you are using antimicrobial oils, only use a drop or two, since these oils tend to be very powerful and might irritate your skin. Other oils, such as lavender or chamomile, may help soothe your skin. Tea tree oil is antimicrobial. A couple of drops may be added to the recipe, but it's important to note many people are sensitive to this oil, even when it's diluted.
What You'll Need
|Ingredients to make hand sanitizer at home. Photo: Polular Sciene.|
Equipment / Tools
Bowl and spoon
Bottle with a pump dispenser
2/3 cup 99 per cent rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) or ethanol
1/3 cup aloe vera gel
8 to 10 drops essential oil, optional
Instructions to make Sanitizer at home
Make Hand Sanitizer
Nothing could be easier! Simply mix the ingredients together and then use the funnel to pour them into the bottle. Screw the pump back onto the bottle and you're ready to go.
Gather Your Ingredients
Make sure you have your rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel, and optional essential oils ready and measured out.
Add all ingredients together in your bowl and mix thoroughly with a spoon.
Pour Into Your Bottle
Using the funnel, carefully pour your DIY hand sanitizer into the bottle of your choice, screw the top of your bottle on tight, and begin using.
The key ingredient in hand sanitizer is alcohol, so it's possible to substitute for the aloe vera gel. The purpose of the aloe gel is to protect hands against the drying effects of alcohol. Basically, it's a humectant. This means it helps lock in moisture. Other humectants which could be used in place of aloe include glycerin or hand lotion. However, it's still important to keep the alcohol in the final product at least 60%. If you can't find alcohol, the best option is to wash your hands with soap and water rather than attempt a homemade hand sanitizer recipe.
Working with 70% Alcohol
Rubbing alcohol and ethanol from a store tend to be either 90-99% alcohol or else 70% alcohol. You can disinfect your hands with 70% alcohol, but there's very little you can add to it (maybe a few drops of essential oil or jojoba oil, to improve scent or texture). Mixing 70% alcohol with other ingredients dilutes the alcohol, so it's easy to drop below the 60% alcohol recommended by the CDC.3
Protect Your Hands
Alcohol dries the skin and strips protective oils. Follow up a hand sanitizer (or handwashing) with a good lotion to keep skin in top shape. Damaged skin has tiny cracks that trap bacteria and viruses and make them harder to remove. If you have sensitive skin, try to keep the amount of alcohol in hand sanitizer around 60-70% (as in this recipe) because a higher concentration may cause irritation.
*Note from Editors: FDA (United States) recommends that consumers do not make their own hand sanitizer. If made incorrectly, hand sanitizer can be ineffective, and there have been reports of skin burns from homemade hand sanitizer. The agency lacks verifiable information on the methods being used to prepare hand sanitizer at home and whether they are safe for use on human skin.
Q&A Hand Sanitizers and COVID-19
Q. Is hand sanitizer effective against COVID-19?
A. The best way to prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of getting sick is by washing your hands with plain soap and water, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is essential, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not available, CDC recommends consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol.
Q. Should I be using antibacterial soap to wash my hands?
A. The best way to prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of getting sick is by washing your hands with plain soap and water, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is essential, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. There is currently no evidence that consumer antiseptic wash products (also known as antibacterial soaps) are any more effective at preventing illness than washing with plain soap and water. In fact, some data suggests that antibacterial ingredients could do more harm than good in the long-term and more research is needed.
Q. Where can I buy hand sanitizer? If I can’t find it in the store, can I make my own?
A. Many retail stores and pharmacies sell hand sanitizers. However, we understand that many stores have run out of hand sanitizers and they may be difficult to find. To help increase the availability of hand sanitizers, FDA has issued guidance for the temporary preparation of alcohol-based hand sanitizers by some companies and pharmacies during the public health emergency posed by COVID-19. See Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-19) Guidance for Industry1, the Policy for Temporary Compounding of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency2, and Temporary Policy for Manufacture of Alcohol for Incorporation Into Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-19)3.
Q. Is the FDA taking measures to increase the supply of hand sanitizers?
A. Yes. FDA has recently developed multiple guidance documents for the temporary preparation of hand sanitizers by pharmacies and other companies during the public health emergency posed by COVID-19. The guidance documents describe circumstances under which the agency does not intend to take action when these companies prepare alcohol-based hand sanitizers for consumer use and for use as health care personnel hand rubs for the duration of the public health emergency. FDA has also issued guidance for the temporary manufacture of alcohol by alcohol producers to use as the active ingredient in hand sanitizer products1,2,3.
Q. What do I do if I get a rash or other reaction to hand sanitizer?
A. Call your doctor if you experience a serious reaction to hand sanitizer. FDA encourages consumers and health care professionals to report adverse events experienced with the use of hand sanitizers to FDA’s MedWatch Adverse Event Reporting program:
Q. Many surface cleaners and disinfectants say they can be used against SARS-CoV-2. What does this mean? Can I use these products on my hands or body to prevent or treat the virus?
A. Always follow the instructions on household cleaners. Do not use disinfectant sprays or wipes on your skin because they may cause skin and eye irritation. Disinfectant sprays or wipes are not intended for use on humans or animals. Disinfectant sprays or wipes are intended for use on hard, non-porous surfaces.
Q. If I add alcohol to non-alcohol hand sanitizer, will this be better to prevent COVID-19?
A. No. Addition of alcohol to an existing non-alcohol hand sanitizer is unlikely to result in an effective product. FDA has also issued guidance for the temporary preparation of certain alcohol-based hand sanitizer products by firms during the COVID-19 public health emergency. These temporary policies do not extend to non-alcohol based products at this time.
Q. Does the FDA regulate all hand sanitizers? Do hand sanitizers come with product information on their labeling?
A. Hand sanitizers are over-the-counter (OTC) drugs regulated by FDA.
Hand sanitizers that meet FDA’s OTC drug review conditions or that are manufactured under the conditions in FDA’s temporary policy will include a “Drug Facts” label similar to the ones found at the end of the guidance: Temporary Policy for Preparation of Certain Alcohol-Based Hand Sanitizer Products During the Public Health Emergency (COVID-19). Consumers should assure they are following the warnings and precautions described on this label, particularly regarding use in children. The Drug Facts label will also describe the ingredients in the product.
To address the supply shortage of hand sanitizers, FDA has recently developed multiple guidance documents for the temporary preparation of hand sanitizers by pharmacies and other companies during the public health emergency posed by COVID-19. The guidance documents describe circumstances under which the agency does not intend to take action when these companies prepare alcohol-based hand sanitizers for consumer use and for use as health care personnel hand rubs for the duration of the public health emergency.
Q. Do hand sanitizers have an expiration date? Are they still effective after the expiration date?
A. OTC drug products generally must list an expiration date unless they have data showing that they are stable for more than 3 years. FDA does not have information on the stability or effectiveness of drug products past their expiration date (See 21 CFR 211.137). Hand sanitizer produced under the temporary policies for hand sanitizer production and compounding may not have an expiration date listed because they are expected to be used during this public health emergency1 ,2,3.
Q. Where should hand sanitizer be stored?
A. Hand sanitizer should be stored out of reach, and sight, of children. It should not be stored above 105°F (for example, it should not be stored in a car during the summer months).
Q. Is hand sanitizer flammable?
A. Yes. Hand sanitizer is flammable and should be stored away from heat or flame. Hand sanitizer should be rubbed into the hands until they feel completely dry before continuing activities that may involve heat, sparks, static electricity, or open flames.
Q. Is hand sanitizer dangerous for children?
A. For children under six years of age, hand sanitizer should be used with adult supervision. When used according to the directions on the Drug Facts Label, hand sanitizer is not dangerous for children.
Hand sanitizer is dangerous when ingested by children. Drinking only a small amount of hand sanitizer can cause alcohol poisoning in children. However, there is no need to be concerned if your children eat with or lick their hands after using hand sanitizer. It is also important to keep the product out of the eyes.
Every month, there are hundreds of calls to Poison Control for unintentional ingestion of hand sanitizer. In March 2020 (during the COVID-19 pandemic), calls to Poison Control related to hand sanitizer increased by 79% compared to March of 2019. The majority of these calls were for unintentional exposures in children 5 years of age and younger. Therefore, it is very important to store hand sanitizer out of reach and monitor children when they are using hand sanitizer.
Q. What should you do if your child ingests hand sanitizer?
A. If your child ingests hand sanitizer, call poison control or a medical professional immediately.
Q. What are denaturants and why are they added to hand sanitizer?
A. Denaturants are added to alcohol to make it less appealing to ingest. Denatured alcohol is used in hand sanitizer to deter children from unintentional ingestion – the denatured alcohol makes the hand sanitizer taste bad so children will not want to continue once they have had a taste. There are a number of adverse events every year resulting from intentional or unintentional ingestion of hand sanitizer, which is a particular concern for young children.
Q. Is the spraying of aerosolized disinfectant onto humans via tunnels, walkways, chambers and similar systems effective in reducing the spread of COVID-19?
A. FDA does not recommend spraying humans with aerosolized disinfectant. There is currently no data to demonstrate that this method is effective in treating or reducing the spread of COVID-19.
Surface disinfectants or sprays should not be used on humans or animals. They are intended for use on hard, non-porous surfaces. CDC provides information regarding disinfectant practices for surfaces in the Reopening Guidance for Cleaning and Disinfecting Public Spaces, Workplaces, Businesses, Schools, and Homes. CDC states you should never eat, drink, breathe or inject disinfectants into your body or apply directly to your skin as they can cause serious harm.
Human antiseptic drugs, such as those permitted in hand sanitizers, are intended for use on human skin but are not intended for aerosolization. FDA’s temporary policies for alcohol-based hand sanitizers specifically do not apply to aerosol sprays due to the risk of inhalational toxicity and flammability, among other potential safety concerns. In addition, hand sanitizers are intended for use on the hands, and should not be used over larger body surfaces, ingested, inhaled, or injected.
Q: What does it mean when the label of my hand sanitizer says “alcohol”?
A: Hand sanitizers labeled as containing the term “alcohol,” used by itself, are expected to contain ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol). Only two alcohols are permitted as active ingredients in alcohol-based hand sanitizers – ethanol (ethyl alcohol) or isopropyl alcohol (isopropanol or 2-propanol). However, the term “alcohol,” used by itself, on hand sanitizer labels specifically refers to ethanol only.
Methanol and 1-propanol are not acceptable ingredients in hand sanitizer and can be toxic to humans.
Q. Is it ok to use non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer instead of alcohol-based hand sanitizer? Is it ok to use hand sanitizer with benzalkonium chloride instead of alcohol-based hand sanitizer? Is non-alcohol-based hand sanitizer effective against COVID-19?
A. There are no antiseptic drug products, including hand sanitizer, that are approved by FDA to prevent or treat COVID-19. The best way to prevent the spread of infections and decrease the risk of getting sick is by washing your hands with plain soap and water, advises the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Washing hands often with soap and water for at least 20 seconds is essential, especially after going to the bathroom; before eating; and after coughing, sneezing, or blowing one’s nose. If soap and water are not available, CDC recommends consumers use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% ethanol.
While they are not alcohol-based, and thus not recommended by CDC, there are some hand sanitizer products containing benzalkonium chloride as an active ingredient that may be legally marketed if they meet the requirements for marketing under section 505G of the Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act. However, as noted above, there are no hand sanitizers, including those containing benzalkonium chloride, that are legally marketed specifically for the prevention or treatment of COVID-19. Hand sanitizers using active ingredients other than alcohol (ethanol), isopropyl alcohol, or benzalkonium chloride are not legally marketed, and FDA recommends that consumers avoid their use.
Hand sanitizer prepared under FDA’s temporary policies during the COVID-19 public health emergency, as outlined in the guidances, cover only alcohol-based (ethanol and isopropyl alcohol) hand sanitizer. FDA’s temporary policies do not cover the use of other active or inactive ingredients not otherwise mentioned in the guidance for use in hand sanitizer, including benzalkonium chloride.
Q. What is the risk of using a hand sanitizer that contains methanol (wood alcohol)?
A: The FDA is warning consumers and health care professionals about hand sanitizers that contain methanol, also known as wood alcohol, because it is a dangerous and toxic substance. Methanol can cause serious side effects when absorbed through the skin and can cause blindness or death when swallowed. Do not use any products on this list of hand sanitizers with potential methanol contamination, and continue checking this list often as it is being updated daily. Check your hand sanitizer products to see if they are on this list and dispose of them immediately if they are. Most hand sanitizers found to contain methanol do not list it as an ingredient on the label (since it is not an acceptable ingredient in the product), so it’s important to check the FDA’s list to see if the company or product is included. Visit FDA Updates on Hand Sanitizers with Methanol for more information.
Q. What should people do that have been exposed to hand sanitizer with potential methanol contamination?
A: Methanol exposure can result in nausea, vomiting, headache, blurred vision, permanent blindness, seizures, coma, permanent damage to the nervous system or death. Although people using these products on their hands are at risk for methanol poisoning, young children who accidentally swallow these products and adolescents and adults who drink these products as an alcohol (ethanol) substitute are most at risk. People who have been exposed to hand sanitizer containing methanol and are experiencing symptoms should seek immediate medical treatment for potential reversal of toxic effects of methanol poisoning.
Some Coronavirus Tips
Whether you're stocked up on hand sanitizer or not, Knowinsiders recommends that you:
=> Wash your hands regularly. Again, nothing beats washing your hands for at least 20 seconds with soap and water. Hand sanitizer—even the real, professionally made stuff—should always be used when you're travelling or unable to wash.
=> Stay at home. Don't leave the house except for essential trips like to the grocery store or to see your doctor. This is also called sheltering in place.
=> Stay at least 6 feet away from other people. This is called social distancing. According to the Wire, keeping your distance makes it hard for the virus to jump from someone else to you (or vice versa) through respiratory droplets. Avoid gatherings of people, which should be easy because you're staying at home.
=> Wear a cloth face mask outside the house. The CDC now recommends everyone wear cloth face coverings when out in public where you may be near other people. Read our guide to the Best Face Masks or How to Make Your Own CDC-Approved Cloth Face Mask (and Rules to Follow) to learn the benefit of a mask and how you should wear it. Kids under 2 years old should not wear a mask, nor should anyone who has difficulty breathing or taking it off. Do not buy or hoard medical-grade N95 masks. There is still a shortage of them, and they're needed by health care professionals.
=> Avoid touching your face. You could transmit the virus from your hands into your mouth.
=> Clean and disinfect frequently touched surfaces. Do it daily, especially if items or people leave or enter your home.
|How to prevent the spread of Coronavirus and protect yourself?|
|Handwashing in the Right Way - Perfect Tool to Prevent COVID-19|
|How to define coronavirus symptoms during holiday|