COVID-19 can be a boon or a bane. On one hand, this coronavirus causes thousands of people to be sick but on the other hand, it encourages people to practise good hygiene. Because of this influenza outbreak, we are constantly reminded to wash or sanitise our hands as frequently as possible. Businesses and schools have even stepped up the hygiene levels by sanitizing common areas as well as the surfaces which are often in contact by people.
Surgical masks were all sold out here in Singapore and even the prices of hand sanitizers have gone up. Even Singapore’s budget-friendly Value Dollar store is selling a small bottle of hand sanitizer for $4.95. Instead of scrambling for a bottle of hand sanitizer, you can actually just rely on plain soap and water to clean your hands. We don’t actually need to buy hand sanitizers since clean water and soap are accessible to all. But if you must use hand sanitizers, then why not make it your own? It’s easy and cheap to make your own hand sanitizers at home.
What you’ll need?
- Alcohol ( at least 60% in concentration) (75ml)
- Anti-bacteria Essential oils (e.g Tea tree oil)( 5 to 10 drops)
- Aloe Vera Gel (25 ml)
- A spray/pump bottle (100 ml) (preferably glass)
Ratio of Aloe Vera Gel to Alcohol (1:3)
You need at least 60% Alcohol or higher to kill germs effectively. The more concentrated it is, the more effective it is at disinfecting surfaces. However, too much alcohol in your hand sanitizer may not be a good idea as it causes dryness to your skin. Thus, most alcohol-based hand sanitizers sold at drugstores usually contains other moisturizing ingredients such as glycerin, Vitamin E or Aloe vera.
In my DIY hand sanitizer, I added 95% alcohol along with Aloe Vera gel and anti-bacterial essential oils like tea tree, peppermint and eucalyptus.
1. Alcohol (more than 60% Alcohol) (about 75 ml)
Do note that ethanol and Isopropyl alcohol are just different types of alcohol. Both types of alcohol are effective in killing microorganisms.
I have bottles of 95% isopropyl alcohol at home because my mum uses them as cleaning agents. You can purchase them on Shopee or other online platforms for about $20 for a one-litre bottle of alcohol.
2. Anti-bacterial Essential Oils ( 5 to 10 drops)
Essentials oils are added for both its fragrances and antibacterial or antifungal properties. Peppermint, tea tree, lavender, lemongrass, geranium and eucalyptus essential oils are known for its anti-bacterial properties. Peppermint and tea tree essential oils, in particular, have stronger anti-bacterial action. You can add some drops of these essential oils to enhance the anti-bacterial property of your hand sanitizer.
3. Aloe Vera Gel (about 25 ml)
I happened to have a few tubs of these Aloe vera gel at home so I decided to add them into my DIY hand sanitizers. Aloe vera gel will help thicken up the hand sanitizer formula and cause your skin to be less dry when you use the hand sanitizer.
But this Aloe Vera gel by the Nature Republic is not made of pure Aloe Vera. It contains other chemicals and preservatives to maintain its gel consistency. If you want to make a natural hand sanitizer, then you can use natural aloe vera gel juice instead. However, the natural aloe vera juice is usually very watery so it doesn’t exactly help by thickening the hand sanitizer formula.
Then, mix everything up.
Prepare a small plastic spray bottle to fill up the hand sanitizer. I used 1 part of Aloe vera gel to 3 parts of alcohol and then pour them into the bottle. Then I added 10 drops of eucalyptus essential oil to the mixture. Lastly, I shook the bottle vigorously to mix it well.
It’s best to transfer the ingredients into the bottle using a sterilised dropper or funnel. I did not have such tools at hand so I used a metal straw to transfer the alcohol from the main bottle to the small spray bottle. And as for the gel, I scooped it out with a clean spatula. You just have to think flexibly at times like this right?
Congrats, you just saved some money by making your own hand sanitizer!
That’s how easy it is to make your own hand sanitizer. If you love the scent of lavender, you can even add a few drops of it into the mixture. If all your neighbouring stores run out of hand sanitizers, you can always choose to make it your own. It’s a must-carry essential especially when you are travelling to countries where clean water is not readily available.