Last updated on March 30th, 2020
Can’t find hand sanitizer at your local supermarket or drugstore? You’re not alone. My local shops sold out of the stuff weeks ago. Fortunately, sanitizing hand rub is easy and inexpensive to make right at home. I made a batch this morning, from a recipe that is recommended by the World Health Organization (WHO). The recipe has been scaled down (by science geek G. Chang) for home use.
Hand Sanitizer (WHO Formula)
To make 1 1/3 cups of hand sanitizer, mix up the following in a 2 cup glass measure:
1 cup 99% isopropyl alcohol OR 1 cup plus 4 teaspoons 91% isopropyl alcohol…
1 tablespoon of regular 3% hydrogen peroxide…
And 1 teaspoon glycerin. Glycerin is a moisturizer. Look for it in the cosmetics department at drug stores, supermarkets, and health food stores.
Add enough water to bring the total liquid to 1 1/3 cups. Mix thoroughly.
Pour, via funnel, the sanitizer into small bottles. I used squeeze-type bottles, but a spritzer should work as well. The mixture is not as thick as commercial hand sanitizers.
Note: My friends Tom and Darren told me about a hand sanitizer that is made from 2 parts 91% isopropyl alcohol and 1 part aloe vera gel. Whether this formula is as effective as the one recommend by WHO, I do not know. Based on what I’ve read, the goal is to achieve a hand sanitizer that is 75% isopropyl alcohol v/v. The WHO formula meets this target.
Another Note: Health authorities tell us that hand washing with soap and water is sufficient, providing we scrub thoroughly (including our fingernails) for at least 20 seconds. Still, there are times when you don’t have access to soap and water. Like when you are forced to eat in your car, after stopping by your favorite donut shop. (Mea culpa). Or when the restaurant bathroom has run out of soap, or the bathroom is so gross that you wouldn’t dream of washing your hands there anyway. Yeah, bottles of hand sanitizer are convenient at times.
Back on track. You might like to label your bottles before filling them. I labeled mine after the fact, and placed one in each of the following locations: my desk drawer, my coat pocket, and the glove compartment of my car. I’ll certainly mix up a bottle for Mr. Fox. When Fox arrived from the city on Thursday morning, he immediately lunged at the Scrumptious Chickpea Brownies (recipe here) that were resting on the kitchen counter. “Have you washed your hands?” I inquired. “Yes,” he said. “I washed them before I boarded the train.” Oy.
Well, I hope this DIY hand sanitizer post was helpful to you. I want you to stay healthy and well! xKevin
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And here, because I love you, is the printable:
Hand Sanitizer (WHO Formula)
- 1 cup 99% Isopropyl alcohol OR 1 cup plus 4 teaspoons 91% Isopropyl alcohol
- 1 tablespoon 3% hydrogen peroxide
- 1 teaspoon glycerin
- Tip the alcohol, peroxide and glycerin into a 2-cup glass measure. Then add enough water to bring the total quantity to 1 1/3 cups. Mix well.
- Pour, via funnel, the sanitizer into small ("travel-size") bottles. I used squeeze-type bottles, but spritzer- or spray-type bottles are ideal.