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No hand sanitizer at the store? Just make your own

Disclaimer: We are not doctors or healthcare professionals! Just DIYers attempting to pass on handy, relevant info we've found useful in our own lives. For questions about COVID-19 and best health practices please consult a healthcare professional.

Good old fashioned hand sanitizer (along with toilet paper) have become the MVPs for many folks during the COVID-19 health crisis.

But, in this new 'abnormal' normal, things that used to be readily available have become tough to find in stores and online. Luckily, you can DIY it. I'm talking about hand sanitizer - not TP!

On their official website, The Centers for Disease Control (CDC) advise "washing hands with soap and water whenever possible because hand-washing reduces the amounts of all types of germs and chemicals on hands."

They also go on to note, "Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microbes on hands in some situations, but sanitizers do not eliminate all types of germs. If soap and water are not available, use an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that contains at least 60% alcohol."

Basically - when you can, definitely use soap and water - but when it's not available, hand sanitizer is key! That is, if you can find some. If not, you can whip up a batch yourself. There are a lot of recipes out there, but this one is pretty standard and the best part is, it uses stuff that you probably already have in your medicine cabinet.


  • 2/3 cup 91% or 99% Rubbing Alcohol (Isopropyl Alcohol)
  • 1/3 cup Aloe Vera Gel
  • Up to 10 drops of essential oil (not a must-have, but can add a pleasing scent!) I like either tea tree oil or lavender oil. They both also have antiseptic qualities.
  • A mixing bowl
  • Rubber spatula,
  • Funnel (if you have one)
  • Container to put the hand sanitizer in. I used an recycled soap dispenser that I thoroughly washed out.


  1. Combine the rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel
  2. Add up to 10 drops of essential oil (if desired)
  3. Mix thoroughly
  4. Use a funnel to add it to a container
  5. Tah-dah!

By the way, the CDC also has guidelines for how to apply hand sanitizer. "When using hand sanitizer, apply the product to the palm of one hand... and rub the product all over the surfaces of your hands until your hands are dry."

They're literally the experts, so - take note! Hope everyone is staying safe and healthy out there.