A 6-Step Guide To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer & Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus

No need to panic.

A 6-Step Guide To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer & Protect Yourself Against Coronavirus getty

A few days ago, we learned about something they call "the deadly Coronavirus, or COVID-19," which is basically the new threat to our existence, one that can be transmitted through touch.

I figured I'd mosey on into my local immense retailer to pick up a couple of bottles of hand sanitizer, just in case.

Unfortunately, with such a mass panic ensuing, hand sanitizer was all sold out. So, I did what any vigilant person would do to fight against spreading the virus: I made DIY hand sanitizer.

Let me explain.


I work at home so I'm not overly concerned about contracting Coronavirus, yet it's always good to be aware. Besides, I might want to keep a bottle in my car or share a couple bottles with my daughter — who is out there all the time, shaking hands, ingesting germs and being part of life as we know it.

The first store I went to was out of hand sanitizer. I suspected this might happen, but wasn't sure how swiftly the shelves would be emptied out, so I made the rounds to all the stores that might have some good ol' Purell in stock.

Target was gutted of all hand sanitizer products, as was Walgreens, CVS, and any and all other stores in the area, which, by the way, is the Pacific Northwest, an area that has already seen six deaths from the virus in Washington.


What is Coronavirus?

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According to the Center for Disease Control (CDC):

"This virus was first detected in Wuhan City, Hubei Province, China. The first infections were linked to a live animal market, but the virus is now spreading from person-to-person. It’s important to note that person-to-person spread can happen on a continuum. Some viruses are highly contagious (like measles), while other viruses are less so.


The virus that causes COVID-19 seems to be spreading easily and sustainably in the community ('community spread') in some affected geographic areas. Community spread means people have been infected with the virus in an area, including some who are not sure how or where they became infected."

I used to live in Florida during the worst hurricane seasons, so I know exactly what people do when they go into panic-mode: they hoard and loot.

They stock up on Slim Jims and white bread. They get nasty and selfish. It's every person for themselves, like a bunch of crazed pirates, all snatching and grabbing. "Mine, mine, mine!"

It was very apparent that Coronavirus has now brought out the worst in people, just as the hurricanes did, and that meant on some deep, dark level, human beings were once again adopting that "kill or be killed" attitude.

It was about to get scary.


It took us a day to plummet straight into panic mode, and during this time, the mob bought out all the hand sanitizer, which is one of the items the CDC recommends.

We are told to wash our hands often, with soap and hot water, for a minimum of 20 seconds, no less. No shaking people's hands, no touching surfaces (as the virus lives for 2 weeks on unwashed surfaces), and no touching our faces when outside — ever. And, if we couldn't access hot water and soap, then our best bet was to use hand sanitizer until we could get ourselves to a decent sink.

While scary, it's still doable. Until, of course, we see that all the hand sanitizer is gone. What to do?

We can learn how to make DIY hand sanitizer from the comfort of our own home. And guess what? It's a cinch.

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Now, we just have to make sure we can find the ingredients to make handmade hand sanitizer on the shelves, as those items are going fast as well.

I made my own, and it's slammin'! I can feel those germs, viruses and bacterial bad boys just shriveling up and dying as I soothe some over my hands (and steering wheel).

So, this is a step-by-step guide for how to make your own hand sanitizer.

What you'll need:

  • 1 cup of Isopropyl alchohol — 91 percent or higher
  • 2 cups of Aloe vera gel

What you'll want to add:

  • Tea tree oil, 2-3 drops
  • Lavender oil, 2-3 drops
  • Any good smelling essential oil, 2-3 drops

Step 1. In a tall bowl, squish out about two cups of aloe vera gel.

Not the drink, not the liquid, not the fragranced body creme — just the gel. It should be clear, but may have a tint to it, and that's okay.


Step 2. Add one cup of alcohol.

If you've added two cups of Aloe vera gel, then you'll need at least one cup of Isopropyl Alcohol. Add one cup of alcohol and then stir it up.

At this point you'll have a very pungent, alcohol-smelling clear glob of bacteria-killing hand sanitizer. It'll be strong and stinky, but it'll do the trick.

Step 3. Add your desired scents.

Now, you can dim down that alcohol punch in the face with a few drops of tea tree oil, which is one of nature's most intense cleansers and bacteria killers.

Tea tree oil is also quite potent-smelling and not always everyone's favorite scent, which is why it's now time to add a few drops of either lavender essential oil, rose or jasmine. The flower oils will give your sanitizer a very pleasant smell.


Step 4. Stir the mixture.

Stir the mixture of Aloe vera gel, alcohol and essential oil until it's reasonably blended, keeping in mind that this mixture will never be super smooth.

Step 5. Scoop the blended mixture into clean plastic bottles.

If you have old soap bottles, that will do. Anything that will squish is good. As long as you can find Aloe vera gel and alcohol, you should be in good shape.

The process of transferring the sanitizer into the bottles will be messy, so make sure you've cleared off the counter for the mess you'll be making. You can use a funnel, but trust me, it's still going to be a mess getting the stuff into the little bottles.


Step 6. Stay well and safe, and use your DIY hand sanitizer frequently.

Don't touch doors or doorknobs in public places. Wipe down your own home surfaces often. Cover your mouth if you cough or sneeze, and if you are around others who seem sick, then walk away from them.

Don't worry about masks or acquiring them just yet. Right now, our best defense is awareness, soap, hot water and some handmade hand sanitizer.

Most importantly, don't overly worry and don't panic. We are all going to be okay.

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Dori Hartley is primarily a portrait artist, but as an essayist and a journalist, she can be found in The Huffington Post, The Daily Beast, Psychology Today, More Magazine, XOJane, and The Stir. Her art books ‘Beauty’, ‘Antler Velvet’, and 'Mads Mikkelsen: Portraits of the Actor' are all available on Amazon.