Today, it is important to know what we can use to prevent the spread of the coronavirus. While washing your hands certainly helps, you still need to use a good hand sanitizer as well. However, that may be difficult to do, especially since people are rushing to buy sanitizers. With the shelves empty of the product, you need to find an alternative.
Fortunately, you can easily make your own hand sanitizer with aloe vera and other key ingredients. The following recipes will help you combine the right ingredients to keep you safe. Below is one of the more popular aloe sanitizers that you can make at home.
1. World Health Recipe
For this recipe, you need to combine the following contents in a bowl:
2/3 cup 99.9% isopropyl alcohol
1/3 cup aloe vera gel
Stir the isopropyl alcohol and the aloe vera gel before decanting the ingredients into a pump bottle. Give the bottle a vigorous shake before using. The aloe vera will protect you from germs and will keep your skin fry drying out. That is important, as any cracks in the skin can increase your risk for infection. The main active ingredient in this recipe is the isopropyl alcohol, which is called isopropanol commercially.
Most of the commercial brands of sanitizers for the hands normally contain isopropanol, ethanol, n-proponal, or a mix of any of these. Usually an alcohol mix of 60% to 80% by volume will kill microbes. As the recipe concentration comes out to about 65%, that is about right for fighting a virus, such as COVID-19.
While it can be difficult to access, pure ethanol may be used in the above recipe instead of isopropanol. Since ethanol is used in spirits, you may be able to use a strong vodka, or one that contains about 88% ethanol. In this case, you would use three parts of the strong vodka to one part aloe vera gel.
In 2017, a World Health Organization (WHO) study discovered that isopropanol and ethanol, when mixed with ingredients, such as aloe, can inactivate the Mers and Sars viruses, which are classified as coronaviruses – both related to the virus that causes COVID-19.
To play it extra safe, you might add a very small amount of hydrogen peroxide to the mix, which will inactivate any contaminating germs. The hydrogen peroxide is not considered an active ingredient, but certainly is a component that will add value to the mix. Also, keep in mind that the hand sanitizer you make is only for disinfecting the hands. Do not add it to your bath water or consume it. You just want to get rid of the germs on your hands and protect yourself, should you absently place your hands next to your face.
2. Aloe Hand Sanitizer with Tea Tree Oil
The following recipe combines isopropyl alcohol with natural aloe vera gel. Included in the recipe is tea tree oil. You can also add an essential oil, such a lemongrass oil, to replace the tea tree oil. Below is the ingredient listing.
1 cup of 90% isopropyl alcohol
1/2 cup of natural aloe vera gel
12 to 15 drops of tea tree oil, or an antibacterial oil, such as lemongrass oil
To combine the ingredients, you need to pour the isopropyl alcohol into a medium-size container – one that features a pouring spout. Don’t dilute the alcohol beyond 90%, as doing do will create a weaker hand sanitizer – one that will not be effective. Make sure it meets the benchmark set by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) of 60%.
Next, measure out and pour the aloe vera gel into the container. It is especially important to add the aloe, as the alcohol can dry the skin so that cracks develop, thereby inviting infection. Aloe keeps the skin smooth and moisturized, as well as immunized.
Keep in mind that the gel, in its natural form, will be thicker than a store-purchased gel, which can affect the outcome of the mixture. Using the natural aloe will make the hand sanitizer stickier. In this case, rub your hands more frequently to ensure full absorption.
Because tea tree oil is natural and provides antibacterial properties, it makes sense to use it in this recipe. However, not everyone likes the smell of tea tree oil. If you are one of these people, opt for essential oils, such lemongrass, eucalyptus, or lavender.
You won’t be able to fully mix the above ingredients unless you use a whisk. By using a whisk, you can beat the hand sanitizer mix into a homogenous and effective sanitizing gel.
3. Hand Sanitizer with Cinnamon and Aloe Vera
Because you need alcohol for the hand sanitizer to work, you always need to add it. At least 90% isopropyl alcohol must be used to produce the desired effect. Add 1/2 cup aloe vera gel to this recipe, like the other. Instead, this time, use cinnamon for its antibacterial properties. Like the above recipe, you want to use a whisk to produce a completely mixed and usable product. Pour the mix into a pump bottle. While some people add the mix into a spray, it usually is easier to dispense the sanitizer from a pump.
When it comes to fighting a coronavirus, it is important to follow the recommendations of the Centers for Disease Control and World Health Organization. By learning how to make your own hand sanitizer, you can avoid the frustration of trying to buy commercial hand sanitizers in the store – sanitizers that are often not easily accessed during a pandemic event.
With that being said, World Health professionals emphasize that the best way to keep the hands clean is to wash them with hot water and soap. Using a sanitizer is also important, but is a supportive measure. A sanitizer should not be used in place of hand-washing. While hand sanitizers will kill infectious germs, they will not remove chemicals or dirt – both which can lead to sickness or disease.
Therefore, once you create a hand sanitizer, you need to wash your hands with hot soap and water and use the sanitizer as a back-up preventive measure. Doing so will keep both you and your family effectively protected.
Extracting Aloe Vera Gel for Soap-making
You can use soap, in this instance, made of aloe vera gel – an excellent ingredient for cleaning as well as sanitization. To extract the gel from the plant, you will need to do the following.
- Section the aloe leaf into several parts with a sharp knife.
- Cut along the inside edge of each part with the knife.
- Separate the gel inside from the outer skin.
- Use a spoon or your fingers to press gel from the leaf.
- Place the gel, sans the yellow latex, into a blender or food processor.
- Process the gel until it takes on the appearance of fluffy egg whites.
- Store the mix in the refrigerator if you plan to use it in a few days, or add it to ice trays and freeze it if you plan to use it farther into the future.
Aloe Vera Soap Recipe
The following ingredients can be used in an aloe vera soap recipe.
- Distilled water – 2.5 oz.
- 6% superfat sodium hydroxide (lye) – 1.92 oz.
- Fresh aloe gel – 2 oz.
- Olive oil – 6 oz.
- Sunflower oil, or apricot kernel or sweet almond oil – 2 oz.
- Shea butter, cocoa butter, or tallow – 2 oz.
- Coconut oil – 3 oz.
- A small amount of castor oil – 1 oz.
To make the soap, you will need to wear gloves and goggles to protect yourself from the lye. Follow up with the following activities.
- Place the water into a strong plastic container.
- Add the lye to a small cup and sprinkle it into the water, stirring well.
- Cool the lye and water in a safe place for about 40 minutes, or until the solution is about 100 degrees Fahrenheit. You will need to use thermometer for recording.
- Melt the tallow or butter and coconut oil before mixing in the other oils.
- Use an immersion blender so the aloe will thoroughly blend with the oil mix.
- Poor the lye mix into the oils and aloe.
- Use both manual stirring and short mixes with the immersion blender to combine the soap mix.
- Once the soap reaches trace or becomes emulsified, pour the soap into molds.
- Cover the soap in the molds for a couple days, until it can be easily removed.
- Cure the aloe soap, placing it on waxpaper in the air for about a month.
Besides using aloe vera gel in your hand sanitizer recipe, you can get a lot of mileage out of the gel when you use it in a soap.
Preparing both mixtures will make it possible to always have a natural soap product and hand sanitizer on hand.
Facts to Keep in Mind
When using hand sanitizers, you should keep the following information in mind. Doing so will help you make the most of the hand sanitizer you make at home. This content is based on information supplied by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC).
Why Hand Washing and Hand Sanitizers Should Be Used Together,
Hand sanitizers made of alcohol and natural products, such as aloe vera gel, will quickly reduce germs, but not all germs. Water and soap remove more germs, especially Clostridium difficile, Cryptosporidium, and norovirus.
While the hand sanitizer you make can inactivate a large number of microbes, when used properly, it may not be as effective if you wipe off the sanitizer before it has a chance to dry. Also, you should always wash your hands first, as sanitizers do not work as well when hands are dirty or greasy.
Clinical studies show that hand sanitizers work fine in hospital settings when the hands are not noticeably soiled or greasy. For example, if you use a hand sanitizer immediately after working in the garden, handling foods, playing sports, or fishing or camping, it will not work as well. Instead, wash your hands first to get the best results.
If you have a toxic chemical on your hands and only use a hand sanitizer, you can increase its level in your body. Wash – then sanitize, in that order. When using any hand sanitizer – homemade or commercial, make sure the alcohol concentration is between 60% and 95%. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers with aloe are far more effective than using non-alcohol aloe sanitizers.
Always keep you hand sanitizer safely away from children. Children sometimes will swallow a sanitizer, which can prove to be hazardous. Only allow your child to use the hand sanitizer under adult supervision. If you do have small children in the house, you should store your hand sanitizer with a child-resistant cap.
To make it easy on yourself and to find the most effective approach, make the following recipe with the following ingredients:
- 1 cup of 99% isopropyl alcohol
- 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide
- 1/2 cup of aloe vera gel
Mix the ingredients thoroughly and pour the mix into a funnel into a pump bottle. This recipe is the best recipe to use to ensure that your hand sanitizer is free of any type of contamination. You can easily obtain the above ingredients and it only takes several minutes to produce the product.
When you use your hand sanitizer, rub the mix until your hands feel dry. Do not rinse off or wipe off the residue of the sanitizer until it has completely dried. If you rub the sanitizer on your hands, it should take about 20 seconds. Keep rubbing the hands until they feel completely dry. While it is important to have the sanitizer on hand, you still need to make sure you are getting the most out of using the product.
What Do You Think?
So, what do you think? What hand sanitizer formula do you think would work best for you? While aloe vera gel can be sticky, that stickiness is good for providing protection immunologically and dermatologically. Not only does the gel smooth the hands, it keeps them from developing cracks that can invite infection. Using aloe vera gel and isopropyl alcohol is the best way to keep hands free of germs and keep them smooth at the same time.