Homemade Hand Sanitizer


** This recipe has been updated to use 99% Isopropyl Alcohol at a higher percentage.

Read the update here: = = >>>   Homemade Hand Sanitizer Update

Homemade Hand SanitizerI don’t think I’m really a germaphobe, but there are times when I do like to have some hand sanitizer handy.  For some folks, that time is after using the grocery store cart.  Others like some hand sanitizer after shaking lots of hands in a public place.  For me, I like a little squirt of hand sanitizer after pawing around in thrift stores.  I think we all have our moments when we feel vulnerable to germs.

I started thinking about hand sanitizer because I had a cute little pump bottle that was sitting around unused.  The pump bottle came in a two pack with a mist bottle, which was the one I really wanted to use with my Homemade Glycerin Skin Moisturizer.  I plunked the pump bottle on my dresser and I’d been looking at it for a couple weeks wondering how to put it to good use.  I finally decided it would make the perfect little bottle for some hand sanitizer in my car.  And of course from there I started thinking, why not make my own?

In my search for how to make homemade hand sanitizer, I found that most recipes used rubbing alcohol.  This made sense as there needs to be some way to kill germs.  Commercial hand sanitizers like Purell will have a concentration of somewhere between 60% to 90% alcohol.  Some of the homemade recipes were specifically trying to avoid that much alcohol and were using just a teaspoon or two and were then supplementing the mixture with tea tree oil or peppermint oil that are thought to have antiseptic properties.  Other recipes were attempting to stay to true to the higher mixture of alcohol, but might add an ingredient like glycerin  to combat the drying effects.  Ultimately, I liked a very simple recipe that used equal parts aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol.  This mixture was 50% alcohol so it was quite close to the commercial brands.

Many of the homemade hand sanitizer recipes called for a few drops of an essential oil to add a little fragrance to the mix.  I decided to skip this step.  When I tested my homemade hand sanitizer for the first time I found that, yes, there was a distinct smell of rubbing alcohol, but it disappeared almost immediately.  Alcohol evaporates very quickly and the smell was gone within seconds.

Hand sanitizer is abundant in dollar stores.  I’m sure you can always find a bargain somewhere on little bottles of hand sanitizer.  But I always have a bottle of aloe vera gel in the house because I have found it is the most wonderful thing for a sunburn.  I always keep a bottle of rubbing alcohol in my medicine cabinet too.  I like the thought that at anytime I can make some homemade hand sanitizer with ingredients on hand.  I calculated that my little batch of homemade hand sanitizer cost me about 20 cents.

Homemade Hand Sanitizer


You will need:
Aloe Vera Gel
Rubbing Alcohol  (Use 99% Isopropyl Alcohol)
Few drops of essential oil in the fragrance of your choice (optional)
A pump or squirt bottle

** Update – Use 2 parts 99% Isopropyl Alcohol to 1 part Aloe Vera Gel

Combine equal parts aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol in a small bowl and mix together well.  I used 2 tablespoons of aloe vera gel with 2 tablespoons of rubbing alcohol.  Stir in an essential oil if using.  Transfer to a squirt bottle or pump bottle.  Do not use a spray bottle as this is a gel-like mixture.

The hardest part of this recipe was transferring it into my little travel sized bottle (I ended up using a funnel).

You can make this recipe as big or as small as you like.   Aloe vera gel is usually easy to find, and as you can see in the picture above, I bought mine at Target.


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    Feel free to comment or share your bright idea!

  1. says

    Rebecca – Perhaps Vitamin E gel would make a good substitute for the aloe vera gel. You can get a 12 oz bottle on Amazon for $6.99 which is not too pricey.

  2. Rosemary says

    I just want to point out that, from the looks of that bottle of “aloe gel”, it is not a pure aloe product. This means that you may get unwanted artificial ingredients, such as dyes, in your hand sanitizer. Folks may want to look for the real thing, such as Lily of the Desert’s product. Since it is kind of clumpy, one would want to put the hand sanitizer mixture into a blender to smooth it out before filling the pump bottle.

  3. Chad says

    I think it is extremely important to inform you that your sanitizer DOES NOT contain the required alcohol percentage to kill germs. You are using 70% alcohol and mixing it 50/50 with aloe gel. This, in theory, says that your alcohol percentage is approximately 35%. This will NOT kill germs. You NEED 65-70% alcohol to make your sanitizer effective. If you hare making this recipe, you will need to use 99% to 95% alcohol and less aloe/glycerin/other gels. With your recipe, all you get is a bottle of false security.

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      I did some investigation on your concerns and have made revisions to the recipe as well as writing an entire new post on the subject. Thanks for your input.

  4. Doris says

    This didn’t save any money for me, (though a good idea) The Aloe was 4.00 and the Alcohol over 1.00. I can buy a lg. jug of Hand Sanitizer for 5.00 the homemade remedy didn’t even fill the empty container.
    Thank you :)

    • BeverlyBeverly says

      It’s true that you can probably find store bought hand sanitizer that is cheaper. For me this was still a good strategy because I always have aloe gel in the house and always have rubbing alcohol in the house, so I’m able to mix up a batch from supplies I already have on hand.

  5. Jerry Gibson says

    If you use a foaming dispenser, then it will be a foam hand sanitizer, and perhaps you won’t feel the alcohol as much. On May 19, 2015 was my 1st encounter with Foaming hand sanitizer, and I prefer it over the regular hand sanitizer. It had more of a dry feel than a wet feel.