I spent some time researching proper hand-washing techniques, the lifespan of Covid-19, surfaces where the virus thrives, and finally, DIY recipes. With all the ways anxieties are manifesting — hoarding all the toilet paper in North America — and all the ways profiteers are reaping the benefits of those anxieties by cornering the market on hand sanitizer, wipes, and masks, it seemed that one of the most empowering and sensible things I could do was make my own hand sanitizer spray. It’s hard to think communally during isolation, but this felt like my small attempt to flatten the curve without contributing to the shortages in resources our health care institutions and workers are already seeing.
The Center for Disease Control and Prevention has stated that hand sanitizer made up of 70 percent isopropyl or rubbing alcohol will kill most pathogens, including Covid-19. And while hand washing (and of course social distancing) has proved most effective at keeping germs at bay, hand sanitizer is, well, handy when confronting that ATM machine and making other essential trips out of the house.
- Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99% alcohol by volume)
- Distilled or boiled water
- Essential oil for a more soothing scent (I routinely buy organic tea tree oil for its antibacterial antifungal properties)
The efficacy of hand sanitizer spray is in the ratios: Two parts alcohol to one part water (the ratios are the same for making hand sanitizer gel with rubbing alcohol and aloe vera gel).
- Measure the alcohol and water using baking utensils and combine both into one large container.
- Then add the essential oil and whisk. Because essential oils are already concentrated, a few drops will suffice for freshening the scent and adding peace of mind.
Keep in mind, alcohol is drying to the skin, so plan on moisturizing a lot more.