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DIY: How to make hand sanitizer

Although, the best thing you can do is wash your hands with soap and water.
Posted at 11:42 AM, Mar 20, 2020

INDIANAPOLIS — According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the best way to prevent the transmission of disease is to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water.

But, in instances where soap and water are not at your disposal, hand sanitizer is the second best thing.

Fear of the coronavirus has led people to stock up on hand sanitizer, however, leaving store shelves empty and online retailers with sky-high prices set by those trying to profit on the rush.

READ | Indianapolis distillery creates hand cleaner to help combat COVID-19 |

Several websites have published explanations on how to mix up your own hand-sanitizing formula, but RTV6 found that one posted by The Verge is one of the best out there.


  • 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol (99% isopropyl alcohol)
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel

Stir together into a clean soap or pump bottle.

According to The Verge, DIY-ers must be aware of these things before making the sanitizer:

  • To be effective, hand sanitizer needs to have a strength of at least 60 percent alcohol. Since you’re going to have to mix your sanitizer with aloe vera gel in order to stabilize it and protect your hands, most recipes suggest that the mixture contain at least two-thirds 99 percent isopropyl alcohol and one-third gel. A 91 percent alcohol would work as well. (You can probably ignore the occasional suggestion to use vodka instead of isopropyl alcohol since many vodkas are only 40 percent alcohol. And anyway, why waste good liquor?)
  • On the other hand, the ethanol (also known as ethyl alcohol) in distilled beverages, such as vodka, is also effective. In fact, it’s actually considered more effective against some types of infectious diseases than isopropyl alcohol. But in order to get the proper strength, you’d have to find alcohol that is 180 proof or higher.
  • Sanitizer is only effective if you cover your hands thoroughly and then let them dry. Squirting a few drops into your palms and then wiping your hands isn’t going to help at all.
  • If your hands are heavily soiled or greasy, then, according to the CDC, hand sanitizer isn’t going to do much

The Food and Drug Administration is asking for new studies on how the antiseptic gels and sprays fight germs and get absorbed into the body, with a particular focus on children and pregnant women.

Agency officials stressed though, that the review "does not mean the FDA believes these products are ineffective or unsafe."

Simplemost's Jenn Fields tried making her own scented hand sanitizer last week, here's how it went.