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Do-It-Yourself Hand Sanitizer When You’re Out of Purell

04/02/2020
By Corey Lewis, CPT, CSCS

Stocks of hand sanitizer are running out in every city, but we need hygiene products now more than ever. We don’t know how long we will need to stay at home to limit and reverse the spread of COVID-19. The safety instructions we have been given include frequent hand washing and the use of hand sanitizer. But what do you do when you run out and the stores are empty? I’ve sourced an amazing recipe for a do-it-yourself hand sanitizer that will help keep you germ-free between hand washings and reduce your chances of getting sick.

Hand Sanitizer vs. Hand Washing

Because of the current crisis, good hygiene practices are essential. I am committed to bringing you the best information possible to improve your health and safety. To that end, I would also like to share with you a message from team 1and1: Covid 19.

Is Hand Sanitizer or Hand Washing Better at Disinfecting? – DoctorOz

When should hand antiseptic be used instead of soap and water? Even at the best of times, it is important to wash your hands often. It’s even more important during a pandemic. But if you wash your hands too much, they can become dry and chapped and prone to cracking.

If your hands are visibly soiled, hand sanitizer is not appropriate and you should wash your hands.

In cases where you’ve touched a suspect surface, hand sanitizer is more appropriate. It is a judgment call though, so try to keep track of how often you’re washing your hands.

In between handwashing, having a reliable hand sanitizer is a great way to ensure your hands are germ-free without running the risk of drying them out.

How to Wash Your Hands

Always use proper handwashing techniques. When your hands are visibly dirty or if you have used the toilet, please wash your hands according to the following instructions:

An image of the proper step by step handwashing. In between handwashing you can use your do-it-yourself hand sanitizer to ensure your hands are germ-free.
The Proper Handwashing Technique (Image source: Shutterstock)
  1. Wet your hands.
  2. Apply a small amount of soap. 
  3. Scrub for twenty to thirty seconds. 
  4. Rinse off the soap. 
  5. Dry your hands.

How to Rub Your Hands

  1. If your hands are dirty, wash them instead of using hand sanitizer. 
  2. Apply enough hand sanitizer to entirely wet your hands. 
  3. Rub palm to palm, front to back, and in between your fingers. 
  4. Continue until your hands are dry.

Recipe For Do-It-Yourself Hand Sanitizer:

Alcohol is the most important ingredient for hand sanitizer, and a good lotion improves your hand sanitizer effectiveness. Beyond that, a pleasant scent and other additives bring additional benefits, so if they are accessible and convenient, you can use them, too.

An image of a man using a hand sanitizer.
Alcohol Together With Aloe Vera Improves Hand Sanitizer Effectiveness (Image source: Shutterstock)

You Will Need:

  • An appropriately sized mixing bowl 
  • Stirring spatulas or spoons 
  • A funnel 
  • Squeeze bottles or spray bottles

Essential Ingredients:

  • 3 oz. rubbing alcohol or equivalent (99% pure)
  • 1 oz. aloe vera gel or equivalent (use ½ oz. for spray applicators)

Optional Ingredients

  • 8-10 drops of your favorite essential oil (for the scent)
  • ¼ teaspoon of Vitamin E oil (as a hand softener)

Instructions:

  1. Combine all liquids in a bowl and stir gently until mixed. 
  2. Add aloe vera gel and stir until mixed. 
  3. Transfer to conveniently sized squeeze or spray bottles. You can reuse the bottles if you clean them thoroughly each time. 
  4. Shake gently before use.

You want to ensure that your final product has at least 60% alcohol for maximum efficiency. If you use a spray bottle, reduce the aloe vera by half to minimize clogging.

Apple cider vinegar has many uses around the house and is very versatile. My favorite brand is Braggs Organic Apple Cider Vinegar. I have it in my home and use it on a weekly basis, and it’s a great tool to have in your cleaning bucket.

A Note of Caution:

There have been suggestions that apple cider vinegar is an effective hand sanitizer ingredient. Vinegar is not on the list of cleaning agents that kill coronavirus. Please ensure that your hand sanitizer has at least 60% alcohol in order to effectively kill germs and keep your environment pure.

Keep Your Focus on Mental and Physical Hygiene

In difficult times it’s vital to keep your mind sharp and your emotions calm. Not only will it keep your mood up, but it will also make you more effective and productive, whatever you are trying to accomplish. Healthy hacks can make your life easier without a lot of additional work. Get outside for some natural sunshine and earth-scents. Local hiking trails would be ideal. You can get back to nature and avoid close contact with others at the same time.

A woman meditating.
Get outside For Natural Sunshine And Be One With Nature To Avoid Contact With People (Image source: Shutterstock)

Hiking is one of my favorite ways to unwind, relax, and recharge, so if it’s an option for you, take advantage as often as possible. If you’re going on a long hike, make sure to be prepared with comfortable clothing, non-toxic sunscreens, and plenty of water. The Lifestraw Go is a solution that gives you access to water that is safe and pure almost anywhere you go. The activated charcoal is safe and effective when used right. I’ve heard some stories lately of people using charcoal on their teeth, and that’s not a good idea. It’s best to keep the charcoal in the filter and use other methods to learn how to get healthy in stressful times.

If you can’t get outside, there are ways to make your indoor environment as pleasant as possible. Anxiety levels are rising all over the world. Gravity blankets are an easy way to soothe your anxiety and encourage deep, healthy sleep. Treat yourself with body cleanse products to keep your mood up and your body clean, inside and out. A pleasant scent elevates your emotions almost as much as getting clean.

Don’t forget to check for the latest coronavirus updates. Information is your friend, and it’s wise to stay current, even when the news may provoke anxiety.

Keep yourself mentally and physically healthy, and you will be positioned to succeed as soon as this crisis is over and everyone gets back to work.

Do you have enough hygiene products at home? Why not whip up some hand sanitizer right now and get more comfortable by learning how to be more independent?

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