As far as preventing the transmission of infectious diseases such as COVID-19 is concerned, there is nothing more beneficial than old-fashioned hand-washing.
However, if soap and water are not present, the next best choice, as per the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), is to apply an alcohol-based hand sanitizer which consists of no less than 60 percent alcohol.
Unless you have a stock of hand sanitizers bought from stores, you will perhaps have a tough time getting one at a store or online at this moment. Because of the speedy transmission of the novel coronavirus, retailers usually cannot maintain the demand for hand sanitizer.
But the best part is, all it requires is three components to prepare your own hand sanitizer at home. Take a look to find out how.
Hand sanitizer recipes are anticipated to be used by the professionals with the essential proficiency and resources for safe production and suitable application.
Make use of homemade hand sanitizers only in extreme circumstances when hand-washing is not accessible for the likely future.
Do not utilize homemade hand sanitizers on kids’ skin because they may be more likely to utilize them inappropriately, which may result in a greater risk of harm.
What Components Do You Require?
Preparing your own hand sanitizer is very simple and needs only a few components:
- Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99% alcohol volume)
- Aloe vera gel
- An essential oil, like lavender oil or tea tree oil. You may also use lemon juice.
Some steps to make your own hand sanitizer are as follows.
Adhere to a 2:1 proportion of alcohol to aloe vera for preparing an impactful, germ-damaging hand sanitizer. This maintains the alcohol content somewhere around 60 percent. This is the minimum amount that is required to destroy most germs, as per the CDC.
Top of Form
Bottom of Form
How Do You Prepare Your Own Hand Sanitizer?
Specialists tell that the hand sanitizer recipe given below will destroy 99.9% of germs after a minute.
Hand Sanitizer Recipe: Some steps to prepare your own hand sanitizer are as follows.
What You Will Require:
- 3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99%)
- 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel (to maintain your hands smooth and to neutralize the severity of alcohol)
- 10 drops of essential oil, like tea tree oil or lavender oil; or you may also utilize lemon juice.
- Take all constituents into a bowl, preferably one having a pouring spout such as a glass measuring container.
- Mix this combination using a spoon and thereafter beat it using a whisk to change the sanitizer into a gel form.
- Pour the components into a vacant bottle for simple and easy utilization. Your “hand sanitizer” is ready to be used.
A similar formula given below can also be used. This hand sanitizer formula combines the following:
- Two parts isopropyl alcohol or ethanol (91% to 99% alcohol)
- One part aloe vera
- Some drops of clove, peppermint, eucalyptus, or any other essential oil.
In case you are preparing hand sanitizer at home, some steps to make your own hand sanitizer are as follows.
- Prepare the hand sanitizer in a clean place. Mop countertops using a diluted bleach solution in advance.
- Before preparing the hand sanitizer, wash your hands carefully.
- Use a clean spoon and whisk to make a mixture. Wash these items systematically before utilizing them.
- Ensure the alcohol utilized to make hand sanitizer is not diluted.
- Mix all the constituents accurately until they are mixed properly.
- Never touch the mixture using your hands unless and until it is ready to be used.
The World Health Organization (WHO) has a formula for a larger batch of hand sanitizer. It makes use of:
- Isopropyl alcohol or ethanol
- Hydrogen peroxide
- Sterile distilled or boiled cold water
Is it Safe?
Although all over the internet, many DIY hand sanitizer recipes are available these days. But, are these safe?
These recipes, including those discussed above, are proposed for use by the professionals with both the knowledge and resources to safely and securely prepare homemade hand sanitizers. It is recommended only in extreme circumstances when you are not able to clean your hands for the future.
Inappropriate constituents or proportions can result in the following:
- Lack of efficiency, which means that the sanitizer cannot successfully eradicate the risk of exposure to certain or all microbes/germs
- Skin irritation, burns or injury
- Exposure to harmful chemicals through breathing
Homemade hand sanitizer is also not advised to be used by the kids. Kids may be more likely to use hand sanitizer inappropriately, which could result in a greater risk of harm.
How to Use Hand Sanitizer
When using hand sanitizer, you should know two things: you should rub it into your skin until your hands get dry. And, if your hands are dirty or greasy, you need to wash them first using water and soap.
Keeping this in mind, certain tips for using hand sanitizer effectively are as follows:
- Apply the hand sanitizer to the palm of one of your hands.
- Carefully rub both of your hands together. Ensure you cover the whole surface of your hands including all of your fingers.
- Keep rubbing for 30-60 seconds or until your hands get dried. You need at least 60 seconds for hand sanitizer to destroy most of the germs.
What Germs Can Hand Sanitizer Destroy?
As per the CDC, an alcohol-based hand sanitizer that meets the alcohol volume needs can swiftly decrease the number of germs on your hands. Besides, it can help kill a wide variety of disease-causing pathogens or agents found on your hands, along with the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2.
But, the fact is that the best alcohol-based hand sanitizers possess restrictions and do not remove all kinds of germs.
As per the CDC, hand sanitizers will not remove potentially unsafe chemicals. It is also not successful at destroying the following germs:
- Cryptosporidium (which causes cryptosporidiosis)
- Clostridium difficile
In addition, a hand sanitizer may not function properly in case your hands are greasy or dirty or. This may take place after working with food, performing yard work, playing a sport, or gardening.
In case your hands look slimy or dirty, choose hand-washing rather than a hand sanitizer.
Hand-Washing Versus Hand Sanitizer
Being aware of when it is essential to wash your hands, and when hand sanitizers can be useful, is key to saving yourself from the novel coronavirus along with other diseases, such as seasonal flu and the common cold.
Although both of these serve a purpose, cleaning your hands using water and soap should be a priority all the time, as per the CDC. Make use of hand sanitizer only if water and soap are not available in the given circumstances.
It is also vital to always clean your hands in the following situations:
- After going to the bathroom
- After blowing your nose, sneezing or coughing
- Before eating
- After touching surfaces which could be unclean
The CDC enlists particular instructions on the most influential approach to wash your hands. They suggest:
- Always make use of clean, running water. (It may be cold or warm.)
- First, make your hands wet. Now turn the water off, and lather your hands using soap.
- Then, rub your hands together using soap for a minimum 20 seconds. Ensure to scrub the backside of your hands, under your nails and between your fingers.
- Now, turn the water tap on and rinse your hands. Utilize a clean towel.
The Bottom Line
Hand sanitizer is a convenient on-the-go method to assist in preventing the transmission of germs/microbes when water and soap are not accessible. Alcohol-based hand sanitizers can aid in keeping you safe and lower the transmission of the novel coronavirus.
In case you are not finding hand sanitizer at stores and hand-washing is not available, you can make your own. You only require some constituents, like rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel, and lemon juice or an essential oil.
While hand sanitizers can be a successful method of removing germs, health authorities and specialists still suggest hand-washing, whenever possible, to maintain your hands-free of viruses and other germs/microbes.