We don’t normally use hand sanitisers as simple hand washing with soap and water is usually sufficient enough to keep germs at bay. However with the recent outbreak of COVID-19 we are conscious of how important it is to keep our hands clean at all times to prevent the spread of the virus.
Soap Kitchen advise how the humble bar of soap works; "Due to their high pH value soaps bars are naturally antibacterial, as bacteria cannot propagate on a pH of 9 more more. Which means they are also better for the environment because we are not washing chemicals into our water system; this applies to all saponified soap bars. After hand washing the pH of hands will be significantly higher and contribute to the viral inactivation of COVID-19. With Coronavirus the soap works to disrupt the fatty acid outer layer of the virus (not bacteria), causing it to dissolve, break apart and consequently wash away. It is recommended to wash your hands with soap and water often and to do this for at least 20 seconds. Washing your hands properly removes dirt, viruses and bacteria to help stop them spreading to other people and objects."
Although soap and water are the preferred option, there are times when these aren't available so its good to have some hand sanitiser on hand.
As it is currently difficult to purchase hand sanitisers we thought it could be useful to offer some simple homemade recipes. Many commercial sanitisers are very harsh and too strong for using on children so its also good to be able to make your own gentle but effective version at home.
Our recipes include essential oils that inhibit bacteria naturally, being careful to choose ones that are safe for kids. There is also some evidence that these oils can help battle viruses, making them potentially more effective.
We recommend the following essential oils as they have antibacterial properties and are antimicrobial, meaning that they kill microorganisms or stop their growth.
It is important to note that these first two recipes are more like a waterless soap and not a full hand sanitiser. In order to be classed as a hand sanitiser the recipe must contain at least 60% alcohol and only the last recipe can reach that percentage. See below courtesy of Wellness Mama.
Gentle Hand Sanitiser Recipe (Safe for children)
- ¼ cup aloe vera gel
- 20 drops essential oils
Mix all ingredients and store in small silicone tubes for use on the go.
Use as needed to naturally remove germs from hands.
Stronger Hand Sanitiser Recipe
For a stronger hand sanitiser that performs like commercial versions (without the harmful checmicals), try this recipe. If you work in a hospital, this might be a good one for your personal use. We don't recommend using this on children
- To make, mix aloe vera gel, optional glycerin, and rubbing alcohol in a small bowl.
- Add 20 drops of essential oils
- Mix well and add distilled water to thin to desired consistency.
- Use a small funnel or medicine dropper to transfer hand sanitiser into spray or pump type bottles. This can also be stored in small silicone tubes for use on the go.
- Use as you would any other type of hand sanitiser.
Strongest Homemade Hand Sanitiser Recipe (5 Minute Recipe)
It is recommended that to effectively battle viruses hand sanitisers must contain at least 60% alcohol. This formula follows this percentage and adds aloe vera for gentleness and essential oils for extra virus fighting.
- 2/3 cup Isopropyl / rubbing alcohol (70% or higher)
- 2 Tablespoons aloe vera (If unable to find aloe vera, glycerine can be used as a substitute)
- 20 drops essential oils
Mix all ingredients and combine in a spray bottle (these are the perfect size) or small bottle of any kind. Use as needed.
- Always check with a doctor or healthcare provider before using essential oils, especially on children
We hope these recipes are helpful and that we can all get back to normal soon.
Stay safe and healthy xx