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How to Make a Safe and Effective Hand Sanitizer at Home

On top of trying to avoid the annual spread of cold and flu germs going around this time of year, the growing panic surrounding the coronavirus (COVID-19) is making everyone even more on edge. And because keeping our hands clean is one of the best ways to avoid getting sick, we’re also now facing a shortage of hand sanitizer in both physical and online stores. Good news: You can easily make your own batch of safe and effective sanitizer at home!

Whether you’re making it yourself or purchasing it, the CDC claims that the most important factor is that the hand sanitizer you use has at least 60 percent alcohol. “Hand sanitizers without 60 to 95 percent alcohol 1) may not work equally well for many types of germs; and 2) merely reduce the growth of germs rather than kill them outright,” their website explains. 

Thankfully, you can achieve that exact ratio by combining just two ingredients:

  • 2/3 cup Isopropyl alcohol 91 percent (rubbing alcohol)
  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel

This simple recipe shared by the Oregonian creates a sanitizer with a 60.66 alcohol percentage. They also recommend adding 8 to 10 drops of your favorite essential oil for a nice aroma. Either way, you simply mix the ingredients in a bowl until fully combined and pour it into a travel bottle to carry around with you everywhere and stay protected. 

This is a convenient solution considering most of us already have rubbing alcohol in our homes and you can still find aloe vera gel, like Nature Republic New Soothing Moisture Aloe Vera Gel ($6.40, Amazon), stocked at most stores. 

Important reminder: Hand sanitizer shouldn’t be used as a replacement for regularly washing your hands with soap and water. It’s just helpful for those in between times when you don’t have a sink nearby. 

Click here for even more helpful tips to avoid catching the coronavirus — or any other nasty bug!

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