Homemade hand sanitizer recipes

Clinical Question

Recipes for homemade hand sanitizer

Key Findings

Warning: Hand sanitizer and other cleansing products are for external use only.

  • Hand sanitizer is a handy on-the-go way to help prevent the spread of germs when soap and water is not available.[1]
  • Although hand sanitizers can be effective, hand washing is the preferred method and recommended whenever possible.[1]
  • The CDC states that hand sanitizers with an alcohol content of at least 60% are more effective at killing microorganisms than those with a lower alcohol concentration or non-alcohol-based hand sanitizers.[2]
  • Use a 2:1 proportion of alcohol to aloe vera if using 99% isopropyl alcohol. This will keep the alcohol content around 60%. If using 91% isopropyl alcohol, then use a 3:2 ratio[3]
  • Make sure the working space and equipment is clean, and wash your hands. Do not touch the sanitizer mixture with your hands until it is ready for use
  • Mix all ingredients thoroughly - may not be effective if not thoroughly mixed.
  • Make sure the alcohol used is not diluted below 60%

Summary of Information

Recipe #1: Gel Sanitizer


  • ¾ cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99%)
  • ¼ cup aloe vera gel
  • 10 drops of essential oil or lemon juice (optional)


  • Combine all ingredients into a measuring cup or a container with spout (for easier pouring into bottle later)
  • Mix well with a spoon then beat with a whisk until sanitizer turn into a gel
  • Transfer sanitizer mixture into an empty bottle.

Recipe #2: Gel Sanitizer


  • Isopropyl alcohol or ethanol (91%)
  • Aloe vera
  • A few drops of clove, eucalyptus, peppermint, or other essential oil (optional)


  • Into a measuring cup or bowl, combine two parts isopropyl alcohol or ethanol and one part aloe vera (example: 1 cup alcohol or ethanol and ½ aloe vera). Add a few drops of clove, eucalyptus, peppermint, or other essential oil. Mix all ingredients thoroughly until they are well blended.

Recipe #3: Spray Sanitizer. WHO formula (Smaller batch) [4]


  • 1 cup of isopropyl alcohol (99%)
  • 1 tablespoon of hydrogen peroxide (3%)
  • 1 teaspoon of glycerin (98%)
  • ¼ cup (65 ml) of sterile distilled or boiled cold water


  • Using a medium-sized container (preferably one with a spout), pour in the alcohol.
  • Add in the hydrogen peroxide
  • Add in the glycerin. Stir to combine. Glycerin is more viscous so it might take some stirring to combine the ingredients. Can put on the lid and shake the container gently to mix.
  • Add in the distilled or boiled cold water. Mix well.
  • Sanitized spray bottle and pour in the hand sanitizer mixture.
  • Label.

Recipe #3: Spray sanitizer. WHO formula (Larger Batch) [4]

Formulation 1:


  • Isopropyl alcohol (99.8%): 7515 ml
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%): 417 ml
  • Glycerol (98%): 145 ml
  • Sterile distilled or cold boiled water

Formulation 2:


  • Ethanol (96%): 8333 ml
  • Hydrogen peroxide (3%): 417 ml
  • Glycerol (98%): 145 ml
  • Sterile distilled or cold boiled water

Instructions for both Formulation 1 and 2:

  • Prepare in a large 10 litres bottle or tank.
  • Pour alcohol into the large bottle.
  • Add in hydrogen peroxide
  • Add in glycerol. Glycerol is very viscous and will stick to the wall of the bottle. Can be rinsed with some sterile distilled or cold boiled water.
  • Add in the sterile distilled or cold boiled water. fill up to the 10-litre mark.
  • Cover with lid or screw cap as soon as preparation is done to prevent evaporation
  • Shake the bottle or tank gently to mix solution
  • Immediately divide up the solution into smaller containers.

How to Make Aloe Vera Gel:


  • Fresh aloe vera leaf
  • A knife or vegetable peeler
  • A small spoon
  • A blender
  • Airtight container for storage
  • Powdered vitamin C and/or vitamin E (optional)


  • Wash the aloe vera leaf. Drain the yellow-tinted resin out of the leaf by letting it stand upright in a cup or bowl for 10-15 minutes (resin contain latex which can irritate your skin)
  • Wash again to clean off any resin residual
  • Peel off the thick skin using knife or vegetable peeler
  • Scoop the aloe vera flesh into a blender. Do not include any skin.
  • Blend until frothy and liquefied (take few seconds)
  • Gel is ready to use.
  • Gel can only be stored for about 1 week without preservatives. Can freeze or add a preservative (powdered vitamin C or E) to keep it longer.
  • If add preservatives (optional):
    • Add 500 mg of powdered vitamin C or 400 IU of powdered vitamin E for every ¼ cup (60ml) of aloe vera gel.
    • Add the powdered vitamins into the blender and mix the gel until fully incorporated

Recipe #4:Gel Sanitizer


  • White distilled vinegar
  • Filtered water or aloe vera gel
  • Essential oil
  • Colloidal silver or rubbing alcohol


  • Combine 120 ml (½ cup) filtered water/or aloe vera, 120 ml (½ cup) white distilled vinegar, 10-12 drops essentials oil of your choice, and 1 tablespoon colloidal silver or rubbing alcohol

Author Information

Authors: Thanh Tran, BS, UCSD
Completed on: April 26, 2020
Last revised on: Not yet revised

Reviewed by: Gary Smithson MD
Reviewed on: April 27, 2020


  1. How to Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer. Healthline. Accessed April 25, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/health/how-to-make-hand-sanitizer
  2. Show Me the Science – When & How to Use Hand Sanitizer in Community Settings | Handwashing | CDC. Published March 3, 2020. Accessed April 25, 2020. https://www.cdc.gov/handwashing/show-me-the-science-hand-sanitizer.html
  3. Osmanski S. If You’ve Been Googling DIY Hand Sanitizers, Here’s What You Need to Know About Making Your Own. Parade. Published March 24, 2020. Accessed April 25, 2020. https://parade.com/1010530/stephanieosmanski/how-to-make-hand-sanitizer/
  4. Guide to Local Production: WHO-recommended Handrub Formulations. Published online April 2010. https://www.who.int/gpsc/5may/Guide_to_Local_Production.pdf
  5. Gutierrez G. S. How to make your own hand sanitizer and help fight COVID-19. Pop Sci. Accessed April 25, 2020. https://www.popsci.com/story/diy/diy-hand-sanitizer/
  6. Harilela D. Coronavirus: how to make your own hand sanitiser using five simple ingredients | South China Morning Post. Accessed April 25, 2020. https://www.scmp.com/lifestyle/fashion-beauty/article/3075541/coronavirus-...
  7. Shoemaker S. How to Make Aloe Vera Gel. Healthline. Published October 4, 2019. Accessed April 25, 2020. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/how-to-make-aloe-vera-gel
Last updated: July 1, 2020