DIY Hand Sanitizer- What you need to know.

Posted by Marc Mischkind on


This was originally meant to be an article on how to make your own hand sanitizer and which aromatherapy herbs were most effective for killing COVID-19 topically.

Admittedly we are a bit of a crunchy granola household. My partner is a holistic health practitioner, and we live in California so it’s to be expected that we would be a bit “hippy dippy” about most things medical.

We love creating our own soaps and natural skincare and I thought, given the times, what better subject to research and write about then DIY sanitizers?

Unfortunately, when I began searching for that perfect do it yourself recipe it just was not there. What we forget is that COVID is a relatively new phenomena and most of the paid research to date is focused on finding a medical “cure” or a vaccine to combat the virus on a global level.

Not all viruses are the same.

Most essential oils have been researched in relation to skin diseases (think herpes) this is quite different from COVID, which causes lower respiratory infections. A virus’s strengths and weaknesses differ vastly from strain to strain which means that different plants and pharmaceuticals are needed to exploit these weaknesses.

While there are many essential oils with anti-viral properties there is not an oil that kills ALL viruses so, without definitive research, we have no idea which oils are effective against COVID-19.  You could look at other strains of COVID or even influenza to try to make a guess, but do you really want to be guessing when it comes to your children’s health and safety?


What is known


Hand Sanitizer is not as effective as soap and water. So, given this fact, the best way to protect your family on the go is to carry liquid soap and a water bottle with you (incase you aren’t near a sink). Since COVID there are a wide variety of travel sanitizers and even sanitizing bracelets in fun, kids friendly designs that you can repurpose as a travel soap dispenser.

If you do use sanitizer, make sure that it contains a minimum of 60% alcohol. Alcohol is currently the ONLY ingredient in hand sanitizer that is thought to kill COVID. The problem with most DIY sanitizers is that after aloe vera (used as a gelling agent) and other ingredients (such as lavender) are added then the amount of alcohol is dispersed and the sanitizer simply isn’t strong enough to work.

The flip side of this is off brand sanitizing products which are TOO STRONG and have been shown to cause chemical burns to the skin.

If the only ingredient in sanitizer shown to be effective is the alcohol and it is so challenging to make sanitizer with the correct % of alcohol (remember too weak= COVID and too strong = burned skin) then perhaps this is one scenario where we should be playing it safe with tried and true companies such as Purell and find other, natural ways to help support skin health (if you are worried about the chemicals).


Still Want to Do It Yourself?


Then check out the WHO guide to hand sanitizer production for more information.

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