How To Make Natural Moisturizing Hand Sanitizer

This post may contain affiliate links.

How to Make Hand Sanitizer Homemade

Learn how to make DIY hand sanitizer that is natural and simple. This homemade hand sanitizer works and smells great, saves money, and helps fight cold and flu!

Tip: check out our homemade baby wipes too!

How to Make Hand Sanitizer

As a former public school employee, hand sanitizer was a mainstay on my desk. (And in any other strategic location that might encourage students to use it when needed.) However, I had a love-hate relationship with this germ-fighting, often offensively-scented gel.

I typically didn’t have time for the necessary 30-second hand wash while working with kids, but knew I had touched something icky, gooey, and most definitely packed with tons of bacteria. Commercial hand sanitizers smell so strong of chemicals that I can not have it on my hands all day. More importantly, I worried about the safety of these commercial formulas for myself and the kids.

The good news? There really is no need for your nose and eyes to burn every time you apply hand sanitizer, and this DIY formula won’t dry your hands out! Learn how to make DIY hand sanitizer that is non-chemical, naturally scented. Our version of hand sanitizer can be made right at home with powerful essential oils and a few other ingredients. The essential oils I chose to use boast the following beneficial properties: antibacterial, antiviral, and anti-fungal.

* Tea tree oil has been found in clinical studies to kill most types of bacteria at a concentration of 0.5-1%. If making adjustments to the recipe, make sure your tea tree is adjusted accordingly so it remains at this concentration. 

Homemade Hand Sanitizer: A Natural DIY Recipe

Yield 9 ounces

Arm yourself with this softly-scented natural homemade hand sanitizer.

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Add essential oils and Vitamin E oil to a small glass bowl or container and swirl to mix.
  2. Add witch hazel (or alcohol) to the oils and swirl again.
  3. Combine this mixture with the aloe vera gel and mix well.
  4. Shake gently before each use. (Sanitizer should last several months with the addition of Vitamin E and alcohol to help preserve.)

Transfer hand sanitizer to small, clean squirt bottles. Also, use colored bottles like this so the essential oils in the recipe are not exposed to light. Finally, this recipe is perfect for throwing into a purse or a backpack!

Even more, you could also mix up a batch and keep in a container with a pump.

Homemade Hand Sanitizer 1

Tips and warnings

The lavender is used in the recipe to round out the strong scent of the tea tree oil. If you’re not a fan of lavender, choose another antibacterial oil such as rosemary, sage, sandalwood, or peppermint. (where to buy 100% pure essential oils)

Always take care when handling essential oils. They are very concentrated, powerful plant extracts. If you are new to using essential oils you may want to test for an allergic reaction before slathering on this homemade hand sanitizer. As with any natural plant, family members could be allergic. For a simple patch test mix one drop of essential oil with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. Rub a bit on the inside of your elbow, cover with a bandage, and wait 24 hours to see if there is any negative reaction.

Note: If you’ve been reading recent reports about how unhealthy the use of hand sanitizers can be, keep in mind that the danger exists in the chemicals used in commercial sanitizers. This homemade hand sanitizer recipe uses NONE of those harmful chemicals and relies on pure essential oils to kill germs. One of the unique qualities of essential oils is that they do not cause bacterial resistance like antibacterial chemicals, and are actually effective in killing strains of bacteria that have become resistant to our man-made medicines and chemicals. (source)

Sometimes it’s good to allow our bodies to encounter germs and strengthen our immune systems, but sometimes it’s nice to have a hand sanitizer available for emergencies. (Think dirty porta potty, or child next to you having a sneeze-fest.) In these cases, this gentle homemade hand sanitizer is one of the best alternatives to commercial brands.

*******

Betsy Jabs

About Betsy Jabs

Betsy holds a bachelor's degree in Psychology and a Master's degree in Counseling, and for nearly a decade worked as an elementary counselor. In 2011 she left her counseling career to pursue healthy living. She loves using DIY Natural as a way to educate people to depend on themselves to nourish their bodies and live happier healthier lives. Connect with Betsy on Facebook, Twitter, and her +Betsy Jabs Google profile.

PAID ENDORSEMENT DISCLOSURE: In order for us to support our website activities, we may receive monetary compensation or other types of remuneration for our endorsement, recommendation, testimonial and/or link to any products or services from this website.

DISCLAIMER: Information on DIY Natural™ is not reviewed or endorsed by the FDA and is NOT intended to be substituted for the advice of your health care professional. If you rely solely upon this advice you do so at your own risk. Read full Disclaimer & Disclosure statements here.

Comments

  1. Amy says

    Hi. I like your recipe. I was wondering if it matters what brand of essential oil I use. I have the NOW brand, but don’t know if that is food safe, or whatever you call it. Since it will be on our hands and then we might eat something, does it matter? I also have a puppy that likes to lick! Also, can we use lavender only? (I don’t like the smell of Tea Tree)

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      Hi Amy,

      The brand does not matter, but the purity DOES. Look for essential oils that are 100% pure, and not diluted with other carrier oils. You can use lavender only, but it will not be as effective without the tea tree. It will still kill some germs though.

  2. Dr. Craig A. Maxwell says

    Great recipe for home-made hand sanitizer. It’s good to see information getting out there about the dangers of Triclosan. Hand sanitizer based on essential oils and natural alcohols can help wipe out germs safely without putting you at risk for antibiotic resistance. Keep up the great work, Betsy!

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      Thanks for your kind words! It’s true — our society has been so bombarded with promises of the effectiveness of things like Triclosan, but rarely educated on the multiple dangers. And instead of trusting in the natural alternatives, many consumers think that only products made in a lab will work. We work to help consumers move away from this mindset, and are so thrilled you enjoy our work! 🙂

  3. Rachel says

    I’m just starting the all-natural DIY and thought this would be a good product to start with. I have a 9mo baby and am nursing though, so not sure about the tea tree oil-been researching but can’t find anything definitive one way or the other…
    Also have a question about witch hazel. I bought a bottle at my local health food store called Thayers original witch hazel with aloe vera formula, got home and looked up this recipe again then realized this might not be okay to use. Should I return it and find something that specifically says that it’s witch hazel extract only?

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      Hi Rachel,

      The witch hazel you have will work well. As far as essential oils go, I have always learned that if pregnant or nursing, products containing 1% essential oils are safe. The essential oils in this recipe only make up approximately 0.5% of the product.

      Hope this helps!

  4. JSpann says

    I made my first batch last night and gave several of the bottles away to get feedback. I love it and most everyone I’ve “squirted” did too. The ones that didn’t, didn’t like the lavender tea tree combo. I will be trying a batch with peppermint and tea tree next.

    Another good thing about this sanitizer……if you lick your fingers after putting it on it does not taste bad!!

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      Peppermint and tea tree would be a great combo in this sanitizer! I’m so glad everyone is liking your homemade batches. Thanks so much for returning and leaving your comments! 🙂

  5. Barb says

    Perfect timing! I had been thinking about how to make my own, and once again, you beat me to it! I have an AV question though…I also use Lily of the Desert, but mine says 99% pure. It is the “Gelly” and has quite a list of ingredients such as vitamins and preservatives in addition to the aloe. Is there another type I should be looking for? I love this site and use so many of your recipes and suggestions, THANKS!

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      Yes, the “gelly” isn’t totally pure and natural, but it will work if that’s what you have. I typically use Lakewood Organic Pure Aloe Vera Gel. It’s usually found in the health section (as an aloe supplement that you can drink). It’s pure aloe vera gel, in a pourable consistency, that only includes a little lemon juice as a preservative. I have also used Lily of the Desert pure aloe vera gel, but they have changed the formulation recently to include a thickening agent and more preservatives. Basically, you can use whatever you’re comfortable with, but just be sure that you use an appropriate container for the consistency of your aloe gel. (For example, I would not try to use a spray bottle for your sanitizer if you’re using the thick “gelly.”) Hope that helps!

  6. create4good says

    This is great! And I even have all the ingredients — awesome!
    Couple of questions — is it necessary to “swirl” the ingredients? My vitamin E oil is quite thick, and would need to be stirred with something to incorporate with the essential oils. Could we stir it with something? I thought a wooden chopstick would be good, so I could throw it away if necessary, but it wouldn’t affect the ingredients (like plastic or metal might).
    Also, my pure aloe vera is VERY liquidy, almost like water, so I combined them in a bottle with a spray top. If I shake it very well, do you think the important ingredients would get through the spray nozzle enough to be effective? I wish there was a way to test the efficacy of the germ-fighting!

    • Betsy JabsBetsy Jabs says

      Hi there,

      You can absolutely stir the ingredients! There’s no reason in particular I said to “swirl,” other than the fact that I hate dirtying up more utensils while doing a project. 🙂 If your pure aloe vera gel is a pourable (thin) consistency, then it will work fine in a spray bottle.

      Have fun making this!

  7. Laurie says

    I love this! I am allergic to any chemical cleaner – so, no commercial soaps and the quick cleaners leave my already damaged fingers like alligator skin. I’m thrilled to have this – no allergy to TT as I use it all the time for other things. Something I’ll be able to keep in my purse and use in public restrooms – happy day!

!-- END Aweber Lightbox code -->