How to make natural hand sanitizer: A step-by-step guide

Posted by Melissa // The Organic Babe on

All-natural hand sanitizer

How great would it be if we didn’t have to worry about germs constantly being in our lives?

No constant worry about getting sick, no worrying about sanitizing everything that we come into contact with just to be sure that we were safe.

That sounds amazing, doesn’t it?

Unfortunately, germs are everywhere! Even worse, I’m not talking about all the good bacteria that your body needs to continue running the way that it should. Oh no, we are talking about the nasty stuff!

  • Norovirus
  • Swine Flu (H1N1)
  • Coronavirus (COVID-19)
  • Rubella
  • Chickenpox
  • Flu / Common Cold

All of these things sound terrible, so what can we do to protect ourselves? Well, the ideal answer is to practice diligent hand-washing. There are times, however, when it is just not possible to wash your hands. In that case, it is time to reach for the hand sanitizer.

Hand sanitizer vs hand washing

Depending on the recipe you make, hand sanitizer can be just as effective at helping to keep you healthy as washing your hands! Assuming that you are using one of the following recipes for natural hand sanitizer, it could even be better for your body since you wouldn’t be exposing yourself and your loved ones to all of the questionable ingredients found in most commercial hand soaps.

Ingredients to avoid

  • “Parfum” or Fragrance - If I asked anyone what exactly “fragrance” meant on an ingredient label, most people probably wouldn’t be able to tell me anything about it. That is because, at this point, the term fragrance is used to describe the over 3,000 chemicals that create fragrance compounds. Artificial fragrances have the potential to release volatile organic compounds into the air. This can lead to organ damage, difficulty breathing, headaches or migraines, and even cancer. Let's stay away from them if we can!
  • Triclocarban - Triclocarban is often found in commercial antibacterial hand soaps and according to Ecology Center, has a moderate risk for reproductive toxicity, endocrine activity, human systemic toxicity with repeated dosage, and skin and eye irritation.
  • Parabens - Parabens are used to increase the shelf life of certain cosmetic and body care products. However, according to EWG, parabens can disrupt hormones, harm fertility, and reproductive organs, affect birth outcomes and increase the risk of cancer.

Does hand sanitizer expire?

I recently found a bottle of hand sanitizer in an old purse while cleaning. I was looking at the bottle when I realized that it had an expiration date. I never knew that hand sanitizer expired! After doing some research, the answer seemed obvious. The alcohol in commercial hand sanitizers can lose potency over time. Commercial hand sanitizers also have different stabilizing components and artificial fragrances that tend to start breaking down the longer they are held.

Does natural hand sanitizer expire?

The short answer is, yes. However, it is luckily very easy to make a simple change that will help to last a lot longer! While it is very tempting to use fresh aloe vera gel to make your homemade hand sanitizer, resist the urge! Fresh aloe vera gel doesn’t have a very long shelf life, and neither will your homemade hand sanitizer. For this, a commercial brand of organic aloe vera is recommended. You can check out this link for one that I absolutely LOVE!

All-natural hand sanitizer recipe

This recipe is so simple, I can’t believe that it took so long for me to make the switch and start making my own instead of buying things that were terrible for my skin and even worse for my overall health. If you have never used the Germ Destroyer essential oil, it is an absolute lifesaver! Not only, does it smell amazing, but you can relax knowing that it is certified organic and non-toxic. The essential oil blend below includes my favorite essential oils cinnamon, clove, eucalyptus, lemon, and rosemary.

Mix the aloe gel and the essential oil together in a medium-sized glass bowl.

How easy was that? You just made your own hand sanitizer. All that is left to do is put your new hand sanitizer into a reusable, squeezable tube for travel, or into a glass jar with a pump for your desk (or anywhere that you would want to have some on hand, the possibilities are really endless). I keep a bottle in my car to make sure I am always able to sanitize my hands.

Stronger recipe

If you would like to make something a little stronger (although less natural) for those times when you feel like you need a little extra kick behind your sanitizer, I even have a recipe for that too.

  • 1/4 cup of rubbing alcohol (use at least 60%)
  • 1/8 cup aloe vera gel
  • 15 drops of Health Shield Blend Essential Oil (for this recipe, tea tree oil also works incredibly well)

As with the previous recipe, add all ingredients to a glass bowl and mix until combined. The great thing about this recipe is that it is even able to be used in a spray bottle to make it easier to apply! I like to use an amber glass spray bottle over plastic. This is my favorite method because all I need are a few quick sprays and I know that I am ready to go!


You have conquered the daunting task of making your own hand sanitizer! You even made it all natural!

If you loved these recipes, make sure to share them with your loved ones and help spread the word about all-natural hand sanitizers!

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