When it comes to preventing the spread of infectious diseases like COVID-19, nothing beats good old-fashioned hand washing but if water and soap are not readily available your next option would be to use an alcohol based sanitizer. 

Unless you have a stockpile of store-bought hand sanitizer, you will likely have a hard time finding any at a store or online right now. Due to the rapid spread of the novel coronavirus, most retailers can’t keep up with the demand for hand sanitizer.

But don’t you worry you only need three ingredients to make your own hand sanitizer at home. Here is what you will need;


What ingredients do you need?

Isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent alcohol volume)
Aloe vera gel
An essential oil, such as tea tree oil or lavender oil, or you can use lemon juice instead

The key to making an effective, germ-busting hand sanitizer is to stick to a 2:1 proportion of alcohol to aloe vera. This keeps the alcohol content around 60 percent. This is the minimum amount needed to kill most germs, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

How do you make your own hand sanitizer?


Dr. Rishi Desai, chief medical officer of Osmosis, and a former epidemic intelligence service officer in the division of viral diseases at the CDC, says that the hand sanitizer recipe below will kill 99.9 percent of germs after 60 seconds.

Hand sanitizer recipe:

What you’ll need:

  • 3/4 cup of isopropyl or rubbing alcohol (99 percent)
  • 1/4 cup of aloe vera gel (to help keep your hands smooth and to counteract the harshness of alcohol)
  • 10 drops of essential oil, such as lavender oil, or you can use lemon juice instead


Pour all ingredients into a bowl, ideally one with a pouring spout like a glass measuring container.
Mix with a spoon and then beat with a whisk to turn the sanitizer into a gel.
Pour the ingredients into an empty bottle for easy use, and label it “hand sanitizer.”

-Adapted from Healthline