A Guide to Germ-Free Hands: DIY Hand Sanitizer
According to the CDC, alcohol-based hand sanitizers can quickly reduce the number of microorganisms on the hands. Here is a step-by-step guide to understanding the active ingredients of alcohol-based hand sanitizers and tips on how to make your very own sanitizer that will protect against bacteria and germs!
Ingredients Needed to Make DIY Hand Sanitizer
- Rubbing Alcohol (Ethyl alcohol or isopropyl alcohol at 60+ concentration)
- Antibacterial Essential Oils
Supplies & Tools:
- Empty Bottle with Spray Cap
Understanding the Active Ingredients in Hand Sanitizer
Ethyl Alcohol or otherwise recognized as “grain-alcohol” (alcohol in grain liquor), and Isopropyl Alcohol, otherwise known as traditional rubbing alcohol, are the most successful types of alcohols for killing bacteria and viruses. The CDC recommends using either Ethyl Alcohol or Isopropyl Alcohol at a concentration of 60% - 95% for sanitizing the hands.
Ethyl Alcohol Vs. Isopropyl Alcohol
Both Ethyl Alcohol and Isopropyl Alcohol are safe and effective to use to disinfect the hands. They both disrupt the proteins and lipids within germs, effectively killing them. The evaporating properties of these alcohols differ slightly. Ethanol is more dehydrating to the skin than Isopropyl, which evaporates much faster but doesn’t leave the skin as dry.
Will This DIY Hand Sanitizer Protect Me From Covid-19?
According to the CDC, washing the hands properly with regular hand soap and water has effectively protected against Covid-19 and other bacterias. Alternatively, if soap and water are not available, sanitizing the hands with at least 60% of concentrated alcohol will protect against Covid-19 as well.
Antibacterial Essential Oils
Lemon Essential Oil - A great addition to your DIY hand sanitizer for its refreshing scent and antibacterial properties. Similar lemon strains such as lemon balm oil have been proven to suppress influenza virus replication.
Tea Tree Essential Oil - Most known for its antiseptic properties, this essential oil has been used for centuries for its proven antibacterial, antifungal and anti-inflammatory properties. Tea tree oil is excellent for adding to your sanitizer because it protects against pathogens such as E. coli, S. aureus, S. epidermidis, E. faecalis, P. aeruginosa, M. avium, H. influenzae, S. pyogenes, and S. pneumoniae.
Clove Essential Oil - The active ingredient in clove essential oil is called Eugenol. Eugenol is a compound that successfully kills bacteria on contact, making it clove essential oils efficient in protecting against many viruses, bacteria and pathogens.
Peppermint Essential Oil - Essential oils from peppermint leaves have been scientifically proven to have antibacterial properties. Specifically, peppermint essential oil has been successful in killing Gram-negative and Gram-positive bacteria. Aside from the impressive disinfectant properties of peppermint essential oil, it also gives an uplifting and refreshing scent.
Lavender Essential Oil - Has strong antibacterial properties against Gram-positive bacteria. It is proven to effectively kill some resistant strains of Gram-negative bacteria such as E. coli and Acinetobacter baummanii.
Eucalyptus Essential Oil - Similar to peppermint and lavender oil, Eucalyptus essential oil is also useful in killing resistant strains of Gram-negative bacteria. Eucalyptus oil is an excellent natural antibacterial agent to combat pathogenic microorganisms.
Step-by-Step to Making DIY Hand Sanitizer
- Combine alcohol and antibacterial essential oils.
- Fill the empty spray bottle with the mixed sanitizing solution.
- Spray on hands to kill germs while enjoying the scent of essential oil blend!
Check out our selection of ready-made, fast drying and nourishing hand sanitizers that have been approved by Health Canada!