In the wake of the “Great Shelf Clearing of 2020” thanks to COVID-19 concerns, hand sanitizer turned into liquid gold, inspiring many people to make their own. But does squirting a mixture of vodka and aloe vera gel do the trick? Consider that a coronavirus myth. The Center for Disease Control says no, which is why it’s important to understand how to make an effective homemade version.
DIY Hand Sanitizer
People joked that West Virginia was thea last state to see a COVID-19 infection because of their propensity for moonshine. There’s a grain of truth to this assumption since alcohol is a powerful tool against bacteria and viruses. It eliminates these pathogens by denaturing the proteins of the bacteria and viruses, but only if it’s the right strength. The CDC recommends a minimum of 60 percent alcohol content; yet, unfortunately, a lot of the drinkable alcohol falls well below this level.
In reality, most alcohol, falls short of killing viruses. Ethyl alcohol, also called grain alcohol, is available in 151 and 190 proof (75.5 and 90 percent alcohol to water ratio). Not surprisingly it is illegal in many states, as it can cause alcohol poisoning if drunk without being mixed. Yet, even with this impressive alcohol percentage, it isn’t strong enough in a homemade hand sanitizer since it’s diluted with the addition of aloe vera gel.
The other option is isopropyl alcohol, or rubbing alcohol. However, the basic over-the-counter variety is typically only 70 percent. Once again, this falls below the minimum 60 percent when aloe is added.
Fortunately, commercial grade isopropyl alcohol, which is 91 to 99 percent, is available online, in medical supply stores, or at many retailers. With that in mind, it’s possible to make an adequate homemade version with a few simple ingredients. Besides the isopropyl alcohol, aloe vera gel is used to reduce the drying effects of the alcohol. The essential oils are helpful adding another layer of immune support to your repertoire, as well as making it smell good.
DIY Hand Sanitizer Recipe
Based upon Nebraska Medicine’s recommendations, a basic recipe is:
- 2/3 cup of 91-99 percent isopropyl alcohol
- 1/4-1/3 cup of pure aloe vera gel
- 8-10 drops of essential oil, such as Thieves or thyme (optional)
In a small bowl, thoroughly whisk together the alcohol and aloe vera gel. Add the essential oils and mix well. Use a small funnel to pour the mixture into a small squeeze bottle or empty hand sanitizer bottle.
And remember, there is a proper way to utilize hand sanitizer. Use roughly a quarter-sized squirt of hand sanitizer, then rub your hands together on the fronts and back for 20 seconds before rubbing it between all of your fingers, on your fingernails, and along your wrists until the sanitizer is totally dry.
Making your own hand sanitizer is an easy and effective project. It will keep you and your family safe during our prime sickness seasons. Just be sure to use the right percentage of alcohol and the right ratio with aloe vera gel to ensure it will knock out the germs. Making your own DIY hand sanitizer because of shortages isn’t anything to panic over. If we get to the point where you have to eat your pet dog as Skillset Magazine is already prepared for, then thats a different story.
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