DIY hand sanitizer

How to make a hand sanitizer at home

Hand hy­giene has re­ceived a lot of at­ten­tion re­cent­ly. But what if there is no soap and wa­ter near­by? Hand san­i­tiz­er can help. Check out this video to learn how to make your own sim­ple home­made hand san­i­tiz­er.

Safe­ty pre­cau­tions

  • Warn­ing! Per­form the ex­per­i­ment in a well-ven­ti­lat­ed area.
  • Ob­serve safe­ty rules when work­ing with fire: this mix­ture con­tains flammable sub­stances.


  • 450 mL 99% iso­propyl al­co­hol;
  • 9 mL glyc­erin;
  • 16 mL cold drink­ing wa­ter;
  • 25 mL 3% hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide;
  • bot­tle;
  • con­tain­ers with dis­pensers.

Step-by-step in­struc­tions

Mix 450 mL 99% iso­propyl al­co­hol, 9 mL glyc­erin, 16 mL cold drink­ing wa­ter, and 25 mL 3% hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide in a bot­tle. Mix the re­sult­ing so­lu­tion well and let sit for 72 hours in a cool, dark place. Dis­trib­ute the san­i­tiz­er into con­ve­nient con­tain­ers with dis­pensers. This recipe was tak­en from the of­fi­cial web­site of the WHO.

Process de­scrip­tion

In or­der for the san­i­tiz­er to be as ef­fec­tive as pos­si­ble, it must con­tain at least 60–70% al­co­hol. This can be ei­ther iso­propyl al­co­hol or ethyl al­co­hol. Only at these con­cen­tra­tions and high­er can the al­co­hol de­stroy the lipid mem­branes of virus­es and micro­organ­isms, killing any path­o­gen­ic micro­organ­isms. Strong al­co­holic bev­er­ages are not suit­able for this pur­pose, as their al­co­hol con­cen­tra­tion is not high enough.

Glyc­erin is added to the an­ti­sep­tic as a mois­tur­iz­er, and hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide is need­ed to de­stroy the spores of var­i­ous bac­te­ria that could po­ten­tial­ly be in the so­lu­tion. You can also add 2-3 drops of any es­sen­tial oil or lemon juice to the mix­ture, as this will lend the san­i­tiz­er a nice aro­ma with­out af­fect­ing its an­timi­cro­bial prop­er­ties. But ex­er­cise cau­tion: the WHO men­tions that such fra­grances can cause an al­ler­gic re­ac­tion in some peo­ple.

The pre­pared so­lu­tion needs to sit for a time, as this will al­low the hy­dro­gen per­ox­ide to com­plete­ly de­stroy any bac­te­ri­al spores that may be present in the mix­ture.

Ap­ply your san­i­tiz­er ac­cord­ing to these guide­lines:

  1. Squeeze out a few drops of the an­ti­sep­tic and rub your palms and fin­gers thor­ough­ly.
  2. Don’t for­get about your fin­ger­nails – pathogens can hide un­der them too!
  3. Keep rub­bing your hands un­til they dry. This should take from 15 to 30 sec­onds.

Un­for­tu­nate­ly, an an­ti­sep­tic will not work if your hands are too dirty or oily.

To pro­tect your­self as ef­fec­tive­ly as pos­si­ble:

  • Avoid touch­ing your face, mouth and eyes.
  • Wash your hands with soap for at least 30 sec­onds.
  • If pos­si­ble, use a san­i­tiz­er or wear gloves.