DIY Hand Sanitizer

Words by Louise Miller

Photography by Tianna Franks

Trying to avoid getting sick? The best thing you can do is wash your hands frequently, scrubbing with soap for at least 20 seconds and then making sure to dry them completely. But for hygiene on the go, a hand sanitizer is a fast and easy secondary option.

Store-bought versions are suggested for their proven efficacy, and should always be your first choice. However, if pre-made sanitizer is not possible to get, you can also consider making your own.

Can you add essential oils to hand sanitizer?

The most important thing to include for a proper DIY hand sanitizer is isopropyl (rubbing) alcohol, which must be at least 60 per cent of the total solution. Other things, such as aloe vera and essential oils, can also be included in small amounts for additional benefits and scent. Rubbing alcohol comes in different percentages, but 91 or 99 per cent is suggested for this.



3/4 cup isopropyl alcohol (91 or 99 per cent)

1/4 cup aloe vera gel

2 drops Tea Tree Essential Oil

2 drops Lavender Essential Oil

2 drops Lemon Essential Oil


  1. In a clean bowl with a clean spoon, mix the isopropyl alcohol and aloe vera gel together until well combined.
  2. Add in the essential oils (these are optional; we like all three for a nuanced scent, but you can also just choose to add a few drops of one oil). 
  3. Transfer the sanitizer to a small, clean spray bottle or pump bottle.
  4. Shake well before each use (there may be some clumping due to the consistency of the aloe vera gel) and spray or pump into your hands.
  5. Rub the formula onto your hands and let them completely air-dry. 
  6. Follow up with a moisturizer to keep your skin hydrated.