You can mix up a big batch in seconds. 

By Katie Holdefehr
Updated March 05, 2020
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This cold and flu season, amid the spread of coronavirus, hand sanitizer is selling out in some stores, and options on Amazon are either out of stock or available at inflated prices. Now that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has recommended washing your hands more frequently, or using alcohol-based sanitizer as part of its plan to help prevent the spread of disease, hand sanitizer has been flying off of the real and virtual shelves. But if your store is out of stock, don't worry, it's easy to mix up some homemade hand sanitizer using a couple basic ingredients. Following the steps below, you can whip up a big batch of DIY hand sanitizer in seconds.

A few things to keep in mind: for hand sanitizer to actually be effective at killing germs, it must contain at least 60 percent alcohol, according to the CDC. Try to stick to the ratios listed below, but feel free to adjust the amounts to make a smaller or larger batch. And because this homemade hand sanitizer contains so much alcohol, it's best to keep it in a sealed container, out of the reach of children.

While hand-washing is considered preferable to using hand sanitizer, it's a great alternative for those times when you can't get to a sink or want to make sure your hands are extra clean. Here's how to mix up DIY hand sanitizer that you can keep at home, at your office, or in a small container in your purse.

What You'll Need:

  • 1/3 cup aloe vera gel (available at most drugstores)
  • 2/3 cup 99% rubbing alcohol ((isopropyl alcohol)
  • Container with watertight lid
  • Small funnel (optional)
  • Essential oils (optional)

Note: If you can't find 99% rubbing alcohol, you may need to adjust the ratio above to make sure the mixture contains at least 60 percent alcohol.

Follow These Steps:

1. Stir together the aloe vera gel and rubbing alcohol until fully incorporated.

2. If you'd like, you can add a couple drops of essential oil, such as lavender (just test your skin for sensitivity first).

3. Using a funnel, decant the mixture into a bottle or container with a secure lid. When you use the hand sanitizer, dispense it into the palm of one hand and rub all over the surface of both hands until completely dry. Keep the bottle out of reach of children.