Simple DIY Hand Sanitizer 2
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Simple DIY Hand Sanitizer

By Leigh Ann Dutton, Contributing Writer

I’m not a germaphobe. I think dirt is good, and I like to keep beneficial bacteria around. I believe these things strengthen the immune system, which is especially helpful as we come upon cold and flu season yet again.

Needless to say, I’m not running around wiping everything clean 24/7, rubbing hand sanitizer on my children’s hands at the drop of a hat, or refusing to enter the public domain for the next six months. We can’t avoid every sickness. When we do succumb to the flu bug, you better believe I’m ready to fight.

However, I like to do what I can to avoid sickness whenever I can, especially when I’m out and about and not home near my natural medicine cabinet.

We’re currently on a month long road trip with our 3-year-old and 1-year-old. Before setting out, I knew I needed to be prepared because we would be traveling all over the country during the start of the cold and flu season. We would be exposed to germs our bodies aren’t used to dealing with as we travel thousands of miles away from our hometown. Not to mention, the inevitable stress of traveling and the occasional loss of sleep lowers our defenses, which makes us more susceptible to sickness.

Make your own hand sanitizer! This is SO MUCH BETTER than the store-bought sanitizer – did you know that stuff speeds up the absorption of BPA?? You'll definitely avoid chemicals with this sanitizer!

“Since starting our journey into natural living, almost everything I need can be made at home.”

Therefore, I’ve concocted my own hand sanitizer to take on the road with us. I like the fact that it is completely natural and doesn’t contain harsh alcohols or synthetic ingredients. Plus, I hate the smell of commercial hand sanitizers, not to mention the ingredients.

If you need something you can use when you’re out and about, this DIY hand sanitizer should do the trick. The smell of this simple hand sanitizer isn’t overwhelming like commercial brands. In addition, we have found this hand sanitizer to leave our hands feeling refreshed, not dried out and cracked like commercial sanitizers do.

Make your own hand sanitizer! This is SO MUCH BETTER than the store-bought sanitizer – did you know that stuff speeds up the absorption of BPA?? You'll definitely avoid chemicals with this sanitizer!

DIY Hand Sanitizer



Start by pouring your essential oils into your glass bottle.

A note about bottles: You want to use glass bottles when using essential oils. The essential oils will eat away at a plastic bottle rendering this formula useless. Glass bottles are easy to find at a local health food store or online.

When mixing essential oils for a spray, the rule of thumb is to add 10-15 drops of essential oil per ounce of liquid.

I added 20 drops of tea tree oil, 10 drops of lavender, and 5 drops each of lemon and sweet orange oil.

Gently swirl the oils together in your glass spray bottle. Then, fill the remainder of your bottle with witch hazel and aloe vera.

I used a witch hazel and aloe vera formula I got from our local health store. If you’re using them separately, then just fill your bottle 2/3 with witch hazel and the remaining 1/3 with aloe vera.

Put the lid on your bottle and give the mixture a good shake.

If you have Vitamin E oil, then add a few drops to your mixture as well. This is not necessary, but it will extend the shelf life of your hand sanitizer as well as add additional healing properties to your spray.

Label your spray bottle and use your DIY hand sanitizer when you’re out and about during the cold and flu season.

Do you use hand sanitizer? What are your favorite essential oils to ward off bad germs?

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links. When you buy through our links, we earn a small commission, which helps to keep this site going so that we can continue to offer free and useful content, so thanks!

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  1. When you say to use Aloe Vera, is there a liquid form? I have an aloe plant and of course is gel when harvested. Thanks!

  2. Never mind about the aloe Vera, I didn’t realize I could touch on the ingredient and go to Amazon. Silly me.

  3. I love using hand sanitizer, but dislike how store brands use alcohol in their formulas (it’s so drying!). I’ll have to give this recipe a try!

  4. Great recipe. And I was just in time finding it. I co-teach a Tae Kwon Do class (ok, I really just take the kids to the bathroom half way through) and find that every week, at least half of the kids have colds. Even after they wash there hands, I am still holding hands on the way back to the room and feel the need to use hand sanitizer myself. However, I do not like the feel or the thought of store bought sanitizers. So, thank you. I will try this blend and maybe add a little lemon to my blend. I know it’s also anti-everything and I love the smell. Great blog! Thanks again.

  5. Hi Leigh Ann, thanks for the post! I’m trying to make this and was wondering if I can use Vodka instead of witch hazel? Also, all the glass bottles I buy have a plastic straw for the spray… as that is plastic will it render the formula useless? Does your spray bottle not have a plastic straw that dips into the formula? Thanks for any insights in advance!

    1. I have heard people using vodka instead of witch hazel. A quick Google search could give you proportions. I’ve never used it so I wouldn’t want to steer you wrong with my “I think so’s”. 🙂

      I’ve never really thought about the plastic straws. Mine does have the same. I don’t think it would render the formula useless since it is so small. But it’s worth looking into more. Good thought! Sometimes we can miss the obvious can’t we? 🙂

  6. I have oregano oil, lemon oil, lavender oil, and tea tree oil. The tea tree oil is Vitacost brand not an expensive brand. Would those oils work for this recipe?

    1. I would be careful with the oregano oil. Test it before adding. It can burn when applied to the skin. Even the other three would work well in my opinion.

  7. LOVE this idea! I can’t stand the smell of commercial hand-sanitizer, but want to sanitize my hands after pumping gas, hanging around sick kids, and especially when we travel (when we lived away from family, we used to get sick almost every visit from the “new” germs. I finally realized that I needed to boost our immunes before we traveled so we weren’t sick at Grandma’s every single time!)

    I’ve heard that you shouldn’t use citrus essential oils on your skin if you’ll be out in the sun because it makes your skin more sensitive to the sunlight. I can’t imagine it normally being a problem, but might be something to keep in mind.

    1. Yes! We’re the same way – sick at grandmaw’s. It’s frustrating. Boosting immune systems BEFORE travel is so important. And good reminder on the citrus oils and sun.

  8. Thanks for sharing this! My two year old has a bad habit of putting his fingers in his mouth when he gets tired or nervous . . . needless to say I keep the hand sanitizer handy when we are out and about with him. I hate the chemicals in commercial sanitizers, but I also don’t want him picking up something and sharing it with my 8-month old while we are trying to break his habit. Can’t wait to try this sanitizer and feel good about using it!

  9. Thanks so much for sharing this! I am allergic/sensitive to almost all soaps and chemicals but can use essential oils and Natural or Organic cleaners! This is perfect!

  10. Thanks so much for posting this! I am allergic to several chemicals and so I use green soaps and cleaners! This is Perfect!!

  11. Do you think a bottle with a glass dropper would work? I was thinking that would keep the oils away from the plastic.

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