Homemade hand sanitizer

Aloe vera plant

Aloe vera plant

By Catherine Haug, March 13, 2016 (Photo, right, from Wikimedia Commons)

I’m not fond of hand sanitizers because they contain alcohols that dry the skin, and antibacterial agents such as triclosan that contribute to the development of antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Instead, I use real soap, preferably handmade here in the Flathead to wash my hands, and then a light spray of apple cider vinegar-water to help rinse off the soap and any bad bacteria that survived the soap, and also help restore the acid mantle to my skin.

But what to do when I need to wash my hands away from home? Most public restrooms offer liquid hand soap that isn’t real soap at all, but rather detergents that come with their own harmful effects. And many public restrooms also offer alcohol and chemical-antibacterial hand sanitizer.

The answer: handmade gel hand sanitizer. This recipe comes from the Wellness Mamma blog (1). The main thing I like about this recipe is that it uses aloe vera gel, that protects your skin from drying out too much. And you can store it in a reusable silicon tube that you can carry with you.

Wellness Mamma (1) notes that her recipe is non-drying and the aloe vera is actually nourishing for the skin. The essential oils are known for their antibacterial properties, and are compatible fragrances.

She also notes that the recipe uses higher-than-recommended amounts of essential oils and provides this link to learn more about this issue: risks of essential oils, and how to use them (2). And she cautions, “Always check with a doctor or health care provider before using essential oils, especially on children or if you have a medical condition.”

Her site includes two recipes, one being stronger than the other, but I include only the less-strong recipe here, as I have issues with the rubbing alcohol in the stronger recipe. You can view the stronger recipe on her website (1)

Wellness Mamma’s Homemade Hand Sanitizer Gel

  • ¼ cup Organic aloe vera gel (she recommends Seven Minerals brand; see Amazon (3) for more)
  • 20 drops orange essential oil
  • 5 drops clove essential oil
  • 10 drops cinnamon essential oil
  • 10 drops lavender essential oil
  • 5 drops rosemary essential oil
  1. Mix all ingredients and store in a reusable silicon tube (4).
  2. Use as needed to  remove germs from hands naturally.


  1. Wellness Mamma recipe: wellnessmama.com/281/homemade-hand-sanitizer
  2. Wellness Mamma on risks of essential oils: wellnessmama.com/26519/risks-essential-oils
  3. Amazon, Seven Minerals aloe vera gel: amazon.com/Aloe-Vera-GEL-Organic-MONEY-BACK/dp/B00XTTFI6K
  4. Amazon, squeezable silicon Go Tubes: amazon.com/gp/product/B009NJVSXC

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