If you’re like most people in the U.S., you’ve used hand sanitizer at one time or another, especially if you have children. The convenience of being able to disinfect your hands on the go is one of the useful inventions of modern life (speaking as a parent with small children).
However, I’m not a big fan of the alcohol content in much hand sanitizer, both because I’ve heard enough horror stories of kindergartners getting drunk by licking hand sanitizer off of their hands and also because of the way alcohol can burn and sting when I use it during this colder winter weather when my hands are dry.
Fortunately, there is an alternative that you can make at home using essential oils with wonderful antibacterial and antimicrobial benefits. First you start with aloe vera gel and coconut oil which you will combine with a few different plant-based essential oils. Backdoorsurvival.com recommends using 1/2 cup of extra virgin coconut oil, 1/2 cup of organic aloe vera gel, and 120 drops of essential oils. These ingredients blended together will make about one cup of hand sanitizer (Save your leftover pump bottles from the hand sanitizer that you already have at home of the office to reuse for your homemade blend.).
Now, a valid question is what essential oils to use in your hand sanitizer? Twelve essential oils with antibacterial qualities to consider using are:
- Eucalyptus – This oil has both germicidal and dental uses.
- Peppermint – Be cautious with this one as it can burn your skin if used it high doses.
- Lavender – This also has soothing properties.
- Tea Tree – This is also known as Melaleuca and is one of the gentlist essential oils that can be applied to your skin.
- Bergamot – This helps with acne, chicken pocks, and mouth ulcers.
- Lemongrass – This oil also has fungicidal and antimicrobial properties.
- Oregano – This oil can protect from many strains of e coli and salmonella.
- Thyme – This oil should always be diluted with a carrier oil because it can irritate the skin.
- Clove – Do not use this if anyone using your hand sanitizer is pregnant or nursing.
- Basil – Particularly useful against e coli.
- Rosemary – Also very useful against e coli.
- Cinnamon – Very useful against all types of bacteria tested.
There are other essential oils which you also may want to investigate and experiment with.
Do you make your own hand sanitizer, and, if so, what’s your recipe? Share it below.