Can't find hand sanitizer in stores? Here's how to make it at home
Updated 03:29, 03-Mar-2020
Arij Limam
Europe;United Kingdom

As COVID-19 continues to spread around Europe and the world, antibacterial hand gel or hand sanitizer, is the next thing running out of stock after the global mask shortage.

Worried shoppers rushing out to buy hand sanitizers to protect themselves from the spread of the coronavirus, have been met with empty shelves or very limited stock.

In the UK, the popular high street Boots pharmacy chain has completely run out of all brands of hand sanitizer on its website.

Stock on shelves has also depleted, so much so that certain stores are imposing a limit on how many units a person can buy, to stop bulk purchases.

Hand sanitizers have appeared on websites such as Amazon and eBay, being sold for at least three times their retail price.

If you can't find hand sanitizers where you are, and don't want to spend a lot on it, you can make some at home with simple ingredients. Here's how:


What you need:

- 2/3 cup (160 mls) rubbing alcohol (Isopropyl alcohol)

- 1/3 cup (80 mls) aloe vera gel

- 8–10 drops of essential oil such as lavender, peppermint, clove or cinnamon (optional)

- Mixing bowl

- Spoon

- Funnel

- Empty bottle or plastic container

(Note: Maintain caution when handling rubbing alcohol. If your skin is sensitive to alcohol, you can substitute the rubbing alcohol in the recipe with one-and-a-half teaspoons of witch hazel, mixed with 30 drops of tea tree oil.)

How to make it:

- In a mixing bowl, pour in 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol and 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel.

- Add 8-10 drops of essential oil, adding more or less according to how strong you want the scent (lavender, clove, cinnamon and peppermint essential oils have antiseptic properties, so will give added benefits).

- Mix all the ingredients together well.

- To thicken the solution, add more aloe vera, and to thin it out add more alcohol.

- Pour the mixture into a container using a funnel or a pipette and seal. Small squirt bottles work best if you will be carrying the bottle with you throughout the day.

Enjoy your homemade hand sanitizer for up to six months.

Hygiene experts have said hand sanitizer requires at least a 60 percent alcohol content to be effective in killing most viruses.

The above recipe will create a hand sanitizer that contains this amount of alcohol or more, so you should be covered.

However, with the continuing rise of COVID-19 cases across Europe, health experts have maintained that the best way to protect yourself from the virus is to wash your hands with warm water and soap for at least 20 seconds.

So, while using hand sanitizer may be able to cover you while you are out and about, make sure you wash your hands thoroughly every chance you get.

Maintaining good hygiene in general, such as sneezing and coughing into a tissue, will also go a long way to keeping you and others safe. Here are 10 tips from the World Health Organization: