DIY Hand Cleaner: Pure Alternatives To Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizers

We are a clean society  We have breeded a culture of germ-o-phobia. After all the Swine Flu attention in the media, hand sanitizers are everywhere.   They’re in bathrooms next to traditional soap machines, on counters in day centers, on the teacher’s desks and  by the entrance of most stores.  These easy to access products are loaded with chemicals and alcohol.  Not only that, they are considered DRUGS because of the chemicals they contain.  I found one individually wrapped hand wipe in an old baby bag I cleaned out the other day (before I knew about safer options). I was surprised to see it had hormone disrupting parabens in it. You can make your own DIY Hand Cleaner FAST with just a few natural ingredients that will purify even the kiddos hands leaving no chemicals behind.When you make your own hand cleaner and hand purifier with essential oils, you’ll skip a lot of these scary chemicals:

One company in particular has specific instructions on using their product.  According to their FAQ’s page, you can use their product, which is mostly ‘ethyl alcohol’ (62%)  “as often as you like“,  and that “no alcohol is left behind because it mostly evaporates”.

Alcohol baths were once used in hospitals to treat patients.  They are no longer used because of their link to alcohol poisoning.   You may have never heard of alcohol baths used for lowering a fever unless you were a nurse 30+ years ago or know someone who was.  My mom was a nurse and was trained to use alcohol baths as an option for treating a fever.  In time this practice was eliminated because of the potential harm it may cause and is no longer taught in medical school. 

There are many articles on the dangers of alcohol baths and ethyl alcohol because the alcohol is absorbed through the skin.  Could this same effect result from applying an alcohol based hand sanitizer on the hands “as often as you like”, more quickly with a small child of 20-30 pounds?  I’d rather not find out, so I use essential oil based hand cleaners which have no alcohol.

Even worse than alcohol is Triclosan, used in many hand sanitizers and hand soaps, even “anti-bacterial” lotions. One bath product store that sells fruity, flowery bath products in every scent and color combination is known for filling most of their anti-bacterial line with Triclosan, so read labels!  Scientists discovered these anti-bacterial chemicals may actually make you sick! As if that is not enough to motivate you to find another alternative, now research has found Triclosan may actually impair muscle control. The FDA has finally stepped in to ban Triclosan, 8 years after European and Canadian countries had already banned them,  but they have until the end of 2018 to use up their supply or sell it off, so buyer beware! Despite the EU ban on Triclosan, Microban, the company that manufacturers a great deal of Triclosan, won a court battle against the EU to force their Triclosan-infused plastic goods (high chairs, teething toys, toothbrushes and many more consumer goods) into the European Union despite the government’s action to prevent Triclosan from invading the market there.

Safer Options to DIY Hand Cleaner 

  • Essential oil blends of clove, cinnamon, rosemary, lemon and Eucalyptus radiate are available in one company’s EO products.  
  • Clean Well is another brand that offers a spray sanitizer, alcohol-free, based on Thyme essential oil and aloe.    If you have been using essential oils for any time, you know that skin absorption is one of the benefits of using the oils, especially on children.  The essential oils penetrate the skin barrier and go directly to the bloodstream.  The skin is our largest organ and capable of absorbing many substances. When you use an essential oil based hand sanitizer it’s giving a boost to your immune system.
  • DIY & make your own hand sanitizer with a glass spray bottle, aloe vera (Aubrey is my favorite) and essential oils like lavender, clove, lemon, rosemary and orange.  Fill a 4 ounce spray bottle half-way with water or witch hazel, add 4 tablespoons of Aloe Vera (not the goopy gel with chemicals) add 15-20 drops of anti-bacterial essential oils of your choice, shake first and spray away.  No Triclosan!

DIY Hand Cleaner with essential oils

Hand sanitizers are a convenient way to cleanse the hands in a pinch if there is no running water, but even the CDC advises to keep the hands clean with soap and running water.  The CDC even advises that hand sanitizers  “should not be used in lieu of hand washing”.  Check out this link for proper hand washing techniques.  And use old fashioned soap – not anti-bacterial, chemical laden versions adding to the chemical absorption through your skin. Your next best option is to make a DIY Hand Cleaner that contains all natural ingredients.


What do you use for emergency hand sanitizing when water isn’t accessible?

These statements have not been evaluated by the FDA and this information is for educational purposes only.  It  is not the intent of Pure Home and Body LLC to diagnose, treat or cure any disease.

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3 Responses to DIY Hand Cleaner: Pure Alternatives To Alcohol Based Hand Sanitizers

  1. Hand Sanitizer April 25, 2012 at 12:22 am #

    I used to love hand sanitizer. Such a convenient method of killing hand-borne germs. few Tips i want to share with u

    * Many essential oils like tea tree, lemongrass, lemon, cedarwood, clove, peppermint and lavender have antibacterial properties. Use one of these essential oils to boost the germ fighting power of your sanitizer.
    * If you find the consistency to be too thin, add more witch hazel or rubbing alcohol a teaspoon at a time until you reach your desired consistency.
    * Destiny and I love anything that is sparkly; so we love adding a pop of glitter to our hand sanitizers.
    * Recycle old liquid soap or hand sanitizer bottles, and refill them again and again.
    * Witch hazel, tea tree oil both have antiseptic and astringent properties which make them great for killing germs.
    * If you feel your sanitizer is a bit to sticky, simply add a bit more rubbing alcohol.
    * The aloe vera gel will help soothe skin and keep skin from drying out.

  2. Susan P April 26, 2012 at 1:40 pm #

    Thanks for sharing your ideas! Re-using sanitizer bottles is a great way to keep garbage out of the landfill. I would use the aloe vera or witch hazel as a carrier and skip the rubbing alcohol which can be too strong for kids. If you use quality essential oils they will kill the germs without the need for adding alcohol.


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    […] if you make hand sanitizer with lemon essential oil.  If you are really ambitious, go ahead and mix up your own.  Clean My Space has a recipe but it has a lot of rubbing alcohol in it.  No Ordinary Homestead […]

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