Are you having a hard time finding hand sanitizer in stores or finding it difficult to get it at a reasonable price? No need to fear, there is a simple and affordable way to make your very own hand sanitizer to help protect yourself this cold and flu season! Before we begin, it is important to understand that washing your hands with warm water and soap is still the most effective way to eliminate germs from your hands. The best method to wash your hands with soap and water, according to the CDC, is to first wet your hands with warm water, then apply soap and lather around your entire hands. Make sure to scrub the back of your hands, between your fingers, and under your nails. The key is to wash your hands for at least 20 seconds to maximize the amount of germs that you effectively kill. Once done, dry with a clean towel or air dry. However, using hand sanitizer is a great alternative whenever washing your hands with soap and water is not an immediate option. Let's dive into how to make handmade hand sanitizer that is just as effective as store bought hand sanitizer.

What you will need

To begin, you will need a few items. All of the items listed below can be purchased at most major grocery stores.

1. 2/3 cup of rubbing alcohol (isopropyl alcohol) - the CDC recommends 60-95% concentration
2. 1/3 cup of aloe vera gel
3. Any preferred essential oil (not necessary, but gives a nice scent to the sanitizer)
4. A travel size spray bottle
5. Small funnel - if you do not have a funnel, you could also use a mixing container with a pouring spout (like most glass measuring containers)

How to make homemade hand sanitizer

Firstly, pour the rubbing alcohol into a mixing container. Next, pour the aloe vera gel into the same container. Mix the liquids in the container for 15 seconds. Pour a few drops of the essential oil into the mixture (not too many as it could dry your skin). Stir the mixture once again. Remove the cap of the spray bottle and place the end of the funnel in the spray bottle and pour the mixture in. Finally, put the cap of the spray bottle back on and spray onto hands. Make sure to rub all around your hands, wrists, and in between your fingers!

Important things to remember

While hand sanitizer is the most effective "on the go" germ killer, nothing beats simply washing your hands with soap and water. If you have come in contact with potentially harmful germs, it is best to refrain from touching your face until your are able to properly wash your hands with soap and water. The CDC also recommends that, when using hand sanitizer, make sure not to use too little and continue rubbing until dry. Be sure to stay safe this cold and flu season by washing your hands at least twice a day or after touching areas with large public interaction (such as door handles)!