UPDATE: We have noticed a lot more traffic and links back to this post recently due to the Coronavirus. As a result, we have updated our original homemade hand sanitizer recipe based on CDC recommendations that hand sanitizer must be at least 60% alcohol to be effective. This recipe has not been tested in a lab and we cannot guarantee its efficacy against viruses as there are many variants that may affect your mixture, including the ingredients in your alcohol and aloe vera gel, how they interact, the cleanliness of your measuring tools, etc.

The best thing you can do to protect against germs is to wash your hands with soap and water for at least 20 seconds and avoid touching your face. But for those times when you’re not near a sink, you may want to have some hand sanitizer that’s easily accessible. I have always loved making my own natural beauty products, so this summer I decided to give homemade hand sanitizer a try.

Homemade Hand Sanitizer

By making my own products, I can customize them to my exact needs and preferences. In the past, I have played around with making my own deodorant, lotion, and lip balm. So I thought I might as well make some hand sanitizer to have in my purse and at my studio.

When you are making your homemade hand sanitizer, you can choose to use ethyl alcohol (180 proof or higher) or isopropyl alcohol (91% or 99%). You should be able to find each of these ingredients at your local pharmacy. Rubbing alcohol can dry out your hands, so I added some aloe vera gel and Vitamin E oil to my mixture. 

For many of my homemade bath and beauty products, I like to add essential oil to my mixture. Essential oils not only add a lovely fragrance to the product, but they also can have certain health benefits. Some essential oils are even natural bacteria fighters (perfect for a hand sanitizer!). We used lavender, sweet orange, and geranium to create different hand sanitizers.

Lavender is widely known as a calming ingredient, but you may not have known that it is an antibacterial that helps in building your immune system. Geranium is great for your skin because it stimulates blood circulation, which is why I also use it when making my homemade deodorant. I decided to also use sweet orange essential oil because I love citrus scents, and orange oil is a wonderful disinfectant. These are just a few of my favorite essential oils, but you can add any that you prefer to your homemade hand sanitizer!

Once you make your hand sanitizer spray, you can use our printable labels to stick onto your bottles. Download the PDF below and edit the “lavender scented” text with the free font Aleo Italic. Print them onto full sheet label paper and trim each label individually. For more DIY beauty products, check out my recipes for whipped body butter, almond body scrub, or lavender bath salt



Because our original hand sanitizer recipe used filtered water, we poured the mixture into 2 oz. spray bottles. Since removing the filtered water from the recipe, your mixture may have more of a gel consistency, which may work better in pump bottles.

Mix alcohol and aloe vera gel into a cup with a spout and pour the mixture into your bottle. Add your preferred essential oil and Vitamin E oil (optional). Shake well before each use. 

Want to make hand sanitizer spray in smaller amounts? See our new hand sanitizer recipe.


The key for an effective homemade hand sanitizer is to use a two-to-one ratio of 91% isopropyl alcohol to aloe vera gel. You can change the amounts listed in the ingredients above as long as it is two parts alcohol and one part gel. Also, remember that hand sanitizer should not be a replacement for handwashing, and it is only effective if you spray your hands thoroughly and let them dry completely. You can read more about what the CDC recommends here.

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