The most important step for staying healthy during the COVID-19 outbreak is to learn when and how to wash your hands and, if hand-washing isn’t an option, use hand sanitizer to kill the coronavirus that causes COVID-19.
If you’re having trouble finding hand sanitizer for sale in your local supermarket, drug store, or online (and you just can’t wait to get some), there are some simple instructions for how to make your own hand sanitizer at home. If you’re not crazy about having to make your own hand sanitizer (and there’s plenty of reasons to be wary of it!), then don’t worry! Good things are happening in the world right now — like distilleries transitioning to using their facilities to make high-proof hand sanitizer, major makeup manufacturers doing the same, and Amazon prioritizing restocking these products — so you don’t have to if you don’t want to!
How To Make Your Own Hand Sanitizer:
- Gather supplies to make your own hand sanitizer, including 99% alcohol-volume isopropyl or rubbing alcohol, aloe vera gel, and either tea tree oil, lavender oil, or lemon juice.
- Combine ¾ cups isopropyl/rubbing alcohol, ¼ cup aloe vera gel, and 10 drops lemon juice or essential oil in a bowl.
- Mix ingredients together, pout into an appropriate container, and label it “hand sanitizer.” *Remember that alcohol-based hand sanitizer — whether you buy it or make your own hand sanitizer at home — can be toxic if ingested, so make sure to keep it out of reach of children and pets.
- When using your hand sanitizer, put a small amount in the palm of one hand, then rub it thoroughly over and between both hands; let it dry fully before doing anything else!
Just A Note: Knowing How To Wash Your Hands Properly Is Better Advice Than Making Your Own Hand Sanitizer!
All this being said, it’s really important to recognize that there’s nothing knowing how to make your own hand sanitizer (or finding hand sanitizer at a store or online) can do for you that a good, thorough hand-washing can’t! What’s more, whether you buy or make your own hand sanitizer, it may not be as effective at killing viruses when hands are greasy/dirty, and many people wipe it off before it has a chance to dry (making it far less effective).
So what’s the protocol for how to wash your hands? The CDC recommends that you use soap and water (obviously) the follow these five steps:
- Wet your hands with clean water;
- Apply soap to your hands and work it into a lather by rubbing your hands together; make sure to get between your fingers, the back of your hands, and under your nails;
- Scrub your hands together this way for at least 20 seconds (as long as it takes to hum “Happy Birthday”);
- Rinse your hands with clean, running water; then
- Dry your hands with a clean towel or air dry them.